Mosquitoes and other insects are attracted to humans because of the heat and sweat that is given off from the skin. If insects do not view your skin as being attractive, then they are more likely to leave you alone. The aim of insect repellent is to make your skin unappealing and the main way that it does this is by changing the scent of your skin. It is the odor of your skin that will first attract the attention of an insect and most repellents work by altering the odor to something that repels the insects.
Are Synthetic Or Natural Ingredients More Effective?
Studies show that synthetic ingredients tend to be more effective than natural ones when they are used in insect repellents. Look for mosquito repellent patches. DEET is the most commonly used chemical in insect repellents and this is believed to be one of the most effective ingredients that is in use today. Natural ingredients that are plant based have been shown to have some effectiveness, but not as much as synthetic ingredients. There have been some concerns about the toxicity of repellents that contain DEET but as long as it is applied infrequently then this does not pose any real danger. It is recommended that you do not apply insect repellent at the same time as sun screen as this can increase the rate at which it is absorbed into the skin.
Should Insect Repellent Be Used?
Insect bites can be a cause of discomfort and itching, but there may be more serious consequences. Some insects, particularly mosquitoes can carry diseases that are potentially life threatening. Therefore it is always a good idea to protect yourself from insect bites and insect repellent is one way to do this. Additional measures that you could take is using netting to protect yourself at night and keeping skin covered as much as possible when you are outdoors.