Tuesday, May 27, 2008

An Itchy Story

"Higad" by mykogracie

I'm on leave today due to the itchy fact that I caught a terrible kind of allergy from the shirt that I put on yesterday when I came home from work.

A shirt that causes allergy?

Oh yeah, a shirt with a small 'HIGAD' inside clutching on its side seam! Higad (Filipino term) belongs to the Euproctis family. They are woolly caterpillars that transmute into butterflies. They give the itchiest kind of allergy in a matter of seconds. A perfect example is shown in the above photo. Cute, huh?

How did it get into my shirt in the first place?

We have a big Acacia tree (yup, the kind you see in horror films where the White lady and Tikbalang reside) at the back of our house. Our clothes are being hanged in the roof garden very near the Acacia tree where the furry insects are. So whenever the wind blows, some of them accidentally falls into the hanged clothes, and in this unfortunate case, into mine.

Although my shirt was ironed, the insect was still tucked inside. The moment I put it on, I immediately felt the itch spreading in my arms, neck, chest and back . It gave me crazy goosebumps that I had to literally jump into the shower where I soaped the areas three times!

No amount of rubbing took it away. It was indescribably itchy and I still got the big red patches everywhere; the biggest of which was on my left shoulder. As a quick antidote, I rubbed Calamansi (Philippine lemon) juice all over. They say that the acid works well by dissolving the minute itchy particles that got stucked in the skin. There were two choices, actually - Vinegar and Calamansi. I chose the latter for obvious reasons.

Applying Calamine lotion and taking antihistamines can also help relieve the allergy. In case these items are not readily available, you can always use the kitchen remedy.

It did lessen the itchy feeling, but the patches stayed. Until now, there are still red spots and a reason to scratch here and there every now and then. I just hope it does not leave an ugly mark! Arghh.

Oh, what an awful experience. I am just thankful that the itchy worm did not land on my little lady's clothes.

So tell me, do you have a similar experience? Or did I get you scratching there for a while? :P