A Few Tips About Mosquito Bites

Video Transcript:

So here’s another daily tip from your friendly local dermatologist.

So I remember right before I started medical school, a bunch of friends took me on a camping trip. And they had to take a picture of this, because in the middle of the camping trip, there were swarms of mosquitoes around me, and nothing on anybody else. I mean you could have connected the dots on the bug bites that I had, and maybe found out the secret to life after that trip. It was ridiculous. And I was using bug repellents!

Are bug repellents safe?

Now as time went on, and I went through medical school, I started to wonder, how safe are these bug repellents? Because it is no fun to be a bug’s lunch all day long. So there’s some basic ones that are out there, perhaps the one that we’ve all heard of is DEET. Now DEET’s been around for years and years and years, and there’s only been a handful of case studies that show that DEET is harmful to you. So I think DEET overall is enormously safe.

I personally don’t use DEET any more when I go out and about, because I like to do more of the natural based bug repellents. I’m not sure these natural based bug repellents work as well as DEET and other chemicals, but when I’m just out and about in a normal area that doesn’t seem to have a lot of diseases that you know, bugs transmit, like malaria or Zika, or any of these sorts of things, then I’ll use the natural stuff. But if I’m in an area that has problems with serious diseases like malaria or Zika or fill-in-the-blank, then I absolutely will go for the big guns of DEET, and I will reapply, and I’ll wear long sleeve shirts, and long pants, and I’ll keep myself as protected as possible. Because even though DEET does seem to be very safe, those people out there who have concerns with it, I promise you that the concerns from DEET are miniscule compared to the problems that happen if you get a disease like malaria.

Using natural based products

So for the natural based products, look them up online. There’s all sorts of things out there that are natural, essential oil based, that you can use. I would suggest trying those when it’s not peak bug season, and seeing how it does. And play around with it. See if you like the smell. See if it works. See how much you actually need to keep from being a bug’s lunch.