V.it was summer torture, mosquitoes are among the most annoying insects not only for their buzz but also for the itchy bites they leave on the body. And if scratching is not the remedy to the problem, although it gives temporary relief, you can run for cover. Following adiet rich in citrus fruits, berries and peppers which seems to release disturbing aromas for insects. In addition to choosing a repellent that keeps them away.
Mosquitoes and bites: what happens to the skin?
Not only do they produce an annoying buzz, especially in the middle of the night, but also extremely itchy bites: “When the mosquito bites inoculates antigens that trigger an immune reaction with histamine release and consequent vasodilation, edema and itching. In sensitized subjects, and in particular in allergic ones, the immune response can be important: in this case we speak of strophule, that is an erythematous-edematous reaction often with blistering and very itchy multiple lesions “explains the Dr. Claudia Casulli, dermatologist at the Santa Maria Hospital in Bari.
“A different discourse, on the other hand, concerns the small children, struggling with the first bites: not yet sensitized, they have small papular reactions with little or no itching“.
Preventing stings, repellents
But can mosquito bites be prevented? “Yes, first of all with the repellents. They can be pharmaceutical or commercial preparations provided they contain toxic substances for mosquitoes, even of natural origin such as lemongrass, geranium or eucalyptus. Anti repellents must be sprayed on the most vascularized areas such as ankles, feet, back of the knees, elbows and wrists. Before leaving the house they must be sprayed on the skin and, to increase its effectiveness, even on clothing. In fact, mosquitoes are able to reach the epidermis also through the tissues.
In case of very young children or pregnant women, on the other hand, highly specific products are recommendedmore delicate on the skin and based on natural ingredients ».
A home remedy, which applies to everyone, is instead that of take frequent cold showers that help eliminate sweat, which unfortunately attracts these insects a lot, and has a slight vasoconstrictive action.
Anti-mosquito vitamins: how to keep them away with the right diet
Not only with repellents but, theoretically, some foods also help keep insects away. As Dr. Casulli points out, at the moment there is no scientific value on the subject yet, but it would seem that some foods cause the body to give off odors that disturb mosquitoes.
“In particular, all those rich in vitamin Bsuch as meat, eggs and fish, and vitamin C then citrus fruits, peppers, kiwis and berries, in addition to green leafy vegetables. The same goes for supplements rich in both vitamins. Garlic should not be underestimated either“.
Alcohol attracts them
Instead, alcohol should be avoided as it causes vasodilation by attracting insects especially in all areas of the body where the skin is thinner and warmer because it is rich in capillaries, such as the ankles. «For this reason, be careful when you sweat: I always recommend spraying the repellent before practicing an outdoor physical activity».
From cortisone to cold showers, how to remedy a mosquito bite
After the sting, to relieve itching and in some cases swelling, topical cortisone can be used several times a day of medium power, which can also be associated with topical or systemic antibiotics if inflammation occurs. «In children, creams based on ammonia or even zinc oxide can be useful, provided they are applied immediately. In case of severe itching, an antihistamine by mouth is recommended ».
AND, even for bites, the action of cold is important: keeping the cortisone creams in the refrigerator or making cold water compresses helps to relieve the discomfort. “On the other hand, I do not recommend natural remedies because they can cause photosensitivity, or reactions with exposure to the sun” concludes the expert.
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