Camping, hiking, kayaking and even going to the local farmers market you will find mosquitoes this time of year.  By the time I remember there is something called ‘bug spray’ I have already been attacked. I recently had multiple encounters with what I am pretty sure were eight hungry mosquitoes, leaving bites and itchy raised bumps on my legs, arms, and hands. I decided to go on a quest to find out what would be the best bug spray for me. I wanted to find one that smelled good and more importantly would not irritate my sensitive skin.

Going to the pharmacy can be overwhelming with so many options to choose from.  I decided to turn to a trustworthy expert, our very own Monica Edenholm, PA-C.  She is always my ‘go to’ for advice on great skin care products to keep my skin healthy and as the mother of two adorable girls, I knew she would have some great recommendations that would meet my criteria.

Here are Monica’s recommendations:

Burt’s Bees – Herbal Insect Repellent:  Not only do they have awesome lip balm but they also use natural ingredients. It smells good and is easy to apply.

SuperBand Premium Insect Repellent Bracelets:  Great for kids! They are colorful, fun and effective, lasting up to 250 hours!

If you are looking for a product that will protect you from a wider range of bugs and insects use a product that has, N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide also known as DEET, as an active ingredient. This chemical helps protect against mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, chiggers and leeches. I like to use Ben’s Insect Repellent Wipes which has 30% DEET. The best part? The wipes are easy to use and less weight to carry while being just as effective as a spray. 440

But when should you choose a repellent with DEET over one of the other recommendations? “DEET products are more effective against a wide range of bugs. I prefer DEET products while camping or hiking but if I’m just out and about on grass in Seattle or at the beach, the Burt’s Bees usually does the trick.” – Monica Edenholm, PA-C

We all know that the worst thing you can do is scratch your bug bites but sometimes it is so hard not to. For those of you in that situation, stop scratching and try Burt’s Bees Res-Q Ointment – it’s gentle herbal ingredients will soothe those itchy bites and also cool off that sun burn! bs-123_2z

“I find that spraying on the back of neck, wrists, ankles and waist over clothing or directly on skin is enough to prevent bites. If swimming or sweating you need to reapply and make sure that you are applying after sunscreen” – Monica Edenholm, PA-C

If you need more advice or you have a reaction to a bug bite, you should schedule an appointment with your dermatologist.

Karen B., Patient Care Coordinator