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  1. #1

    Default Bugs and sensitive skin...

    Hi all,

    We're going to CSA in September for our wedding-moon - soooo excited!!!

    One thing is slightly anxiety provoking though - the bugs

    They love me and I tend to get bitten loads. Even worse, I react really badly and bites come up like large peas sitting on a 2p coin (I'm from the UK - about 2-3cm coin).

    I'm really worried about getting huge bites, particularly before the wedding. I may be going for overkill, but at the moment my plan is...
    - Taking garlic and vitamin B in the run up to the trip (I know it may not make any difference, but I figure it can't do any harm!)
    - Plug in insect repellants for the room
    - Avon skin so soft (combined after sun and repellant)
    - Anti histamine tablets every day to minimise any reaction
    - Creams to put on bites if they occur

    The thing I'm left unsure about is the insect spray. I gather that DEET is essential. I have really sensitive skin though - is DEET something that tends to not get on with sensitive skin? I can also only seem to find 50% DEET in the UK. How important is it to get the 100% (or 98%?) and is my skin more likely to react to that?

    I'm also totally freaked about the sand bugs that people have mentioned - I've never heard of them before! Anything special I can do to avoid them?


  2. #2


    I also have very sensitive skin and the bugs love me in Jamaica...especially the sand fleas. We are coming home to CSA on Friday for our 7th time and I get bitten everytime despite using deet and tons of spray. So, on our last trip a year ago, I bought bug bite medicine at our local drugstore (Bite MD) and applied it as soon as I saw the usual welts appearing after being bitten. I was able to avoid the 1 inch sized welts that used to last me 2 weeks! So, my advice is to bring bug repellant AND bug bite treatment with you. Also, avoid being on the beach at night when the sand fleas come out. I just restocked on meds and spray for our upcoming trip! Hope this helps. Good luck!

  3. #3


    Avoid beach at night and grass 100% of your time. Deet, Deet, Deet.

  4. #4


    Thanks! I'm really worried about the sand fleas - are they only ever out at night or do I need to worry about them during the day too? Normally I'd only use bug spray in the evenings, but I think I might need it during the day too in Jamaica???

    I just need to make sure that I avoid getting bitten to pieces in the first three days - once the wedding is done I can stop being so psycho about it, but I really don't want to be covered in bites for our wedding pics

  5. #5


    OK this post is coming from someone who has been to Jamaica 10 times and always come home covered in bites. They swell up and itch and I had 50 last year! I counted. This year I got maybe 4 bites. Here is what I did and believe me I tried everything under the sun years past!
    I took a zertec daily starting 2 days before I went. I also took a zantac, yes the anti acid. My Doc said it would help with the bites. I said well it cant hurt with all the drinking and eating I am going to do. I ended up with 4 bites in which they did not swell or itch at all. Now for prevention I used avon waterproof bug and sun during the day. ( yrs past I didnt use anything during the day) In the evenings I used 2 or 3 dots of Tea tree Oil on each leg and arm. I also used a light sparay of Off Skintastic in the turquois bottle. Has to be the one in the turquois bottle. Like I said I have tried the Deet, vitamen B vanilla all of it and get bit up like mad and this year no bites.

  6. #6


    Tangles - thanks so much! I'm not sure I can get all of these things from the UK, but I'll give it a try or try to get stuff with the same/similar ingredients.

    I know I can't get Off Skintastic, but I think I can get zetrec (zyrtec?) and I know I can get zantac. For the zantac - what does and how frequently?

    I'm just about to order some skin so soft from avon, so I'll see if I can get the bug and sun too.

    Tea tree oil is a fab idea - I'll add that to my list.

    I've also heard that you shouldn't wear perfume as that attracts the little critters - anyone else heard that?

  7. #7


    Just checked and we have Zirtek - which I think is the Zertec you mentioned.

    We don't seem to have the Avon stuff

  8. #8


    OK I messed up it was Cutter Skinsations ( turquois bottle) I talked to a pharmasist last night and she said that is contains something else besides deet. I have used deet and it did nothing for the sand fleas! She said the Zertec and zantac both have different antihistamines in them which help for itching and swelling. I am sure you could find the Cutter and Avon online. I got the cutter at our local Target store and the Avon at an Avon store in a large mall in Chicago. I wear NO PERFUME! I dont even bring any no lotion either! Leave it at home!

  9. #9


    Thanks for that - I've tried looking for the Cutter and Avon stuff online, but I can't seem to find it in the UK I'll have to try to spend some more time searching or asking around friends to see if anyone is off to the US before we go

    Zirtek and Zantac are easy to get hold of here and both on my shopping list along with the tea tree oil - that will be my perfume for the holiday!!!

  10. #10



    The Avon Skin so soft has changed you need the green bottle I think its skin so soft and fresh. When we went to Turkey the other year I got shower gel and body oil in it and we were fine.

    I have noticed now however, that they are veering away from it and have introduced a new range specifically for sun and bugs. A bit upsetting as there sales were already through the roof with the original, just another way of generating sales.

  11. #11


    Get someone from the US to send you Cutter and pay for the shipping...sounds like it would be worth it!

  12. #12


    I too am allergic to the sand flea bites...hate the little devils. However, if you go with the idea that some simple steps can eliminate all bites, there really is no reason to fear them...or avoid the areas where they hang out (sand, grass, wooden decking)

    I prefer products with no harsh chemical agents whenever possible, so rather than use something with DEET in it, I use a product made here in Jamaica and find it 100% effective against not only the sand fleas but also a 2-in-1 product.

    I can't imagine not being able to find it in any of the Couples gift shops.

    The product is made by Starfish Oils and is called "No Mosquito Body Spray"....only botanical oils (citronella, grapeseed, lemongrass, vitamin E). It can be used directly from the spray bottle or mixed with your favorite moisturizer or maybe even sunblock (though the fleas come out only an hour before sunset so chances are you won't be tanning at that time anyway).

    The bottle is small and easily carried...I can't imagine the price being over $5. If by some chance you don't find it on property, you'll find No Mosquito Spray at all the gift shops in town as well as our grocery stores.

    Am going to try to attach a picture here, but not sure if it will turn out. If nothing shows, you can google "Starfish Oils, Jamaica" and can find more info on their website.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  13. #13


    Re: sand fleas -- they are also bad right after it rains, so avoid the beach right after the afternoon rain shower. I learned this the hard way!

    I've heard people talk about Bounce dryer sheets working magic - you just have to have one on you (like tied to your shorts or where ever). I've never tried it, but some people swear by them. Couldn't hurt.

    Good luck!
    Melea & Joseph
    CN - '06, '07, '08
    CSS and CSA - '09
    CSA - '10

  14. #14


    My bottle says avon skin so soft bug guard plus insect repellent gentle breeze spf 30 water resistant, belive me this is coming from someone who had massive bites every year and they swelled up it was BAD. The tea tree oil smells kinda bad but heck it worked and you just DOT it. I found it by the vitamens at walmart for $8.00

  15. #15


    Thanks all for your suggestions - I have a nice long list of pills and ointments to use in my fight against the bites - I think I'll need another suitcase just for the bug fighting equipment...

    Tangles66 - The Avon stuff sounds amazing - but I can't get it in the UK and Avon in the US doesn't ship internationally

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