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A caterpillar rash almost ruined my skin



Bruno Cardoso, 31, from London experienced a severe and painful skin reaction from a Caterpillar crawling on his skin while on holiday in Spain and nothing would calm it down until he tried Bug Balm.

Bruno says;“I have never really suffered much from any allergies but after giving up smoking four years ago I started to get quite bad hay fever most summers, which could make my eyes and nose area itchy.

Bruno rash 3Bruno rash 1Bruno rash 4But I have never had any kind of skin problems until I went on holiday to Spain earlier this year. We were trekking in the mountains in Southern Spain and we stopped to have a packed lunch by a small water fall. It was really hot so we went for a swim in the waterfall and afterwards I laid on a rock to get some sun.

My girlfriend noticed a small caterpillar crawling across my shoulder. I wasn’t even worried, in fact the thing looked quite sweet and I gently flicked it off and let it crawl off across the rocks.

I hadn’t felt any pain or sting at the time and thought nothing more of it until that night back at our hotel my whole shoulder and neck erupted in these small red painfull bumps.

The bumps itched like crazy but they were so painful when I scratched them. The bumps were all over my shoulder and up my neck and by the next day they were bright red and really tender. My whole should felt like it had been bruised and felt swollen in the muscles and I didn’t even want to go walking the next day.

My girlfriend has really fair skin and is always being bitten by mosquitoes and bugs so had come equipped with an assortment of creams and sprays to keep the bugs off her. She goes through a complicated spraying ritual before we set off for hikes to keep the bugs away. I have never bothered with any of those things as I rarely suffer from insect bites.

We tried one of her sprays for supposedly calming down mosquito bites but when we sprayed it on my shoulder it sting so badly I had to rush to the shower to wash it off. Then we just tried some normal after-sun lotion with chamomile in it and that actually made the bumps even redder.

By day four I was in quite a lot of pain and the itching was unbearable. I had Googled my symptoms and it became fairly obvious that it was the innocent little caterpillar that had crawled across my shoulder that had caused the problem. It wasn’t a sting or a bite but an allergic skin reaction to the caterpillar hairs.

The last thing my girlfriend had in a her suitcase was a new Bug Balm she had bought just before we left as it claimed to calm down all bug bites and it was natural and contained an extract of liquorice. She had bought it as she was worried about using so many chemicals on her skin. As it happened she hadn’t been bitten so far as she walked round in a constant cloud of anti-bug sprays so we had no idea if it worked or not.

I was fairly dubious about trying it as the last two things she had put on my skin has really stung but the itching was so bad that I could not even sleep and it seemed to be getting worse  so I felt I had to try something or else I felt I’d need to see a doctor.

bugbalm webAs soon as the Bug Balm went on my skin felt better. The itching calmed down almost immediately. It was such a relief. But within about two hours the itching and pain came back again so I immediately slathered on more Bug Balm and the skin calmed down again.

I carried on this routine, applying the Bug Balm several times a day and during the night when I woke up because of the itching on my neck and shoulder, for the remaining few days of our holiday and during the days after we got home. After about six days the bumps started to go down and the itching eased.

When I got home and looked it up properly I saw pictures of other people with caterpillar rashes that looked horrific. Apparently the types of caterpillars that caused the skin reaction are common in Southern Spain and other Southern Mediterranean regions. On blogs people were saying they had had the rash and pain for several weeks, even months after the initial reaction. Mine had lasted 6-7 days and had not blistered or got infected so I actually felt very lucky when I saw what other people had suffered.

I am 100% assured that it was the Bug Balm that had calmed the rash down and shortened the effect of the reaction as until I put the Bug Balm on it felt like the pain and itching and swelling was actually getting worse not better.

We like to go hiking in a lot in different areas of Europe and from now on I am never getting on a plane again without a pot of Bug Balm, it saved our holiday and literally saved my skin.”

Read our review of Skin Shop’s Bug Balm

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