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Not Just a Nuisance

Pharmacy

Camping, biking, grilling, hiking, swimming and ball games, spending time outdoors is what summer is all about. And as sure as the summer day is long, ticks and mosquitos pop up to ruin your fun. Of course you want to prevent bug bites, but did you know it could also be beneficial to your health to do so? Illnesses from mosquito, tick and flea bites have tripled in the U.S. in the last 13 years.

Diseases

Zika, West Nile, Lyme, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever are just a few of the growing list of illnesses caused by the bite of an infected mosquito, tick or flea. Widespread and difficult to control, diseases from mosquito, tick, and flea bites are major causes of sickness and death worldwide and even here in the U.S. Almost 50,000 people per year are diagnosed with such illnesses.

Prevention

There are many ways to prevent mosquito and tick bites. When outside, spray insect repellent on your skin and clothing, wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and socks to cover your skin, and keep your yard and deck free of mosquitos with citronella candles and other products available from Lewis. Once inside, check everyone for ticks, take a shower within 2 hours to help wash ticks away, and put dry clothes in the dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill any ticks you may have missed.

Treatment

Fortunately, most mosquito and tick bites are harmless. But, you should still treat them to prevent irritation and infections. For mosquito bites, use calamine lotion or nonprescription hydrocortisone cream on the bite to help ease the itch. For stronger reactions, a nonprescription antihistamine may be needed. For tick bites, use a tweezers to grasp the tick as close to your skin as possible and gently pull out the tick using a slow and steady upward motion. Avoid twisting or squeezing the tick. Don't handle the tick with your bare hands. After the tick has been removed, wash your hands and the bite site with warm water and soap, rubbing alcohol, or an iodine scrub.

Have a safe and fun summer! And remember, Lewis is your first stop for treatments, repellents and other preventative measures for mosquito and tick bites.

If you have questions, stop by your local Lewis Pharmacy to talk to one of our experts.

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