It’s that time of year when we hear about cases of dengue fever and malaria. Mosquitoes are most active during late spring, summer, and early fall. And because it is now summer, mosquito season is at its peak, increasing the risk of dengue fever and malaria. Their bites itch and their wheezing is annoying. So, without a second thought, we turn to mosquito repellents like creams, wraps, and mats, to protect ourselves from mosquito bites. But have you ever wondered whether or not mosquito repellents are safe for your skin? Don’t worry, we have an expert to answer that question.

HealthShots spoke to Dr. Rinke Kapoor, Consultant Dermatologist, Dermatologist, Cosmetologist and Skin Surgeon, Cosmetic Clinics about the effect of mosquito repellent on the skin.

Mosquito repellent for skinMosquito repellent can damage your skin. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Are mosquito repellent creams harmful to the skin?

Mosquitoes transmit diseases and are the underlying causes of malaria and chikungunya. They multiply and spread at a rapid rate. One of the safest and fastest ways to avoid mosquito bites is to use mosquito repellent on exposed areas of skin. They can be harmful because they contain certain chemicals that can have some effects on the skin over a period of time.

According to Dr. Kapoor, “Most mosquito repellents contain DEET and are safe to use in most cases. However, regular and frequent use of chemicals can have an irritating effect on the skin and body.”

The following are the side effects of anti-mosquitoes:

* They can cause skin irritation, allergies, infections, rashes, dizziness, and can make it difficult to focus on normal activities.
* If it gets into the eyes, it can cause a burning sensation
* If you apply it to the lips, it causes numbness and burning.
* If mosquito repellent is ingested, it can cause poisoning.

Also, spraying insect repellent or using creams makes them unattractive to insects and they will not bite you. But to avoid side effects caused by mosquito repellents, you can try some home remedies to keep mosquitoes away.

Read also: Burning mosquito coils can kill you. Yes, this is correct

Here are the home remedies to prevent mosquito bites:

Dr. Kapoor said there are natural mosquito repellents one can use like citronella oil, essential oils, lemongrass, neem oil, eucalyptus oil, etc.

Mosquito repellent for skinStay safe from mosquitoes, especially in the summer. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

If you’re still using mosquito repellent, keep these tips in mind to protect your skin:

* Avoid spraying on cuts, bruises or open wounds.
* Don’t use too much insect repellent, just a little to cover exposed skin
* Do not use it on the genitals
* Wash your skin with soap and water after returning home
* Clothes must be washed before wearing again.
* Do not spray near the skin and keep your eyes and lips closed
* For the face, take some insect repellent and apply it gently on the face.
* Wearing long-sleeved clothes
* Avoid going out at peak mosquito times – dusk and dawn.


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