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Protect Your Skin from Insects

Scott Monge

With the weather pretty near ideal, more and more people are heading outdoors. While some may prefer the air-conditioned rooms of their homes and offices, others are headed to the backyard, the beach and the park. While a jog, hike, playground games or poolside lounging might be appealing this time of year, you also have to watch out for some pests. Take precautions protect your skin from bugs while you’re soaking up the sun.

The first step is setting up a boundary. Focus on bug repellents to keep biting insects away from your skin. The basics start with your clothes. Wear clothing that covers your skin. Obviously it’s hot out and you don’t want to roam the woods with a sweater in June, but make sure you’re covering as much skin as possible while still being comfortable. If you’ll be outside all day, it may be best to wear lighter clothes and more bug repellent. But if you’re out to mow the lawn, long sleeves and pants are a better option while you’re stirring up plant material and insects.

Avoid using floral or fruity smelling scents as perfume, soaps or detergent. Bugs are attracted to these scents and will find their way to you easily. Use unscented shampoos and detergents to stay clean and keep the pests away.

Oil of lemon eucalyptus is a natural mosquito repellent. Taking vitamin B1 daily and eating lots of garlic may help your case, too. Other oils effective in repelling bugs include citronella, cinnamon, castor, rosemary, lemongrass, cedar, clove, geranium and peppermint oils.

If you do get a bite, there are several ways to soothe the pain and itching:

  • Apply toothpaste or vinegar to the bite.
  • To help with itching, make a paste from baking soda and water to dab on the skin
  • Calamine lotion
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