How to tackle mosquito bites

By | 18 July, 2018 | 0 comments

mosquito bites

 

We want everyone who brings their family to Club MAC Alcudia for a holiday to have the best time ever. That’s why we have put together this blog post with all you need to know about mosquito bites, including how to treat them if you do get bitten.

Obviously, we hope that the mossies leave you alone while you’re at Club MAC, but we do have a lake at the resort and it is possible you might get bitten. Bites can be really frustrating, particularly for families with small children.

Who gets bitten and why?

Around 10-20% of people are attractive to mosquitoes and get bitten even while their friends may not. This could be down to genetics or different blood types. Studies going back to 1972 show that it’s possible mosquitoes choose skin with Type O blood twice as often as Type A. Type B people fall in the middle.

Mosquitoes can sense their prey from up to 50m away and there is evidence to show that those who are exhaling more carbon dioxide (either larger people or those doing a lot of exercise) attract them more. Other genetic factors likely include a mix of natural secretions.

Pregnant women are also more susceptible to being bitten, likely because they are exhaling more carbon dioxide and have a higher resting body temperature than other people.

What to wear

Mosquitoes are attracted to darker colours, including black and navy blue as they do use vision to select their target. Choose whites and pastels to help avoid them homing in on you.

How to treat

The best and most effective to keep mosquitoes away is to use insect repellent. Probably the most effective is Diethyltoluamide (DEET, which is chemical-based and has a strong safety record. Research shows that a product that is around 20% DEET will keep skin free of bites for around five hours.

DEET does have a good safety record and weaker formulations (around 10% or less) are safe for children over two months. Other chemical repellents easily available include IR3535 and icariin. While they’re all slightly different they work in broadly the same way by emitting odours that mosquitoes don’t like.

There are also plant-based chemical products that offer a level of protection, although they are not as effective as DEET. These include lemon eucalyptus, neem and citronella.

What to do if you’re bitten

Mosquito (and other insect) bites can cause lumps, itches and wheals (rashes) on the skin. Occasionally you might see small blisters forming, but this isn’t common. There are various things you can do to minimise discomfort caused by mosquito bites:

  • Take oral antihistamines, such as cetirizine or loratadine 10mg once or twice a day. These will help to relieve the swelling and any itch.
  • Use a mild steroid cream (hydrocortisone 0.5-1.5%) twice daily to reduce itching and inflammation. You can buy these from a pharmacy but should not use the cream on the face unless a doctor has told you to.
  • Calamine lotion can be applied to the affected areas for a soothing and cooling feeling.
  • Cool the skin with a cold compress.

Avoid scratching

It’s important to do your best to avoid scratching the skin as this can increase your chances or developing an infection in or on the bite. It can be very difficult to resist scratching mosquito bites, particularly for children, so if you notice any increased pain, swelling or swollen glands then it’s best to check with the on-site doctor.

Remember that mosquito bites are usually no more than an irritation and it’s unlikely that an infection will develop. By protecting yourself and your family with a repellent you have a good chance of avoiding them altogether.

Categories: Holiday tips