More outdoor days mean more fun in the sun and also, potentially some bites from our friends the bugs! While many of the bites we’ll experience are simply annoying, sometimes bites can cause severe itching or even spread disease. So, how do you protect against the summer bugs without ruining the fun?
We recommend the following tips to help prevent bug bites:
- Use insect repellent. To protect against mosquitoes, ticks and other bugs, use insect repellent that contains 20 to 30 percent DEET on exposed skin and clothing. Make sure to apply repellent after your sunscreen has dried.
- Wear appropriate clothing. If you are spending time out late into the evening or at night, or in wooded areas, dress appropriately to prevent bug bites by covering as much exposed skin as possible with long-sleeved shirts, pants, and socks. Wear closed-toed shoes and hats if possible.
- Pay attention to outbreaks. Check the CDC Travel Health Notices website and heed travel warnings and recommendations.
Sometimes despite our best efforts, bugs still find a way to bite! To treat bites at home, try the following:
- For painful bites, take an over-the-counter painkiller like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Make sure to follow the directions on the label for correct dosing.
- If a bite itches or stings, you can apply an over-the-counter anti-itch cream like hydrocortisone.
- If the area of the bite is tender or swollen, you can apply an ice pack to the bite to reduce swelling.
If you experience any serious symptoms after a bug bite, such as a rash, fever, or body aches, see a doctor. Make sure you tell the doctor about your recent bite so that they can examine you for a transmitted disease. In case of emergencies, seek immediate medical attention.
Savannah River Dermatology is located at 575 Furys Ferry Rd in Augusta, Ga. Our office can be reached at 706-691-7079.