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In summer, there are more trips, trips to the countryside or to the mountains, trips to the beach and swimming pool and even trips to other latitudes and, therefore, the contact of the population with insects. In particular, the presence of mosquitoes is common in our country, especially in coastal areas and some mountainous areas of the interior, as these insects develop best in humid and warm environments. Although there are no mosquitoes in Spain that are capable of transmitting chronic diseases, this is a risk that we must prevent if we are planning a trip to tropical countries.
From Cinfa, Dr. Aurora Garre points out that it is really ‘mosquitoes’ or female mosquitoes that are responsible for the annoying bites, since they are the ones that need our blood or, rather, the proteins it contains, to complete The maturation of their eggs. Although this type of insects can use the blood of different animals, most of them prefer that of mammals, and especially of humans, since our skin is very thin and it is easier to reach the veins.
Why do the stings hurt?
“In order to extract the blood more easily, the mosquitoes count in their saliva with a very powerful anticoagulant that they enter in our bloodstream when we sting,” explains the medical adviser. “In this way, they block the solidifying action of our blood platelets, preventing the wound from closing and leaving the blood out. However, our immune system recognizes that substance introduced by the insect as something alien to the body and attacks it, which causes inflammation of the area and itching.
So, to avoid the pain and discomfort of mosquito action, there are some preventive treatments that aim to avoid pitting: “Insect repellents are substances that are applied in areas of exposed skin or in clothing Wear to avoid contact with the insect. A product that counts among its active ingredients with diethyltoluamide (DEET), considered to be the most effective repellent by the World Health Organization (WHO), “says Cinfa’s medical adviser. On the other hand, soothing treatments are indicated to relieve pain and itching once the bite has occurred. “Its main asset is ammonia, which acts by modifying the PH and neutralizes the toxin introduced by the insect.”
Decalogue to avoid pitting
Avoid areas where insects have their nests or where they go: garbage bins, water rafts, uncovered foods and sweets, and flowering gardens. Likewise, care must be taken not to disturb insects.
- Do not leave, as far as possible, between dusk and dawn, as it is the time when mosquitoes bite habitually.
- Do not use colonies that give off sweet smells or soaps with perfumes or hair sprays as they attract insects.
- Keep proper body hygiene, because sweating and strong odors, such as the feet, invite you to itch.
- Wear clothes that cover the skin: long sleeves, long pants and socks, as well as avoid dark and bright colors, which attract mosquitoes.
- Switch clothing before use if we have laid it outdoors.
- Leave the light off if we have the window open, as the mosquitoes come to the light.
- Apply mosquito nets to the bed or crib by fixing them under the mattress and making sure they are not broken, because they constitute a physical barrier of high efficacy against the insects that attack at night. They can also be placed in windows and doors, and, for better protection, can be impregnated with permethrin or deltamethrin. Air conditioning also prevents its appearance.
- When using mosquito repellents, the recommendations on the method of application and the frequency of use must be followed strictly.
- Consult the pharmacist to advise you on the most appropriate treatment for you. In addition, if you are visiting a developing country, it is advisable to go to a center specialized in traveler’s medicine or consult a doctor before leaving.