Living » Ask the Experts at East Jefferson General Hospital

How can I protect against mosquito bites?

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There are several products currently on the market that offer safe, long lasting protection against insect bites. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention endorse products with the following active ingredients: DEET, Picaridin, Oil of lemon eucalyptus or PMD, and IR3535. Brands that contain these effective bug repellents include, but are not limited to, Off!, Cutter, Repel, Sawyer, Skin So Soft Bug and Ultrathon. Products that contain higher concentrations of active ingredients usually provide protection for longer periods of time. When using repellents in conjunction with sunscreen, be sure to apply sunscreen first.

Although these insect repellents are safe to use and can help the spread of disease carried by mosquitoes and other insects, they should be used with the following precautions:

• Insect repellent should only be applied on exposed skin. Do not apply under clothing.

• Never use insect repellent on scrapes, cuts, wounds or sores.

• Wash treated skin and clothing after returning indoors.

• If you experience a reaction to the repellent, wash the affected area with soap and water, and call local poison control for assistance.

If you would like to learn more about skin protection or to schedule an appointment with an East Jefferson General Hospital physician, please contact HealthFinder at (504) 456-5000 or visit


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