Allergic to DEET?

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shadow
 
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Allergic to DEET?

Postby shadow » Wed May 27, 2009 2:59 pm

Maybe I should be taking this to a medical website, but this is the Off Topic category.
 
Last summer I must have used at least 6 cans of Deep Woods Off starting in May/June and going through Sept., to keep ticks and mosquitos away from me.
I sprayed down every bit of clothing and also my bare arms face and neck as well as my hat whenever I went out to scout, open up trails, cut wood, mow etc. which usually was once a week.
 
My allergic reactions also started about the same time, intense burning around my lips as well as lips becoming very chapped. Nothing worked to help alleviate the discomfort and for some reason I did not even think it could have been the Deet.
I saw a dermatologist, my regular physician, and in late September even an allergist. No-one can determine the cause of my problem. I also had experienced a slight rash under one eye and very itchy dry eyelids in early fall 2008.
Since then I have seen another allergist and dermatolgist at the "prestigous" UCONN medical center, there they patch tested me for about 120 different substances (I don't think the Deet chemical was one of them) all coming back as no allergic reactions to any of it.
 
My question is... is anyone allergic to Deet and what have been your experiences with it.
 
The itch and dryness has now migrated to my arms, neck and back of my neck two places that I applied Deet directly onto bare skin and it is extremely irritating. After finally coming up with the possibilty that Deet is the cause and going to a few sites to look it up I am now almost convinced that is what it is. I am just glad after reading of some of the cases of "Deet poisoning" that nothing more had happened.
 
I am back to the doctors next week, and will bring this to their attention. I was originally prescribed prednisone which knocked it out but as soon as I stopped taking it it came back. No other internal meds or over the counter anti itch medicine has helped nor has any topical cream or prescription ointment.
 
Sorry for this going long...I am at wits end.  I hope this is nothing I have to live for for the next 50 years, its driving me crazy now.
 
So.. just a word of caution, don't apply Deet to bare skin. According to studies I have seen the Deet can even start affecting a person a year after its applied.
 
 

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RE: Allergic to DEET?

Postby ranwin33 » Thu May 28, 2009 3:24 am

YES!  It burns the heck out of my skin - like a bad sunburn, and pretty much does so until I wash it off.  Needless to say I give products with it a wide path anymore.
 
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Everyday Hunter
 
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RE: Allergic to DEET?

Postby Everyday Hunter » Thu May 28, 2009 4:17 am

ORIGINAL: shadow

So.. just a word of caution, don't apply Deet to bare skin. According to studies I have seen the Deet can even start affecting a person a year after its applied.

The products I use contain a little Deet. I usually just spray it around my collar, sleeves, and hat brim. Occasionally I put some on my hand and wipe it on a spot on my skin that the skeeters are targeting. I don't like breathing it or tasting it -- which is pretty much unavoidable when using a spray.

My father-in-law is the kind of guy who thinks if a little of something is good, a lot is very good. He once doused himself in Deet while working in his garden and ended up sick. I don't remember what his symptoms were, but ever since then I've been pretty careful with the stuff.

Thanks to your post, next time I use it I'll be especially aware of burning or any other sensations that might be attributable to Deet.

Steve
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Woods Walker
 
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RE: Allergic to DEET?

Postby Woods Walker » Thu May 28, 2009 5:01 am

Forget DEET and all those other yucky spray-ons. Get yourself a Thermacell and never worry about it again! And bear in mind that this endorsement is coming from Mr. Curmudgeon himself (you all know my opinion of scent-loc!)
 
They are one gadget that actually WORKS like it's billed to, and a Luddite supreme like myself can actually operate one and not break it!
 
I can provide a link if anyone desires.
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RE: Allergic to DEET?

Postby ranwin33 » Thu May 28, 2009 5:16 am

I like the Thermacell too, but I've found it only works well if you're sitting still or confining yourself to a very small area.  When I'm moving and working it hasn't provided me much if any protection.
“There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace.”
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RE: Allergic to DEET?

Postby Woods Walker » Thu May 28, 2009 6:30 am

I attach mine to the back of my fanny pack, and use it all summer walking around at 3-D shoots, most of which I wear shorts for, and it works just fine. I also wear it in late summer when I scout, and it also works great there too.
 
I haven't had to use bug spray now for 3 years, and I don't miss it.
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shadow
 
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RE: Allergic to DEET?

Postby shadow » Thu May 28, 2009 8:32 am

Ranwin33, since I last applied the deet, I have taken more than a few showers and unfortunately it hasn't washed off or helped me.
I have not or will not use bug spray again.
 
As for the Thermacell. I had bought one when they first came out many years ago, I don't know if its made the same or not but the repellent mat slids into the unit from either side but seems to fall out easily. I can't see this unit being attached to a belt or even held when walking without the mat falling out. Are they made the same now? How do you keep those small mats in place?
Also, can breathing in the vapors be harmfull?

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RE: Allergic to DEET?

Postby MSHunter » Thu May 28, 2009 8:55 am

I might be wrong, but I don't believe one is suppose to spray deet containing insecticides on one's skin. I'm a big label reader and I've checked several of the commercial products labels in this regard and I believe they all state to spray on clothes not skin. I too am a big fan of the thermal cell. I think its one of the best products on the market to ward off bugs. 

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ranwin33
 
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RE: Allergic to DEET?

Postby ranwin33 » Thu May 28, 2009 10:54 am

The time the DEET burned my back, it took a few days before the burn went away.  I think it actually burned my skin.  After that I would try it lightly on my neck or arms jsut to see if it was the spray, but those burns didn't last as long.  I kind of think the back burn wasn't helped by my sweating and wearing a shirt.  Wish I had an answer to fix your pain, but unfortunately I don't.
 
As for the Thermacell, they make a carrying thing for it.  Using that, it would be tough for the little pads to fall out.  The way it's suppose to work though is to spread a vapor around you, so I can't see how it can be to successful if your walking as you will leave the vapor zone as you walk and it will take a while for it to build up again once you stop.  I think the directions even say it may take up to 15 minutes for it to become effective.  As for the vapors, I've never suffered any ill effects when I use it on stand but anything other than air probably isn't good for you.  Nor do the deer seem to notice it.
 
Pretty much like MSHunter says, I now only spray my clothes with insect repellent, not my skin.  I like Sawyers as a tick repellant.
 
http://www.sawyerproducts.com/permethrin.htm
 
 
“There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace.”
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RE: Allergic to DEET?

Postby OHhunter » Thu May 28, 2009 11:09 am

I rarely use bug sprays, but if I do it's usually treating my clothing with Permethrin.  It kills indiscriminately and usually on contact.  I wouldn't suggest putting on your skin although studies say it's safe because it isn't absorbed through the skin.  I normally treat my turkey hunting gear, since ticks are usually abundant this time of year, one treatment will last 3 to 4 weeks.  It's says it's odorless but I don't think I will spraying on my deer hunting clothes anytime soon.
 
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