Niknik Bites: How To Treat & Avoid Them On Your Beach Trip

Niknik Bites: How To Treat & Avoid Them On Your Next Beach Trip

By Ysabel Vitangcol on April 4, 2024

Know someone whose skin has been affected by niknik bites? Unfortunately, it’s a common nuisance here in the Philippines. Here’s what you need to know and how you can avoid them.

What are niknik bites?

Niknik insect bites are the result of being bitten by sandflies, also known as “niknik” in Filipino.  Sandflies are tiny insects that are commonly found in sandy coastal areas. These are most active during sunrise (early morning) or sunset (early evening), making outdoor activities during these times particularly risky. “The problem with these niknik bites is that they’re really red, bumpy and super itchy. When they heal, they leave a very dark mark,” says Dr. Vicki Belo.

How does one get niknik bites?

Sandflies are attracted to carbon dioxide, heat, and moisture, which are emitted by humans and animals. When a person enters the habitat of sandflies, such as a beach or mangrove area, they may unknowingly attract these insects. Sandflies typically feed on blood, and when they bite, they inject saliva into the skin, which contains enzymes that help them feed and prevent blood clotting.

Are these niknik bites awful for your skin?

Yes. Though the severity of the reaction can vary from person to person, niknik or sandfly bites are uncomfortable, ranging from mild irritation and others developing more pronounced allergic reactions. The itching caused by niknik bites can be intense and persistent, leading to discomfort and distress, especially when multiple bites occur.

How To Prevent niknik bites

  • Apply insect repellent. These help repel against nikniks. Try to use a repellent that contains deet. It makes it difficult for nikniks to smell humans. You can apply it on top of your sunblock.
  • Sit/lie down on a thick beach mat. This will help prevent skin to sand contact where the mites lie underneath.
  • As much as possible, try to avoid being out in the sand during the times sandmites are most active.

How to Cure Niknik Bites: 4 Niknik Bite Remedies to Start

  • Apply topical anti-itch creams: Over-the-counter anti-itch creams containing ingredients like hydrocortisone or calamine can provide relief from itching and inflammation.
  • Apply cold compress: Applying a cold compress or ice pack to the affected area can help reduce swelling and numb the itchiness.
  • Drink antihistamines: Oral antihistamine medication is a niknik bite remedy that can help alleviate itching and reduce allergic reactions caused by niknik bites.
  • Avoid scratching: Although it may be tempting, scratching niknik bites can lead to further irritation and increase the risk of infection. It’s essential to resist the urge to scratch and instead opt for gentle patting or tapping of the affected area to relieve itching.

5 Belo Niknik Bite Treatments You Can Get


  • V-Beam: Best for safe removal of the likes of birthmarks, red scars, and stretch marks. (Starts at ₱11,600 per session)
  • ADVALight: Uses yellow laser to reduce vascular lesions, melasma, acne scars and pigmented marks. The said machine also helps limit oil production, shrinking pore size. (Price varies as per doctor’s evaluation + recommendation)
  • Angel Whitening: Best for lightening and smoothening the targeted area; erasing insect bite marks and treating hyperpigmentation. (Starts at ₱10,800 per session)
  • Inbiowhite: Best for lightening pigmented problem areas, discolouration prevention and reducing skin blemishes. (Starts at ₱5,600 per session)
  • KI Injections: Best for flattening and softening scars. (Price and session varies as per doctor’s evaluation + recommendation)

3 Belo Products to Treat Niknik Bites

Please note that prices may change without prior notice. Additionally, it’s important to consult with a doctor from a reliable aesthetic clinic in the Philippines about the products that best match your needs. Skincare is not a one size fits all. A Belo doctor will be able to properly assess the best ingredients and products for you based on your skin type and concerns!

Ready to book your Belo day? We have clinics located around Metro Manila, Pampanga, Cebu and Davao! Give us a call at 8819-BELO (2356) or book your appointment here.

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