No-See-Ums By Michael Allen

I ran into a friend who just returned from surfing Oaxaca, Punta Mita Mexico. He was attacked by the no-seeum flies. No-See-Ums are also referred to as Biting Midges, Biting Gnats, Punkies or Sand Flies. They are so small they can get through screens on windows and doors. Besides causing painful bites, they can also be vectors of diseases, particularly in tropical regions.

Unfortunately he started wearing his long sleeve rash guard too late. He could have kept on the thin layer to protect his chest and arms, and he could have also worn long pants that are breathable and comfortable even in tropical regions to protect his legs.

This is the result – red bumps all over his arms from the bites.

Some say that DEET can be a reliable repellent, and one study found Lemon Eucalyptus to be somewhat effective.

What to do if this happens to you? Watch for signs of infection, and use the two possible topical treatments:

  1. White vinegar dabbed on several times a day. If a reaction, then stop/
  2. Use calamine lotion in a traditional way.

If there is a reaction or no improvement, then head to your doctor/dermatologist.

Michael