Now that we are spending more time outdoors and in the parks we might find that we are getting annoying itchy bites from midges and mosquitos. You can buy insect repellants to spray over you. I always think it is a good idea to look for a DEET free spray which is non toxic, non chemical and non allergenic. If you are going abroad then you might need the ‘heavy duty’ stuff.
Don’t forget, at Elborough, our practice nurses run travel clinics. Book in and they can offer lots of advice on this. If you are staying in the UK there are some natural remedies that you might want to try. These insects don’t seem to like essential oils such as citronella, lavender , rose geranium and eucalyptus. So you can put a few drops in an essential oil burner making your surrounding room smell nice and hopefully keep the bitey things away. Citronella candles burning in the garden are also helpful. You can also put a few drops of these oils in some water and spray yourself and clothing. Try a little of your mixture first to make sure you don’t have a sensitivity to it. Getting the quantities and mixes of oils can be trial and error until you find the combination best for you. A little essential oil mixed into an oil you can rub onto your skin directly can also be good. Again, try a little on your wrist first to make sure you don’t get a reaction.
If you are unlucky enough to get a nasty irritating bite, try not to scratch! Tea tree is my go to oil which you can apply neat. It is great antiseptic and helps prevent infection. Natural cooling remedies for insect bites are also damp tea bags (green tea is good!) and basil leaves. Yes, not just for cooking but for healing! Crush them up and apply to your bite. Calendula cream made from marigolds is also fantastic for applying onto bites to calm down the skin.
Hope the bugs don’t bite!