CLL Support Association

Insect bites

Good afternoon. I am 65 and was diagnosed with a CLL-like condition some 3 years ago. No treatment as yet so fingers crossed but I am learning a lot of very useful stuff so thanks. What I have found in recent months is that if I get a mosquito bite or something similar I get a really big reaction. Some weeks ago my consultant indeed thought I had a dose of shingles. Everything dies down in time - with the help of antihistamines.

Anyone else had anything similar?

12 Replies

Cheya Venkat recognised the 'over the top' reaction to mozzie and other bites amongst CLL'ers. This article explains...a bit dated but nevertheless valid.

When you say you have a 'CLL like condition' dinnes, I'm not entirely clear what you mean. Has your doctor given a definitive CLL diagnosis?




Interesting what you say about my condition. My consultant says I have nearly all the clinical features of CLL - growing lymphocytes, swelling lymph nodes etc - but he insists on calling it CLL-like. I shall quiz him again when I see him next month.

Thanks for the link to the article


This over-reaction seems to happen for some of us with CLL, but others may have less of a reaction. I used to get large, itchy wheals from mosquito bites and ant and bee bites were far worse. It would take around a week for the itchiness and swelling to resolve. Whether it is due to the CLL or ageing, I now have far less of a reaction. With all the photography I've been doing around waterways and scrub, I must have been bitten countless times by mosquitoes; I've seen them land on me often enough. I've also had ant and bee bites recently and they've generally resolved within a few hours with little to no swelling. The exception was a bee bite on my eyelid. It was hard to get the sting out so I expect the extra injection of venom caused the swelling and associated discomfort, but that too resolved within a week without antihistamines.



Yes I had two quite severe reactions to insect bites this year. Other bites, strangely, did not have the same effect.


On another forum (nothing to do with CLL!) Avon 'Skin-So-Soft' Original is recommended as a very effective deterrent to insect bites- apparently the Royal Marines use it (!). Haven't tried it yet but probably will next summer.


Yes, I've also heard that Avon 'skin-so-soft' with jojoba and citronellol can be used as a repellent. I, too, react to insect bites so may have a go at this.

Also, dinnes, do you know if your consultant is a cll specialist or a haematologist with a genuine interest in cll as there are tests that can be done to confirm cll. May be worth chatting with your doctor if you want more clarity.


Thanks. I'll try this as well


I have CLL and have really OTT reactions to insect bites since DX. Mosquito bites are the worst where the area around the bite becomes swollen very quickly then spreads until my whole leg or arm is affected and takes a week to go down and stop being painful. I have found carrying around antihistamine in the Summer and taking it immediately does limit the reaction if done quickly enough. I've also heard of Avon Skin So Soft working.


Avon has a number of insect repellants, better than Skin So Soft


Thanks for the other options, unfortunately I'm also allergic to scent and from the comments these products look like they're quite heavily perfumed unless Avon do an un-perfumed version?


Hi dinnes

to refer back to your post and the 'like cll' diagnosis. Maybe a straight question will be in order. Do I have cll ? If no is the answer, then what do I have is the next question. Straight questions usually get straight answers. My brother and I have CLL, my cousin from same family line has non hodgins lymphoma. The three of us are on watch and wait, but will it help you to know?

I, and many of our community like knowing and have printouts of the blood results to monitor progression or not.

Whatever you decide, or have, I wish you well. Do let us know how you get on.



Hi... I am a member because I was dx w CLL 2 years ago but was later found to be "most probably" mantle cell lymphoma (found comfort at this site and so continue to visit!)

Oddly, I too was concerned about the level of bug attraction I developed after a lifetime of no or few bites each summer, suddenly I would be swarmed even when protected, and this resulted in large very itchy reactions that would turn to puss and scab over and take 2 to 4 MONTHS to heal completely to a brown mark! My docs do not see any connection but I believe beyond a doubt that this happened the same time I started to experience the overwhelming fatigue... And that I believe is when my cancer really began.

Just saying... For my 2 cents worth...

Further... After 14 months of W and W - I begin 6 months of R-BENDA in a few weeks... Good days ahead for all!



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