Hello from Australia Jonathan,
My son recently went from the country to the beach and was bitten extensively on the legs while holidaying there. He wants to return there next year and we have heard that if you take vitamin B4 for a month prior, sand flys won't attack you?!!!! Have you heard of this before? The bites were terrible and blew up like anything. He had a course of antibiotics that was the only thing he could do.! Looking forward to your view on this. Thanking you…
Sandflys, also known as no-see-ums or biting midges, can be quite persistent and annoying. Worse yet, they cause some people to react violently to their bites. It sounds like that's the case with your son and with that in mind, I suggest he try several things before venturing anywhere he knows sandflys may be active.
First, it's important to understand he is having a "reaction" and that this most likely because he is allergic to the sandfly bites. With that in mind, it becomes that much more important for him to prevent future bites when he expects to be active where sandflys may reside. Personally (along with many other people I know), sandflys aren't irritating to me and their bites don't affect my skin. I can go to the beach, have them land on me and though I feel their bite, I don't have any noticeable reaction. I don't get itchy, show any sandfly marks or have any reaction I can detect. I have several golfing friends who are the same way. I also have several friends who have bad reactions. They'll get rashes, itchy and their skin will blotch up where bitten. Though none of them have gone on antibiotics to treat the sandfly bites, I do know they've used our ANTI ITCH SWABS to soothe the irritation. I also know they've used different repellents featured in our SANDFLY CONTROL ARTICLE to effectively keep the sandflys off their skin. This undoubtedly has helped them avoid getting bit.
Second, when one is vulnerable to anything out in nature, I believe any viable form of protection should be considered. No doubt the use of sun screen is a smart way to avoid over exposure to the sun's damaging light. Here in the states, it's a good idea to wear a coat and gloves during the winter to prevent getting cold. And vitamins will many times be released through the skin enabling them to work as a repellent to some insects. There is no scientific studies I know about to confirm or dispel this belief. But what I do know is that certain foods, drink, vitamins and other orally ingested organic matter can be released through the skin after it's broken down inside our digestive system. Since every person may digest something differently causing a different "odor" or chemical to be released, there is no telling what the actual product is being released from the same ingested item unless there was a lot of testing done. But I'm sure that some of these "releases" can act as repellent to some insects. The "B" class of vitamin has long been touted as being an insect repellent and though it does nothing to help me stay clear of mosquitoes (I've tried it after hearing the same thing you've heard it could do for sandflys…), I bet it does help some people. With that possibility in mind, it only makes sense for him to try. Just make sure he has a back up plan ready just in case it doesn't work!!
Cheers from the land "up above"!