In 1999 I was completing some field research near Breckenridge, Texas. The task was to investigate various control agents designed to impact the proliferation of red imported fire ants in the area. During the study, I was stung repeatedly on a daily basis by this aggressive species (I should have received combat pay). After the first multiple sting attack and the development of the subsequent sterile pustules, I quickly drove to the nearest pharmacy to buy a cure. In a somewhat panic stricken voice, I blurted out my predicament to the entire pharmacy department at Wal-Mart. The pharmacist smiled and politely directed me to an isle where I found a number of “temporary relief” products containing active ingredients that ranged from aloe, camphor, menthol, peppermint oil, green tea oil, olive oil and hydrocortisone to Benzocaine and even ammonia. The pharmacist stopped me on my dash to the register to give me one last piece of advice; “just don’t scratch those bites; most of the people who end up in the hospital from insect stings or bites are there due to the secondary infections they create from scratching with their fingernails”. I made it back to the ranch with my bag full of goodies and I tried each of them for weeks…. I even tried local remedies like cactus juice and urine (I was desperate). The numbing agents with chemicals seemed to do just what they promised; to give some “very” temporary relief but, the pain and particularly the itching always came back. So…. how much of any chemical should you put on your skin? It just didn’t make any sense to me; adding chemicals to insect venom or toxins in order to receive such poor results!
After weeks of suffering my way through it, I noticed that my constant companion “Jenny” (a Jack Russell terrier) was frantically scratching and upon close inspection; I saw that she had accumulated a couple of dozen fire ants on her belly. They were stinging her faster than she could shed them and I feared that she could be in serious trouble (I did not use any of the chemical or other remedies on her, as most of the warnings were too ominous to take that chance). I monitored her for the next few hours for signs of sterile pustules and was surprised to see that the pustules only appeared in places that she could not scratch.
It then dawned on me that maybe the undeniable auto-response to scratch, implanted into our DNA for millenniums, was not a mistake but, rather was an effective natural defensive mechanism to pull shallow insect sting or bite toxins out of our skin and that the natural urge to scratch was there for a very good reason. Of course the Pharmacist was correct in advising me “not to scratch” as we have lost our immunity to the thousands of bacteria and viruses, that reside under our fingernails, many generations ago.
So what was the answer?
I asked the principals of the company if I could expand my research to include the scope of the study to include an investigation of fire ant and other pest insect toxins and means to remove them from the skin; they agreed and I started under the assumption that to truly resolve an insect attack, it was necessary to remove the top layer of the skin by exfoliating while simultaneously creating some circulation to force the toxins toward the surface. This “scrubbing” activity would then soften and open the pores so that toxins could be drawn out of the skin to be neutralized by other ingredients. After proving the hypothesis by testing ingredient combinations, a formulating chemist was contracted and Mitigator was born.
Over the last 3 years, Mitigator has successfully fulfilled its government and military compliance requirements and has completed numerous field trials with various branches of the US military. The military field evaluations were so encouraging that we primarily concentrated our marketing program with our government and military reps. most branches of the military have purchased and are now using Mitigator.
Mitigator is well formulated for military specifications and performance and its use has generated numerous requests, by returning servicemen, to make it available for their families in the civilian commercial market place; we have agreed to do this. The Mitigator management has decided to expand our marketing to include retail outlets as well and have now embarked on a marketing program to penetrate those markets.
The unique granulated Mitigator® paste (scrub) formula is now patented and represents a new modality in treating insect stings and bites as a “preventative medicine”. Mitigator exfoliates the top layer of skin, opens the pores, draws the toxins/venom out, neutralizes them and pain & itching disappear seconds later. There are no harsh or smelly chemicals in Mitigator therefore, it is even safe for children to use.
Mitigator® Sting & Bite Scrub replaces the undeniable urge to scratch with your fingernails by scrubbing with your fingertips; thus preventing secondary infections. Insect attack victims report that the proactive scrubbing process actually is reassuring to them and that relief is accomplished almost immediately. It is recommended to scrub (within a short time of being stung or bitten) until all signs of pain/itching have disappeared or for a minimum of 2 minutes. Typically, 2 minutes of scrubbing most shallow piercing insect sting or bite sites with your fingertips will save you hours, days and possibly even weeks of scratching with your fingernails.
Mitigator is made in the United States.
The product’s name, “Mitigator”, was given by John W. Kennedy, my (scientist) brother. The definition of “mitigator” is; one who lessens the seriousness or extent of; or simply; one who makes it better….. Mitigator certainly does “make it better”.
Respectfully, Patrick Kennedy – Mitigator Inventor