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What got me?

 
master steward
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I was working in my garden Thursday evening when something or something’s attacked me. The picture shows the Lanacane I put on it.  Yes, it is mildly to moderately painful.  The bites are well into my hairline.  Yes, I was an idiot and didn’t wear a hat or any kind of repellent. No, I did not get a good look at what got me … I suspect some kind of fly. Anyway, any ideas as to treatment … treatment for the bites not my stupidity.
9CCD3166-45C2-440D-8EE4-BC00971A45A9.jpeg
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If the bites are oozing as they look, my guess would be a spider or several of them.

Otherwise, I have no idea.

My suggestion for a treatment would be honey.

This thread might offer other suggestions:

https://permies.com/t/152493/Spider-Bite
 
John F Dean
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What you are seeing as oozing is the Lanacane.
 
Anne Miller
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Since you used lanacane(Grammarly says this is an unknown word and that I would use lidocaine) the bite sounds painful.

Ants, bees, wasps, and scorpions all have painful bites.

Chigger bites are itchy and inflamed.

My guess would be something from the first list.

This has pictures of different bites:

https://www.everydayhealth.com/skin-and-beauty-photos/how-to-identify-common-bug-bites.aspx

I don't think you would go wrong using honey on any kind of bite because honey is anti-bacterial.

 
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As usual, all I can think of is questions:
1. Is it a "bite" as if the critter took a chunk out of you? I'm Canadian, so my local culprits would be blackflies, deerflies or horseflies. The latter are pretty big, so I suspect you'd have noticed if it was one of those enjoying a meal of John F! Even earwigs can give a nasty bite, but usually only defensively.
2. Is it a "sting" - ie. did the culprit/s more inject you with something?  There are a lot more species of bee/wasp/stinging things than most of us realize and some of them can be quite small.

It seems to be going around. I accidentally disturbed a bumblebee nest yesterday and got a mild sting on one hand. I had *no* idea bumblebees were colony bees, or that they might nest in "grass tussocks" - live and learn!

I would note the location you were working in and go back in daylight to see if you can identify something you might have disturbed - just wear more protection this time! Blackflies in particular love to bite around the hairline from my experience. With weather weirding, there are plenty of critters moving into different areas, so I'd keep an open mind as you research as well.
 
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John, do the bites itch? If so your suspicion of a biting fly may be correct.

For treatment, I've started using topical benadryl on any sting or bite that starts getting inflamed. Got this one from a fellow permie and it's been amazing. Take a benadryl capsule and cut it open, moisten the skin and put the powder right on the sting and surrounding area. I usually put a bandaid on it to keep the powder in place when it dries. I get relief within 2 minutes and the pain is gone within 10 minutes, but then I use it right away so it may take longer for you. I also don't swell the usual 3-5 inches in diameter either.

After the initial benadryl treatment, I put lavender oil on the area since it's antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory. If the area is still in rough shape, I'll paint on a homemade tincture of oregon grape root or coptis (Chinese herb) or any other tincture that contains berberine. These can be taken internally too. There are lots of other remedies for inflamed skin but these two are the ones I use the most.

 
John F Dean
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I am thinking deer fly….or similar.   The trouble is I didn’t see any.  Of course, I wasn’t seeing much at the time, my eyes were filled with perspiration. And to compound the problem, it is solely on my right side … where I have 20/800 vision.

No itching. But feels tight (as in maybe swelling).  At times there is a deep stabbing pain…sometimes intense enough to get me to stop what I am doing. Then it goes away. Some evidence of bites.  But not the chunks I have had taken out of me by horse flies. No blood. …But certainly welts.  Painful  to touch…and I normally handle pain well.  Very painful to touch.
 
John F Dean
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Hi Jay and Robin

I just reread your post. My garden has been known to have nasty carnivore flies in it around sunset.  

Certainly not a bee sting of any kind I have had.

I took a shower and went with the Benadryl.  
 
John F Dean
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Hi Anne,

Chiggers are a definite no.  I find spiders to be an interesting possibility, but I suspect deer fly.  What makes the spiders interesting is that I did not see any deer flies and obviously there would have been a bunch of them to do the damage that was done.
 
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Damn! Ouch!!
Ok, expletives and exclamations mostly out of my system... from the redness and swelling, it looks like there it's probably some form of toxin in there. We typically do a drawing salve or poultice first, to draw out as much as will come out, regardless of which bitey-stingy thing we've disturbed enough to be attacked. It wouldn't be pretty to wear, because it's black, lol. I keep both a powdered version and a salve, because I like options. In your case, the powdered would be much easier to wash out of your hair. Here ya go, in case you're interested:

1 part activated charcoal
1 part bentonite clay
Just enough of one of the following, to make a moist-but-not-drippy paste:
Frankinsense oil, if you have it. If not lavender essential oil works, too. I would not recommend straight tea tree, because it can be very harsh and burn. If it's the only option you have, I'd highly recommend a dilution of only 1 or 2 drops to 3tablespoons of a carrier oil, like light olive oil, almond oil, or macadamia nut oil.

Once it's made, put a small blob on each wound, and leave it there as long as possible. If you can, find a way to bind it there - a head wrap, maybe? But, something to press the poultice firmly against the skin will make all the difference in the world, in its effectiveness. We usually have very noticeable relief in just a couple hours, and are well on our way to full healing, by the next morning. Good luck, my friend.
 
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Did you feel them when they happened, or just later?

Did they happen in rapid succession or drawn out over time?

The only fly I can imagine around here that wicked that would be small enough to not be seen\heard easily would be black flies. I've never seen a reaction like that though. They are just relentless and painful.

Without any information other than the picture, my first guess would have been yellowjackets if you were not near any structures and just out in an open garden area. Unlike bites, stings give me a much broader sensation. From the nastier bugs, I will feel a queasiness in my stomach for the rest of the day, and sudden chills running down my spine and through my nerves. Bites just hurt up front and may itch later on. If it was yellowjackets, you will find out the next time you go back to that spot, lol!
 
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First, Ouch! Second, I am not a Doctor. Third, this is somewhat medical advice for this type post-injury.

From what you describe, I am taking into account the obvious, unknown and applying my somewhat knowledge to help.

Circumstance - Profusely sweating at the moment of attack, unknown possibly venomous(Amine's, pep-tides,enzymes, other proteins), possible allergic reactions etc, immune system response.

The fact that you were sweating could amplify the swelling and injury 10 fold because once those epidermal layers are injured and the possible venom starts affecting the subcutaneous tissue along with the immune response and perspiration you have a severe blistering swelling effect. Less without a venomous bite sting and normal immune response. Long story short, if your body was at a "cool" temp. the injury would not be nearly as bad. The blistering and accumulation of "liquid" via the immune response plus the skin perspiring allows the possible venom to spread to a much larger area with the blistering effect.
This is what i see when I look at the picture, note the "holes" at the bottom of the injured area. The skin isn't able to handle the swelling so it bursts, weakness of the layer and gravity dictates the location until equilibrium  is achieved. Bursting is actually a "good thing" because it releases the pressure and expels some of the "toxins" and it could be much worse if it didn't happen because it would affect a larger area creating more "injury"
Which is more than likely the majority of the pain you feel from the epidermis being lifted from the subcutaneous tissue.

What you don't want to do is apply whatever you are using in a thick fashion(most are oil based). It could "seal" the area and cause it to re-blister and the skin will not be able to (ooze) and heal(reattach) without creating another layer and you will loose the injured skin if it does. So a thin layer of anything, the main reason for coating an injury is to keep the bad out. A pain reliever included is choice. Vit.E helps speed the healing process.
Looks like a wasp sting to me, just amplified and if it's been 3 days the venom is neutralized by now. I would very cautiously look for a nest when you feel brave enough to possibly be attacked again. Dress for success!

Hope you feel better.




.

 
Will Wit
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A quick tip... If you need to protect you face and head. Try a hat that a 5gal. paint-strainer bag can fit over and go below your collar.

PS I had to come back in and say... The smartest men on this planet could not have thwarted an angry anything attack even if doused liberally in ickies. The hat might have caused some to go to your face instead, lips eyes, nose. Please don't try to avoid with ickies.

And yet again..  Try not to sweat to much and allow it to heal-up some, it could re-blister, take longer to heal etc.. once it scabs you should be safe
Without having the culprit, it's a tough call on "what" did it considering all the factors.
Fly,wasp,spider...if it gets infected or starts showing sign of necrosis you need to visit the Doctor immediately. Emergency status on the later. Especially on the one closest to your eye.
Good Luck
 
John F Dean
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I applied a drawing salve I had on hand. The swelling has reduced.  Bites are clearly visible. 50 bites to be conservative.  I applied Benadryl for the eve.  It is still very sensitive to the touch.
 
Will Wit
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Might I suggest using a topical antibiotic starting tomorrow, after a cleanse or shower reapply as nec.

Again, I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice
 
master pollinator
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If I did not have a topical antibiotic on hand, I would rough up a plantain leaf and rub it on my bites, and do this several times a day. Maybe even hold the roughed up leaf with a bandaid on the bites in between times.

Plantain is said to be antibiotic, with analgesic properties, as well as being a cell proliferant.

Here is Green Deane's article on how to identify several plantains.
 
pollinator
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Am I seeing three puncture bites in the one at center top of forehead?   If so, probably spider bite.  Don’t just treat your body for inflammatory reaction and pain, do something to detox the venom.   VIt. C powder, About 2000 units at the time in water, every two hours while awake.  Will give you diarrhea but will flush the poison.  
The plantain someone else suggested, will also help.  If you have a drawing salve, use it for 12 hours, then wash off and dry it.  Then put on a goldenseal salve to kill any bacterial component which might cause secondary infection.  I had a Brown Recluse bite years ago and did the above protocol, plus took milk thistle to protect liver from the poison.  Should work regardless of what kind of bite it was.  
 
Will Wit
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I totally agree with the Vit.C, pills powder, several oranges,grapefruit,lemons, anything Vit.C rich. I also totally agree with all the other herbal.Especially if indeed it was a spider and venom is more residual.It does look more and more like a spider bite the more I see it.... Main focus....speedy treatment with a full arsenal of whatever you have or can quickly get,local, friends, family, neighbor..no waiting a week...  if problems persist or worsen SEE a DOCTOR. Homeopath included


I need herbal knowledge or herbal wife..smiles... I'll grow it!!

 
John F Dean
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I am still favoring some kind of fly bite. There is no darkening of the tissue or added redness.  The bite area feels as if it is developing a crusty surface.  While it is still painful. There is much less pain to the touch.
 
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Around here (UK) I would be blaming a horsefly. They are big brown flies, that bit a chunk out of you. They hurt like hell, typically get red and swollen like that. When they get you around the hairline or other tight skin, the swelling can cause the wound to open and weep. They can progress to infected cellulitis quite easily, and if they don't settle down quickly I would recommend a trip to a Dr and possibly a course of antibiotics.

WebMD - Cellulitis

Risks and Complications of Cellulitis From an Insect Bite
Cellulitis can cause serious complications if left untreated. You should see your doctor immediately if you have cellulitis along with any of the following symptoms:

A large area of skin that's red and inflamed
Fever
Numbness, tingling, or other changes in the affected area
Skin that appears blackened
A red and swollen area around your eyes or behind your ears
Diabetes or a weakened immune system
Untreated cellulitis can cause:

Bacteremia, an infection of the blood
Endocarditis, an infection of the inner linings of the heart's valves and chambers
Toxic shock syndrome, a life-threatening condition caused by bacterial toxins
Sepsis, an extreme response to infection
Necrotizing fasciitis, an infection that destroys tissue under the skin



A beekeeper friend of mine got a bad case of cellulitis that was showing signs of progressing to necrotising fascitis, from a sting in a similar position on her forehead. My hypothesis is that the skin is thin there, with little flesh beneath, so the wound is more prone to staying open and getting infected. She was treated by antibiotics, but would have benefitted from being seen and treated sooner.
 
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Any chance you brushed against something like this, Stinging catipillers? I encountered a group of little green and orange ones a few years back and ended up with something very much like a burn. The pain and blistering were not immediate so it would be easy to be exposed and not realize it until later.

Well, the more severe pain and blistering wasn't until later, it did feel like a burn when I touched them. There was a group of them on a leaf and my forearm brushed against them.
 
gardener
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John,

Did you feel the bites/stings/whatever when they happened or is this something you noticed later?

For my money, I am going with horseflies as they will attack in small swarms.  Spiders are solitary creatures.  Also, when flies bite, they don’t do so with a “needle”, but with a sawzall blade that leaves rough edges.  And they can get infected from whatever the flies are carrying.

My own 2 cents says to treat with topical antibiotics, topical antihistamines and see a Dr. if it doesn’t get better.  But you probably already thought about that.

Eric
 
John F Dean
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Hi Eric,

I was aware something was going on, but the bites were more mildly irritating at the time. It was more an issue of me being aware there were insects …not that they were doing damage. As I commented earlier, I had perspiration in my eyes, and I was trying to get work done before dark on Thursday. My bet is flies of some kind as well.   The condition is getting better …. I just wish it would get better faster.

It took 24 hours for the problem to be really noticeable.  I am sure of that because Friday I took my wife to our doctor and he didn’t mention  anything about my face.  By Sat am things had gotten much more serious.

It didn’t help that I cut my hair short 24 hours earlier…. Just to make it easier for the flies to get into my scalp.
 
Jordan Holland
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If it took that long it sounds like the main issue is infection. I would be concerned they may have been laying eggs. I've never seen them focus on such small areas before, unless there was only a small hole in clothing they could access or something like that.
 
Jay Angler
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Mark Reed wrote:Any chance you brushed against something like this, Stinging catipillers? ...

Those are new ones on me, Mark, but seriously nasty surprise when you met some, I expect! Thank you for posting the link.
 
Carla Burke
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I'm glad you're using the drawing salve! Earlier this spring, when my bees came, I got what seemed like a minor sting on my leg. Over the course of the next couple days, because the only thing I did was make sure the stinger was out, it became more and more swollen, painful, itchy, and enflamed. Finally, it occurred to me (sorry, when it comes to self treating injuries, I'm sometimes a little slow to acknowledge the need) that it needed more attention than just a wash, it was already hot & swollen to the point of being hard! I put a dab of drawing salve on it, covered it with a bandage, and went to sleep. The next morning, all that was left, was some discoloration, where it had been so inflamed. No pain, no itch.

John said, "send this to John, to cheer him up!" So, here ya go:
received_606716811229587.jpeg
[Thumbnail for received_606716811229587.jpeg]
 
John F Dean
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I broke down and set up an appointment with my MD for tomorrow.  I can cancel if things significantly improve, but I am not seeing improvement I can objectively measure.
 
John F Dean
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Much worse thus AM.
64121110-6C12-4F39-8E61-DCDD2DA11E37.jpeg
[Thumbnail for 64121110-6C12-4F39-8E61-DCDD2DA11E37.jpeg]
 
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Owww  John!
I'm going to see my Surgeon for my first inspection this morning and it looks like you might be seeing a doctor yourself.
Sending healing thoughts your way my friend.
 
Robin Katz
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Dang. The eye swelling is a concern. Glad you're going to the MD for extra treatment. Sometimes you need the big guns (antibiotics, etc.) if things at home don't work well.

Someone else mentioned this already, but I would take 2,000 - 4,000 mg of vitamin c right away and repeat a few times a day to help with infection. Let us know how it goes today.
 
John F Dean
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Yeah, I just sent him the photo to try to get started on something before the apt this  afternoon.
 
Eric Hanson
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John,

Probably a good idea to set up an appointment with the MD.  Head and facial swelling often gets worse overnight as the head lays horizontally as opposed to vertically.  Still, I think the doc is the right move.

Eric
 
Jordan Holland
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Here you go:
FB_IMG_1685917972711.jpg
[Thumbnail for FB_IMG_1685917972711.jpg]
 
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hope you get a good outcome and some relief ASAP. i have a pic of my daughter some years ago (when we first moved here) looking very similar, some new-to-us bug got her and she had a major allergic reaction. feel better soon.
 
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Are you sure it isn't shingles? I had something similar 2 weeks ago and I thought I was stung turned out to be shingles.
 
Carla Burke
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Holy MOLEY!! I hope your doctor gets it figured out, and gets you quickly on your way to healing!!
 
Anne Miller
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Hey, John

How are you doing?  Are the bites better?

Did you get to see the doctor?
 
Jordan Holland
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Joylynn Hardesty wrote:If I did not have a topical antibiotic on hand, I would rough up a plantain leaf and rub it on my bites, and do this several times a day. Maybe even hold the roughed up leaf with a bandaid on the bites in between times.

Plantain is said to be antibiotic, with analgesic properties, as well as being a cell proliferant.

Here is Green Deane's article on how to identify several plantains.



I also feel plantain is one of the most overlooked herbs. I like to crush it and place in a jar of water in the refrigerator when I have a burn or wound that needs several days of dressing. After soaking several hours, the mucilage makes the water thicker, and the cold adds to the natural soothing coolness of the herb. It readily propagates itself in the poorest soils, out of the way, and is easy to find virtually anywhere in my area. Very handy to know for snake\spider bite.

"No wonder plantain is such an effective vulnerary—it is analgesic (relieves pain), demulcent (moisturizing and soothing), astringent (tones tissues and staunches bleeding), antiseptic (anti-infective), anti-inflammatory and cooling (relieves heat and swelling), relieves itching, is an antidote to poisonous bites and stings, and helps to draw splinters as well as venom from the skin."
https://theherbalacademy.com/creating-local-materia-medica-plantain/
 
John F Dean
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I am back from the Dr.  He seems to think my timing on going to see him was on target.  I got Keflex. He has not ruled out steroids, but did not Rx them. He would rather wait see if they are really needed.
 
Popeye has his spinach. I have this tiny ad:
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