Feeling the itch?
ith the British summer finally here it’s not just us embracing the warmer weather - as we peel our winter layers off and take our arms and legs out of hibernation, summer bugs will also make their untimely appearance. Over the past couple of years wet and warm summers have resulted in an explosion in mosquito and flea populations, which can only mean one thing – bites and more bites. You’d like to think you would take it as a compliment that insects think you’re tasty enough to feast on, but it’s not much fun when you’re left with burning, red, swollen and itchy marks - not to mention the pain from stinging nettles after balmy walks in the countryside and picnics in the park. ON-THE-SPOT TREATMENTS There are some simple ways you can help relieve any discomfort if you’ve been bitten or stung: wash the area with soap and water, use a cold compress or an ice pack (a bag of frozen peas will do the trick) and try not to scratch to prevent infection. You can also use a spray or cream that contains local anaesthetic, antihistamine or mild hydrocortisone
To keep you protected for up to 12 hours from mosquitos and more this summer.
to prevent itching and swelling, or take an antihistamine tablet (check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or worried about drowsiness or allergies to medication). ALTERNATIVE REMEDIES • For stinging nettle rashes rub the affected area with dock leaves for some instant relief – they are normally found growing near nettles. • Homeopathy is often used to treat bites and stings. For example, Apis and Ledum can help reducing swelling and relieve aching pains. • Essential oils such as Tea Tree Oil and Lavender Oil (dabbed on neat) can be a useful addition to your first aid kit and provide on-the-spot relief as well as helping reduce the risk of infection. You can also add any of the following oils to a bite and sting lotion or cream: Burdock, Plaintain, Echinacea, Feverfew, Nettle, Yellow Doc and St John’s Wort. Some oils can be used as a preventative by putting them in a lotion or water spray and applying to the skin. For example, Lavender, Rosemary, Tea Tree or Citronella.
Ultrathon Insect Repellant is available as a spray, pump spray and a lotion. The Ultrathon Insect Repellent Range is available as a 60ml lotion offering extended protection of up to 12 hours, a convenient 125ml spray offering 8 hours’ protection and a 100ml pump spray providing up to 12 hours’ protection. The lotion and aerosol spray have an RSP of £8.29 and the pump spray has an RSP of £8.49. Ultrathon is available from Tesco, The Cooperative pharmacy, chemistdirect.co.uk, Amazon.co.uk and 3Mdirect.co.uk
Always seek medical advice if you have wheezing, difficulty breathing or swallowing, excess swelling around the bite or sting, or flu-like symptoms that appear to become worse rather than better. If you’ve previously had a severe reaction you will normally be offered an adrenaline pen or be referred to an allergy clinic for further investigations. PREVENTING STINGS AND BITES 1. Use an insect repellent at times when you’re more likely to be stung and try and keep your skin covered. 2. Keep an eye on your drinks to make sure that wasps or bees haven’t sneaked inside for a cheeky sip– they particularly like sweet drinks. 3. Try not to panic when you see an insect that may sting – if you wave your arms around you are far more likely to be stung. Stand up slowly, walk away and it will usually buzz off. 4. Use mosquito nets if you’re camping outdoors or put thin netting or door beads over doors to prevent insects from coming inside. Julia Faulks
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Published on Jun 6, 2013
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