Citronnelle, vêtements… Comment affronter les piqûres de moustiques ?

Citronnelle, vêtements… Comment affronter les piqûres de moustiques ?

Here they are again. The incessant “bzz bzz” in the middle of the night that wakes us from our sleep. With the warm weather, mosquitoes, probably the world’s most hated animal, are making a comeback. They bite us throughout the summer and leave small noticeable marks on our skin. But who are they? Are they really trying to eradicate the human species? And above all, how to deal with it? 20 minutes it tells you everything (careful, you have one there on your forearm).

Mosquito bites for dummies

If there’s one thing to remember about mosquitoes, it’s that they don’t bother us out of pettiness. If they come to our skin, it is for the sole purpose of nourishing themselves… thanks to our blood. This is called a hematophagous insect. “The creature will inject a product into our skin to make the blood more liquid, to make it easier to suck,” explains Dr. Marc Perrussel. It is this injected product, a poison, that produces the skin reaction. “It’s a hive-like reaction. The skin swells, and that causes itching”, adds the dermatologist.

Of course, the mosquito is not that hardy in all areas. It is where it is hotter that you can find it more easily. Because just like tourists, mosquitoes love the sun. “The bites become infected much more easily in these places, because the sun has an immunosuppressive function that will reduce our defenses,” warns Dr. Marc Perrussel.

Also, with the effects of global warming, mosquitoes could appear much earlier in the year. Something to scare those who say they “have sweet skin” and who will have to live with their enemies from the month of March. But according to the dermatologist, the idea that certain skin types are prime targets is a myth. “It does not depend on the sweetness of the skin, but on the smell it gives off,” compares Marc Perrussel.

However, be careful, in more tropical places, the mosquito does not stop at the simple bite. It can carry certain viruses or parasites. “Their venom can then be a vector for the transmission of a series of diseases, more or less harmful,” warns the dermatologist.

the good reflection

There is no miracle cure for arming yourself against mosquitoes, “other than covering up as much as possible,” recommends Dr. Marc Perrussel. The mosquito net remains, therefore, the best ally to protect yourself without having to sleep in a ski suit. There are still some tricks to keep pests away. Lemongrass is, for example, an excellent repellent. But for fear of also driving away humans, other plants are just as effective, such as geranium or eucalyptus.

Before you spray yourself with all kinds of flowers, know that the mosquito likes to have lunch in peace, like Stephan Eicher. “If you are in a restaurant, around a table with large tablecloths, it is better not to put your legs under them. Under the table, it will be a refuge for the mosquito, because there will be no drafts and it will be able to devour you with great pleasure”, says the dermatologist. Also forget about summer evenings on the balconies, as artificial lights attract many pests.

the false good idea

Lemon slice, vinegar, Grandma’s recipes for treating bites are full of imagination. But are they really effective? Yes, they can help, says Dr. Marc Perrussel. “They have in common to have a decongestant effect, which reduces the consequences of edema,” explains the dermatologist. But according to the latter, the best remedy is still antihistamines. “They will allow you to avoid itching”, cites the doctor who also advises disinfecting the affected area “to avoid superinfection”.

If scratching after a bite is not recommended, Marc Perrussel insists on what he calls “a spontaneous reflex”. “It’s normal with itching. You just have to find a way to stop scratching,” he recommends.

happened to them

During a stay with some friends in Corsica, Margot gets the unpleasant surprise of being bitten by a mosquito… except that the young vacationer is allergic. It wasn’t her first reaction, and certainly not her last. “It doesn’t happen to me with every bite, fortunately, it must depend on the type of mosquito,” she imagines. But the feeling is not pleasant. “My skin tightens and I feel like it swells up enormously. Then it spreads, the area widens and I feel that it is getting warmer”, recalls the vacationer.

For the toughest bites, Margot even has to take cortisone. However, this treatment is by medical prescription. And that bites cannot always be anticipated.

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