It’s that time of the year. Those sweet summer months where we put away our chunky jackets and spend our days savoring the outdoors. But, anyone who has spent a summer night outside near some green knows what happens when you don’t use repellent. Bug bites. Those little red pimply monsters that keep us itching for days.
Bug spray is a must in these summer months, not only to prevent itchy mosquito bites, but also to protect your skin from awful diseases. Everyone’s skin is different, and reacts differently to bug bites, but it’s universally important to protect yourself.
Dr. Purvisha Patel, owner and dermatologist at Advanced Dermatology Skin Cancer Associates informed me of the risks that come with that annoying bite, “It’s important to protect yourself from insect bites, as some insects carry diseases like West Nile Virus, Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.”
Bug spray is a definite necessity these days, and it’s important to know when and where you will need to put some on. Dr. Susan Stuart, a leading expert in dermatology and lasers pointed out, “Bug sprays should be used when you are planning outdoor activities for extended periods of time like camping and hiking. This is important if you are around fresh water like ponds and lakes and areas where there is stagnant water.”
Dermatologists agree that if you are spending time outdoors, bug spray needs to be available for use. You should use it to cover your whole body, and when applying to the face spray some on your hands and pat on face lightly.
Sensitivity to certain products is inevitable. Dr. Eric Schweiger, founding dermatologist of Schweiger Dermatology and Clear Clinic, notes that your skin may negatively react to the spray, “It can cause a negative reaction, such as rashes or blisters. But for the most part, bug spray will not affect your skin. I recommend washing it off as soon as you are finished spending time outdoors.”
But, there are certain types of spray for more sensitive skin. While all three dermatologists agree that DEET is the most effective type of bug spray, there are alternative options such as picaridin, IR3535, citronella, and lemon eucalyptus oil. Based on their suggestions for chemicals and brands, we compiled a list of our 8 best bug sprays for this summer season.