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Health / Wellness

Warding off those pesky insects

We all love summer, but higher body temps and sweaty skin attract hungry insects, especially those irritating female mosquitos, hell-bent on biting our ankles and wrists to nourish their developing eggs with our protein-rich blood. What’s to be done?

Try topical repellents
Repel insects by rubbing apple cider vinegar on arms, legs and face. The CDC recommends lemon eucalyptus. Some hearty folk take garlic tablets or rub garlic juice on their skin. (Whew!) And should you choose to use a DEET repellent, one with 25 percent DEET is all you’ll need. “Unlike the SPF rating in sunscreens, higher concentration of DEET doesn’t mean more protection.”

To ease the Itch
If you get bitten, “ice the area of the bite to constrict the capillaries near the skin’s surface and reduce swelling. If you are going to use a topical cream, stay away from caladryl and calamine lotions. It’s better to apply a low-potency hydrocortisone and simple patience. Rub on meat tenderizer, lemon juice or white vinegar. (But not if the area is raw from scratching.) A paste of baking soda and water can provide much-needed relief. And Oatmeal can also help provide itch relief – not only for bug bites.”

Rules of Thumb: Don’t Scratch! And be sure to consult your doctor If you have an intense reaction to any insect bite.

Information source: The Old Farmer’s Summer Almanac

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