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HomeAnswersDermatologyitchingI got bitten by a caterpillar. Please help.

What medicine can control itching after being bitten by a hairy caterpillar?

The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Answered by

Dr. Chaitra. P

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At December 14, 2017
Reviewed AtFebruary 13, 2024

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

I was itching all of a sudden today while eating dinner. I thought it would be a normal itch, so resisted itching. After around 70 minutes, when I itched on my groin and thigh area, it started itching too much and when I saw under my shorts, it was full of mosquito bite like appearance. Then, I saw one small hairy caterpillar on the outer edge of my trouser. So, this itching was because of that. I have included the picture of that insect. It is not the exact picture, but it is for your reference. I applied some salt and turmeric and washed with facewash since it was neem and soap two to three times and took a full bath. I consumed one allergy tablet as well. Now itching is under control. I want to know what should I do now and is there anything that I did wrong or should have done which I did not? No injections, as the hospital is very far. Also, I do not know if it crawled in my bedsheet as well. I will sleep on it. Should I change my bedsheet? Actually, due to some problem I cannot change it, so is there any way to wipe if it is absolutely required.

I have one additional query. Should I always use an antibacterial soap if I have recurrent boils or folliculitis on my body? Can I use normal soap and shampoo? Can you recommend any antibacterial hair shampoo which can be applied to hair and one antibacterial body wash if there is any?

Answered by Dr. Chaitra. P

Hello,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

I have seen the photograph (attachment removed to protect patient identity). The insect could possibly be a kind of caterpillar commonly called as blanket worms. One may get reactions to its sting with rashes and urticaria. Apply Calosoft AF (Calamine, Aloe vera, and liquid paraffin) and could take a Levocetirizine 5 mg tablet to control itching. Consult your specialist doctor, discuss with him or her and with their consent take the medicine. You may require injections and antibiotics if there are sores due to its sting and if the rash is bad, you may need medications for a couple of weeks. Definitely, the blanket sheets and clothes need to be checked and changed. Please see a doctor to confirm the insect bite.

Patient's Query

Thank you doctor,

Today after waking I observed those bites. Yesterday they were thick mosquito bites like appearances grouped together from my right waist till the right knee including thigh and some in the groin area. Today, there is no swelling or mosquito bite like rashes. There are instead red dot-like bites in place of swellings. I think they are now more visible since yesterday they were under these swellings. There is very little itch only if I think about it. I did not take any allergy tablet today. Now, I would like you to answer all my questions.

As I wrote yesterday that I only rubbed it with salt and turmeric and first washed it with neem facewash and then with soap twice and then took a full bath, I read on the internet that first step should be to use a duct tape and remove those spines or hairs and then washing. I did not have a duct tape yesterday and even if I had I could not have used it since my leg is quite hairy. So, my first question is was

  1. My removal and cleaning process not adequate? I have this doubt that some hair might still be there. Since yesterday, I have taken bath twice. How do I make sure that all spines or hairs would have gone?
  2. My clothes were washed in hot water twice and very thoroughly. Are they enough?
  3. Can I take the prescribed allergy tablet even if I have no itching? I do not have any pain though and never was.
  4. Should I always use an antibacterial soap if I have recurrent boils or folliculitis on my body? Can I use normal soap and shampoo? Can you recommend any antibacterial hair shampoo which can be applied to the hair and one antibacterial body wash if there is any?
Answered by Dr. Chaitra. P

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Hairspray spines that are visible are to be removed. Those which are not visible cannot be removed by duct tape either. If you have washed the area thoroughly, it is sufficient. Clothes need to be checked repeatedly for insects before wearing. You can take an antihistamine tablet. There is no harm. They reduce redness and irritation too. They also limit the spread of allergies. Regular use of antibacterial soap or shampoo is not advisable. Whenever you have boils, it is important to treat them first with appropriate antibiotics rather than medicated soaps and shampoos which are not of much help in treating boils. However, you can use them intermittently. Boils in the scalp may be due to dandruff when you may require antifungal shampoo like Scalpe (Ketoconazole and Zinc pyrithione formulation) than an antibacterial one.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Chaitra. P
Dr. Chaitra. P

Cosmetology

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