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ASK THE DOC: ‘Help, I’m still getting bitten’

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Insect bites can be a serious problem for some people.
Insect bites can be a serious problem for some people.

How to deal with insect bites.

Q. I was walking through the park with my dog recently and there were still lots of insects flying around. I was bitten on the arm and had a bad reaction. What precautions can I take next time to prevent this from happening again?

A. There are a number of precautions you can take to avoid being bitten or stung by insects.

It’s particularly important to follow this advice if you’ve had a bad reaction to an insect bite or sting in the past.

You can cover exposed skin – if you’re outside at a time of day when insects are particularly active, such as sunrise or sunset, covering your skin by wearing long sleeves and trousers can help to protect you.

You should avoid flowering plants, outdoor areas where food is served and rubbish and compost – regularly and carefully remove any fallen fruit in your garden.

Also keep a well-fitting lid on dustbins and avoid camping near water, such as ponds and swamps – this is because mosquitoes and horseflies are commonly found near water.

You should also keep food and drink covered when eating or drinking outside, particularly sweet things – wasps or bees can also get into open drink bottles or cans you’re drinking from. apply insect repellent to exposed areas of skin, particularly in summer or early autumn.

Repellents that contain diethyltoluamide (DEET) are usually the most effective repellents.

Keeping doors and windows closed, or covered with a thin netting, can prevent bugs from entering your house.

For more information and helpful tips on how to minimise the chance of being bitten or stung by insects, go to the NHS Inform website here

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