Would bites from sand flies cause permanent scars on your skin?

Last Updated on January 23, 2023

Years ago, I spend a few months living by the river near the hills tribe in Mae Hong Son, Northern Thailand. Each day, we would get bitten by sandflies. Now, these sand flies are quite harmless looking…. they looked like small little fruit flies.

But boy, aren’t they just sneaky. They would sneak up at you unawares and the give a nice bite. You would only realize that you have been bitten by a sandfly when you suddenly start to feel terrible itching. So terrible that you may instinctively scratch it like how you would scratch an itch. You would be making a terrible mistake if you do that.

By scratching, you would find blood and then later scars…. black patches that come in the size from small 5 cents coins.

Sandflies tend to favour bitting a person around the wrists and ankles. But the super sneaky ones would like to travel from the opening of your clothes further up your thighs and hands.

What to do if you have been bitten by sandflies:

  1. Do not scratch it
  2. Apply lotion on the area as soon as possible

You may try to apply mosquito repellents or minyak angin. However I find that when I apply insect balms, they came in larger quantities. As if there is a large neon sign that signals these sandflies to come and bite.

Needles to say, I went back with scars all over my calves. Yes, the scars would take a while to fade.

How long does it takes for the scars from the sandflies to fade?

For me, it took about a year. Yes, it took a long time because I basically just scratched when bitten by the sandflies and did not apply any lotion to help in the healing.

The scars remained long long time after my sunburn went off.

For my friends who resisted the urge to scratch and applied lotion to the bites, it went off relatively quick (within a few weeks).

Don’t feel so sad about the scars, okie?

You may be feeling miserable now that you noticed the scars.

But they will go off with time…. please don’t worry.

Nowadays, it is also a trend to show off such marks.

OK, I can almost see the expression on your face… you might be thinking, ‘hey these are different… these are acucupping marks’. Yes, you may be aware that many people like to show off their acucupping marks which would remain on the skin between almost a week till two weeks.

Maybe not at where you live if you do not have easy access to acucupping services. But in Asia, girls who went for acucupping would come to office wearing sleeveless just to show off that they had gone for the treatment.

For me, I really did not mind the scars…. in fact I even wore knee length skirts that time to ‘show off’ my scars. These scars reminded me of the memorable experience I had in Thailand. They reminded me of the courage for me to leave the comfort of my corporate job and then travel to the middle of nowhere in Thailand to help the community to build a bridge and to teach underprivileged kids English.

How about for you? What is your story? How did you ended up in a place where you got the sandflies bites? You must be out on an adventure. So the next time someone points at your calves and ask you about the scars…. perhaps you can tell your story of how it got there.

At least, you can only do that for a limited period of time because the scars would fade.

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