Summer brings sunshine, warm weather and more fun outdoors. Protecting the skin is supremely important and requires defense from the sun as well as biting insects, like mosquitoes and gnats.
Bites alone are irritating to those with sensitive skin, but the diseases that can be transmitted by mosquitoes are also a source of worry. West Nile and Dengue Fever are risks but this year's biggest worry is the Zika virus. Mosquito-borne illnesses are dangerous and long-lasting so prevention is key.
A few tips to enjoy time outdoors while protecting your health:
- Use an insect repellent. Find a formula that contains natural ingredients such as Lavender Oil or Lemon Eucalyptus Oil as these essential oils are known to repel bugs. There's no need to turn to DEET or other harsh chemicals when nature provides effective options.
- Dusk and the few hours immediately following are prime feeding hours for most strains of mosquitoes. During this time, limit time outdoors without the proper precautions.
- Wear muted colors. Mosquitoes are attracted to brightly colored clothing.
- Wear long sleeves and long pants before going outdoors, especially wooded areas.
- Remove pools of standing water near your home and areas where you spend time outdoors. If this is impossible, add vinegar or liquid soap to standing water to prevent mosquito larvae from hatching.
Take the right precautions and stay healthy all summer long. The warm weather comes around just once a year, enjoy it!
(Image courtesy of Angelika Levshakova)