Are Mosquito Repellents Safe to Use During Pregnancy?

Anti-mosquito agents are there so that mosquitoes sting less quickly. The best known is DEET. Some mosquito repellents are not suitable for children or are not recommended if you are pregnant. Nevertheless, it is sometimes better to use the means, for example in countries where dangerous diseases are transmitted by mosquitoes.

What is in mosquito repellent?

There are two types of anti-mosquito agents. Agents intended to repel mosquitoes and agents intended to combat mosquitoes.

To repel mosquitoes, you can use products that you smear or spray on your skin or clothing. There are also articles to repel mosquitoes that sometimes contain substances with a mosquito-repelling effect. Think of mosquito nets that have been treated with a chemical substance. Anti-mosquito agents to repel mosquitoes have the active ingredient DEET, citriodiol (eucalyptus citriodora oil or p-menthan-3,8-diol), icaridin or ethylbutylacetylaminopropionate (ethyl N-acetyl-n-butyl-b-alaniate).

To control mosquitoes, use products that are not intended to be sprayed on your skin. They are agents, usually aerosols, that are intended for your room or with which you can treat surfaces. There are also electric vaporizers (mosquito plugs) that secrete chemicals that fight mosquitoes. Means to fight mosquitoes usually contain pyrethroids.

Different concentrations

Anti-mosquito agents often contain different concentrations of the active substances. DEET is the best-known active ingredient in mosquito repellent and available in the Netherlands in products in concentrations of 10 to 50 percent. The higher concentrations are more effective or last longer, but you may apply them less often. High concentrations of DEET are not suitable for young children or if you are pregnant. In other countries you can sometimes buy mosquito repellent with concentrations higher than 50 percent DEET. These high concentrations do not work better, but they do lead to harmful effects on health more quickly. This can also lead to blistering of your skin. Products with icaridin contain 15 or 20 percent of the active ingredient. A concentration of 20 percent icaridin is not suitable for children under 3 years of age.

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Use of mosquito repellent during pregnancy

Products containing DEET or icaridin are often not recommended during pregnancy. Research has not yet sufficiently shown that these products are safe to use. In the Netherlands it is wise to stick to this. However, in some countries, mosquitoes transmit dangerous diseases. There, the risk for potential side effects from DEET or icaridin may not outweigh the risk of the mosquito-borne diseases. There are no studies showing that DEET is carcinogenic.

By: National Care Guide

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