Colección: Mosquito Repellent

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Mosquito Repellent - Rightangled

What is Mosquito Repellent?

Cause

The causes of mosquito bites are attributed to female mosquitoes seeking a blood meal for reproduction. They are attracted to the carbon dioxide we exhale, body heat, and certain chemicals in our sweat. Mosquitoes are more active during dusk and dawn and are prevalent in areas with standing water, which serves as breeding grounds for their larvae.

Diagnosis

Diagnosing mosquito-borne illnesses is typically done by healthcare professionals based on clinical symptoms, travel history, and diagnostic tests. Common mosquito-borne diseases include:
Malaria: Diagnosed through blood tests to detect the presence of the malarial parasite.
Dengue Fever: Diagnosed by testing for dengue virus-specific antibodies in the blood.
Zika Virus: Diagnosed through blood or urine tests to detect Zika virus RNA.
West Nile Virus: Diagnosed through serological tests that detect specific antibodies in the blood.
Chikungunya: Diagnosed through serological tests that detect antibodies specific to the Chikungunya virus.

Treatments

Mosquito repellents are the first line of defense against mosquito bites and mosquito-borne illnesses. Common types of mosquito repellents include:
DEET-Based Repellents: These contain the active ingredient DEET and offer long-lasting protection.
Picaridin Repellents: Picaridin is an alternative to DEET, offering effective protection against mosquitoes.
Natural Repellents: Some repellents use natural ingredients like lemon eucalyptus oil or citronella to deter mosquitoes.
Permethrin Treatment: Permethrin is applied to clothing and gear to repel mosquitoes on contact.
Electronic Devices: Wearable devices that emit ultrasonic sounds or use fans to create a mosquito-repelling zone.

Prevention

Preventive measures for avoiding mosquito bites and mosquito-borne diseases include:
Use Mosquito Repellent: Apply a suitable mosquito repellent before going outdoors, especially during peak mosquito activity times.
Wear Protective Clothing: Cover exposed skin with long sleeves and pants. Use permethrin-treated clothing for added protection.
Avoid Standing Water: Eliminate sources of standing water, such as in containers or gutters, to reduce mosquito breeding sites.
Use Bed Nets: In areas with malaria or other mosquito-borne diseases, sleep under insecticide-treated bed nets.
Stay Insect-Proof: Use screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of indoor spaces.
Be Informed: Stay updated on mosquito-borne disease risks and any travel advisories for specific regions.

Further Info:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/insect-bites-and-stings/

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FAQs

Are there any natural alternatives to chemical mosquito repellents, and do they work effectively?

Yes, there are natural mosquito repellents that use ingredients like citronella, lemon eucalyptus oil, and lavender. While these options can provide some protection, they may not be as effective as DEET-based or picaridin repellents in high mosquito activity areas. Consider the specific circumstances and your preferences when choosing a repellent.

Can mosquito repellents be used on children and infants, and are there specific products designed for them?

Mosquito repellents can be used on children, but it's essential to choose products specifically formulated for their age group. Avoid using DEET-based repellents on infants under two months old. Consult a pediatrician for guidance on mosquito repellent use for young children.

Is it safe to apply mosquito repellent on my face, and what precautions should I take when doing so?

Yes, you can apply mosquito repellent on your face, but exercise caution to avoid contact with eyes, mouth, and open wounds. Apply the repellent to your hands first and then gently rub it onto your face. It's best to use products designed for facial application, or those that specify they are safe for facial use.

How often should I reapply mosquito repellent, and does it lose effectiveness over time?

The frequency of repellent application varies based on the product. In general, it's advisable to reapply every few hours, especially if you're sweating or swimming, as water and perspiration can reduce effectiveness. Check the specific product's label for reapplication instructions.

Medically reviewed & approved

This page was medically reviewed by Dr Sohaib Imtiaz (clinical lead) |

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