|Basic InformationLatest News|Health Tip: Create a Food-and-Activity JournalHow to Dodge Summertime ThreatsHealth Tip: Basic Beach SafetyHealth Tip: Are You Well Enough to Travel?Health Tip: Want Healthier Lungs?Tips to Curb Nighttime EatingExtreme Heat in Southwest a Deadly ThreatMany Americans May Be Taking Too Much Vitamin DHow to Beat Jet Lag This Summer VacationAmericans Want to Be Fit, But Most Don't Put in the EffortWith Climate Change, More Deadly Heatwaves Will StrikeAre U.S. Teens Now as Inactive as 60-Year-Olds?Summer Fun Is Not Without HazardsHappy Marriage, Healthier SpousesHave Scientists Created a Safe, Sun-Free Tan?Could You Spot Bed Bugs in a Hotel Room?Health Tip: Help Prevent Skin CancerHealth Tip: Prepare for a Safe Road TripCould Your Breakfast Cloud Your Judgment?Stay Safe as Summer Temps SoarWith Summer Sun Comes Heightened Skin Cancer RiskSLEEP: Weekend Sleep Changes Adversely Affect Health OutcomesCould U.S. Election Results Be Harmful to Health?Do You Have 'Social Jet Lag?'Health Tip: Stay Safe During SummerFire Up the Grill Safely This Holiday WeekendWarming Climate, More Sleepless Nights?You're Less Apt to Fact-Check 'Fake News' When It's on Social Media: StudyDoes Dirty Air Keep You Awake?Cut Calories, Lengthen Life Span?How Not to Nod Off Behind the WheelWomen Aren't Better at Reading People's Faces After AllAre You Addicted to Your Smartphone?Just 2 Weeks on the Couch Can Trigger Body's DeclineSunscreen 101Fido or Fluffy Can Bring You a Big Health BoostHealth Tip: Sleep is Important for MemoryJust 5 Percent of Daily Salt Gets Added at the TableMany Seniors Use Cellphones While Driving With ChildrenLongevity in the U.S.: Location, Location, LocationGluten-Free Diet Not Healthy for Patients Without Celiac DiseaseEating Gluten-Free Without a Medical Reason?Life Expectancy Goes Up for Black AmericansHealthy Heart in Middle Age Delivers Big DividendsCooking at Home Means Eating Better, Spending LessMost Seniors Use Cellphones While Behind the WheelTaking the Stairs a Better Pick-Me-Up Than CoffeeHealth Tip: How to Get Enough Vitamin DHealth Tip: Better Sleep, a Better LifeThe Top 5 Conditions That Shorten Americans' Lives -- And Are PreventableVideosLinksBook Reviews
Don't Let Bugs Dampen Your Outdoor Fun
by -- Robert Preidt
Updated: Apr 15th 2017
SATURDAY, April 15, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- If you've spent any time outdoors recently, you may have found yourself swatting away a fly or mosquito -- and that means it's time to bone up on bug avoidance.
"Although most bug bites are harmless, some can spread dangerous diseases like Zika virus, dengue, Lyme disease and malaria," said Dr. Lindsay Strowd, an assistant professor of dermatology at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C.
"Particularly if you're visiting areas with known insect-borne diseases, it's important to take steps to reduce your risk," Strowd said in an American Academy of Dermatology news release.
Here are Strowd's tips to avoid unwanted bites.
- Your best defense against insect bites is to cover yourself -- with bug spray and clothes. Apply insect repellent with 20 to 30 percent DEET. If you're also wearing sunscreen, apply your sunscreen first, let it dry, and then apply the insect repellent.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, socks and closed shoes. Pull your socks up over your pants and tuck your shirt into your pants. You can pretreat outer layers of clothing with insect repellent containing the active ingredient permethrin. Follow the directions and allow the clothes to dry for at least two hours before wearing them.
- If you're sleeping outdoors, use bed nets to protect against mosquitoes. The best choice is one that has been pretreated with pyrethroid insecticide. If the bed net doesn't reach the floor, tuck it under the mattress.
- It's also a good idea to check the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Travel Health Notices website for information about insect-related travel warnings and recommendations.
"Sometimes, despite one's greatest efforts, bug bites still happen. Fortunately, most bug bites and stings can be safely treated at home," Strowd said.
For painful bites and stings, she recommends taking an over-the-counter painkiller such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Always follow the directions on the label and use the correct dose.
For itchy bites, apply an ice pack or an over-the-counter anti-itch cream, such as hydrocortisone, or take an over-the-counter oral antihistamine. If you have swelling, apply an ice pack to the area.
Strowd said if you have any serious symptoms after a bug bite, such as a rash, fever or body aches, see your doctor right away.
"Make sure you tell the doctor about your recent bite so that they can examine you for a transmitted disease," Strowd advised.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has more on bug bites and stings.
This article: Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.