Insect Repellents - Health Advice
Insect repellents
Choosing insect repellents
  • Insect repellents are available in various forms and concentrations. Many skin preparations are available, mostly containing di-ethyltoluamide (DEET).
  • For those allergic to DEET, alternatives include Dimethyl Pthalate (contained in 'shoo') or Eucalyptus oil (contained in 'Mosiguard').
  • Aerosol and pump-spray products are available which are suitable for treating clothing - if aerosols and pump sprays are used on skin it is best to spray liquid onto your hand and then rub onto exposed areas.
  • Liquid, creams, lotions and sticks are designed for skin application.
  • Products with a lower concentration are usually used on skin and higher concentrations on clothes.

Using insect repellents safely

  • Clothes are the best protection - normally only use repellents on the remaining exposed areas of skin and shirt collars and cuffs and the ankle bottoms of trousers or slacks.
  • Mosquitoes can bite skin through skin-tight clothes - it is always best to wear loose fitting garments.
  • Never use repellents over cuts, wounds, or irritated skin.
  • Don't apply to eyes and mouth, and apply sparingly around ears. When using sprays do not spray directly onto face; spray on hands first and then apply to face.
  • Do not allow young children to handle repellents - they may get them into their eyes. Apply to your own hands and to the child's skin.
  • Use just enough repellent to cover exposed skin. Heavy application is unnecessary.
  • After use, wash treated skin. This is particularly important when repellents are used repeatedly.
  • If you suspect that you or your children are reacting to an insect repellent, discontinue use, wash treated skin and then contact your doctor.

  • Always follow the manufacturer's instructions.

source: Scottish NHS

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Insect Repellents - Health Advice