Spring is here and summer is on the way – which means mosquitoes and other pesky bugs – including ticks – that may carry Lyme disease! Every year, approximately one-third of people use insect repellants containing DEET to ward off mosquitoes and other pests. At present, DEET is used in more than 230 products with concentrations up to 100 percent. DEET should be used with caution due to its possible damaging effects on brain cells.
Here are some helpful tips:
1. Use insecticides containing DEET sparingly and infrequently. If you do use one on your skin, avoid wearing it for prolonged periods of time.
2. Be wary of using insect repellant containing DEET on children. Children are more susceptible to subtle brain changes caused by chemicals in their environment because their skin more readily absorbs them. Also, their still-developing nervous systems are more potently affected for the same reasons.
3. NEVER use insect repellant containing DEET on infants.
4. Do not apply over cuts, wounds, or irritated skin.
5. Do not apply to hands or near eyes and mouth of young children.
6. To apply to the face, spray on hands first and then rub on face. Do not spray directly onto face. Wash your hands after.
-Michele Pici, Chief Medical Officer