News reports in recent years have been full of information about mosquito borne illnesses. As a result of the increased awareness about these mosquito borne diseases, people are more cautious when they spend time outdoors. They are vigilant about getting rid of flies and mosquitoes, and they are interested in knowing what steps they can take to protect themselves and their children from these and other pesky bugs.
Truth be told, the vast majority of insect bites are harmless. Some have been linked to dangerous diseases, such as Lyme disease or malaria, but most of the time, you are just going to be left with some pain, mild irritation and an itchy rash that dissipates over the course of a few days.
If you and your family are planning to visit a place that is known to have insect borne diseases, then you want to take extra precautions. If you do not want to get bit, keep your skin covered. Insects have a more difficult time biting you through your clothing. Additionally, by covering your clothing with insect repellent, you minimize the chances that you will get bit.
If you’re going to use sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun, apply the sunscreen and allow it to dry completely. Then put insect repellent over the sunscreen for maximum protection from pesky bugs.
Your shirt and pants should be long. Your socks should go over your pants, and your shirt should go into your pants. This will prevent insects from being able to crawl underneath your clothes and bite you. Treating the external layers of your clothing with a bug repellent that has permethrin as an active ingredient provides an extra layer of protection. Follow the instructions for the repellent’s application, and then let your clothing dry for at least a couple hours before you put them on.
If you’re going to sleep outdoors, use a mosquito net. The best mosquito nets are those that are treated with insecticide. You want your mosquito net to reach all the way to the floor. If it doesn’t, tuck it into your mattress.
What if, after all of your best efforts, you still get bit by an insect? In most cases, you should simply be able to use an ice pack, anti-itch cream or an over-the-counter oral antihistamine. All of these are at-home treatments that are effective.
If you start to develop a rash, fever or body aches, you’ll want to see a doctor immediately, as these can be symptoms of a negative reaction or a virus caused by the bite. During a consultation at Dermatology Consultants of South Florida, make sure to tell us about the bite and show us where it is located. This will make it easier for us to examine you for an insect bite-related disease. Contact us today to schedule an appointment at our office in Coral Springs or Sunrise.