How safe are mosquito repellents?

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Healthy Life Style Trends

It is a shocking fact that mosquito related diseases are responsible for nearly 2 million deaths around the world annually. Malaria, dengue, chikungunya, yellow fever, and filariasis are some of the common mosquito transmitted diseases that could have life-threatening impacts if not treated properly. While getting rid of unwanted water stagnation and following proper waste disposal methods can save us from most of these, many of us have also started using commercially available mosquito repellents.

What are mosquito repellents?

These repellents are available in the form of cream or spray that can be used directly on the skin or on clothes. This will repel insect effectively. Today, there are several brands available in stores and are used universally by both kids and adults.

Safe usage

Though mosquito repellent is not said to cause any serious skin diseases or infections, it is still a chemical-based solution and should be used with caution. Today, the use of compounds such as N,N-diethyl benzamide and N,N-diethyl-3-methyl benzamide (DEET) in the making of repellent creams are on the rise. While these are very effective in keeping you safe from mosquito bites, it is necessary that you use only the required quantity as excess application can lead to rashes, itching, or swelling.

Can pregnant women use mosquito repellents?

Anything and everything done during pregnancy should be done with caution. Hence, it is advised that you read the label before applying any of the repellent creams. Avoid solutions that contain permethrin as the chemical may cause a number of side effects including itching, burning, and swelling. But, otherwise, repellent creams and sprays are considered absolutely safe for pregnant women.

Organic repellent alternatives

If synthetic repellents seem to bother you, here are some of the natural mosquito repellents you can use to stay safe from bug and insect bites.
1. Eucalyptus
2. Citronella
3. Neem
4. Lemon grass
5. Marigold
Essential oils from these plants are as effective as your store-bought creams. But, one drawback is that these oils tend to evaporate fast and hence won’t last for long hours.

At the end of the day, remember that the side effects of mosquito repellents are extremely negligible when compared to the consequences of mosquito transmitted diseases. But, make it a point to use them wisely.

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