It’s that time of year when our skin is once again barraged by the sun throughout the day and those pesky insects all night. Not surprisingly, many of my patients have been asking questions about both sunscreens and insect repellents. To that avail we have devoted this first series of educational questions to those precarious pest preventers, the “bug sprays”. Stay tuned though as we will deal with sunscreens very soon.
Here are a few of the insect repellent (“bug spray”) questions I’ve been getting.
Question: What’s the best bug spray?
Answer: I’m going to answer this without really naming any specific products but I think if you are good about reading the labels it will be helpful. There are a host of chemicals on the market for use as insect repellents. These include the most well known one DEET (or NN-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide) as well as several other less commonly known chemicals (indalone, Rutgers 612, Dialkyl phthalates). There are also some essential plant oils like citronella oil, lemon oil, eucalyptus oil and soy bean oil that can be used. In the last few years, the newest one of these to come to market is a compound called ‘picardin’ which has the effectiveness of low strength DEET but tends to be safer.
I would recommend either using a DEET containing spray or a Picardin containing spray. While the oils sound great because they are certainly going to be fairly safe, they have not shown to be very effective. Another one to avoid in my opinion is skin-so-soft. It’s great if you are in an area with only “one or two mosquitos” but really not good otherwise.
Question: Is DEET safe for children and pregnant women?
Dear Friends of Affiliated Dermatology:
Welcome to the first of future blogs. We have a wonderful group of patients in our practice. Many of you are very interested in learning more about how to take good care of your skin. During your visits we enjoy sitting down to talk with you at length about your concerns. Additionally we have developed this blog as a way to provide further information to those who are interested. Each month we intend to cover new topics all relevant to skin care, the content of which has been created by the very same providers you know and trust your skin care to in our practice. We will cover topics like sunscreens, “brown spots”, moisturizers, anti-aging, and many others. We sincerely hope you find it useful.