Warning as Aussies return from Bali with mysterious scars that take ‘years to heal’ – here’s how to avoid one on your next holiday
- Australians warned to be wary of predatory beetles that leave burn-like scars
- Woman posted photo of three painful marks on Facebook page ‘Bali Bogans’
- Other Australians shared their tips on how to treat the scars that take years to heal
Australians heading to Bali on holiday have been warned to beware of a venomous beetle that is leaving travelers with scars that take ‘years to heal’.
A woman posted a photo of three painful burns she suffered during a recent trip to the popular holiday destination and asked for advice on how to treat them.
The painful bites are caused by predatory beetles, locally known as Tomcats, which contain venom that is toxic to humans and causes unsightly burn-like blisters.
A woman posted a photo of three painful burns she suffered during a recent trip to the popular vacation destination and asked for advice on how to treat them (Image, Burns)
“Would love to know anyone else’s experience of being burned by a tomcat insect in Bali and if their burn mark healed completely?,” the woman asked members of the Australian Facebook group ‘Bali Bogans’.
The woman explained that she had been bitten over a fortnight ago and that even the caustic she used on the affected area only made it worse.
“Although the burn has mostly peeled off, I’m still left with burnt skin underneath,” she wrote.
“Would love to know of anything to put on it to help because anything I would normally use on a burn just flares it up again!”
Members recommended the woman use vitamin E oil and aloe vera to soothe the burns, while others shared their own horror stories in the comments.
Members recommended the woman use vitamin E oil and aloe vera to soothe the burns, while others shared their own horror stories in the comments
Another woman shared before and after photos of her beetle burns from when she received them in Bali and six weeks later (pictured)
One woman said it had taken a ‘couple of years’ for her scar to heal, while another said they had called their burn their ‘Bali tattoo’.
How to avoid a beetle burn:
Blow or wash beetles off your skin.
Minimize lighting in infested areas at night.
Wear long-sleeved and long-legged clothing to minimize exposed skin.
Keep insect nets closed on tents to keep beetles out of bedding.
Have bottles of soapy water handy for first aid.
Use the buddy system to keep an eye out for bugs on others.
Source: NSW Health
‘Seven weeks and counting. Mine was pretty bad. Now it just looks like a bruise,’ shared another.
‘No treatment after the inflammation went down. Slow healing.’
“You just helped me figure out how I got my burns in Bali six weeks ago,” said another.
NSW Health said predatory beetles could be found in eastern parts of Australia as well as Indonesia, living near ‘drainage lines and streams’.
“Rob beetles do not bite or sting, but their blood contains a strong toxin called pederin, which can cause skin and eye irritation,” it said.
If the beetle is crushed, the toxin is released and absorbed by the skin and can cause conjunctivitis, severe dermatitis and severe skin irritation.
It is recommended to wash the skin with soapy water soon after contact and avoid touching the beetles when they are removed from the skin.
They warn that the area may remain blistered, irritated and sore for ten days.
It comes as Australians revealed what they loved most about Bali, including the low prices, the friendliness of the Balinese people and stunning beaches.
Many people online lamented that Australian beach communities have too many bureaucratic restrictions and called for council rules to be relaxed.
The painful bites are caused by predatory beetles, locally known as Tomcats, which contain venom that is toxic to humans and causes nasty burn-like blisters
Bali is the second most popular tourist destination for Australians, just behind New Zealand, but well ahead of the US in third place (stock image)
“There is a lot of bureaucracy in Australia. This is why I love Bali, back to basics and commonsense,’ one man agreed.
Bali is the second most popular tourist destination for Australians, just behind New Zealand, but well ahead of the USA in third place.
But arguably Bali is more loved for its extremely affordable lifestyle, cheap flights and accommodation and its beaches: things NZ holidays don’t have going for them.
Between 1.2 million and 1.4 million Australians visited Bali in 2019 and Balinese authorities are optimistic that number can be matched in 2022 as the island fully reopens post-Covid.