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How to Get Through a Louisiana Bug Season

How to Get Through a Louisiana Bug Season

Bug season is in full swing in Louisiana, which consistently ranks as one of the worst states for mosquitoes. The pesky bugs are more than just irritating – they can carry disease-causing viruses like Zika and West Nile.

Many of us are familiar with the tried and true prevention methods, like avoiding scented skin products, eliminating standing water, covering up if outside when mosquitos are out, and using insect repellent. But inevitably in the South, you’ll still manage to get a few!

Bug bites typically result in a red, swollen spot and can be very itchy.

Here are the top tips to handle them:

  • Avoid scratching.
  • Use cold compresses, not heat. Heat makes it itchier!
  • Avoid using rubbing alcohol on the bite to help with the itch (or Windex or anything else that has a lot of solvents in it). These only temporarily take care of the itch but many people get skin irritation/more itch afterwards.
  • Consider an over-the-counter hydrocortisone product if needed, being careful to follow the label instructions.
  • If you have intense bug bite reactions, your doctor may need to evaluate you or may recommend an oral over-the-counter medication or prescription.

Fortunately, many people can handle most bites on their own with these tips. But if these tips don't do the trick, ask your doctor for help.

After a bite, be on the lookout for any skin infections or any viral-type symptoms. Sometimes people have an adverse reaction or develop hives. If you develop a rash or feel ill, notify your doctor. And lastly, any mouth or throat swelling requires calling 911 or going immediately to your local emergency room.

Azeen Sadeghian, MD, FAAD
Baton Rouge General Physicians - Dermatology 
(225) 333-3614