July 19, 2024

Mosquito repellent lotions used to prevent mosquito bites are not meant to be used for the entire body, the Food and Drug Administration clarified.
As opposed to cosmetic lotions, mosquito repellent lotions are to be applied only on the exposed part of the skin.
The FDA said mosquito repellent lotions are not intended to be a moisturizing lotion so it has to be used sparingly and should not be applied excessively on all parts of the body.
Mosquito repellents, such as lotions, sprays, patches, and coils are health products under the category Household Urban Pesticides (HUP), which is being regulated by the FDA.
When buying mosquito repellent lotion or products meant to be placed on the skin, the FDA has advised buyers to do a skin test before using to prevent allergic reactions. In case of itching, swelling, and occurrence of rashes, wash away the product with soap and water and consult a doctor if adverse reaction persists.
Also, the product should not be used on open wounds or irritated skin to prevent increased absorption.
Adverse reactions include eye and skin irritation, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, and vomiting.
FDA said while FDA-approved mosquito repellent products are generally proven safe for use, these still contain active ingredients that can be hazardous to health when mishandled.
Children should not be allowed to handle mosquito repellent products. To reduce the risk of getting the product on children’s hands and mouths, the FDA said adults should put the product on their hands first before applying it onto the children’s exposed skin. After application, wash hands to avoid accidental exposure to eyes or ingestion.
For spray mosquito repellents, the FDA said these should not be sprayed in enclosed areas or anywhere near food to avoid inhalation or ingestion.
If the product contains a warning on flammability, do not use it near open flames.
To ensure a product is registered with the FDA, buyers are advised to check for the HSR number, on the front and back of the packaging label.
Registered HUPs has a four digit HSR number. It indicates the FDA has reviewed and approved the human safety and efficacy data of a mosquito repellent product.
The FDA also reiterated mosquito repellent products only supplement other means to minimize mosquito bites.
To be safe from mosquito bites, the FDA said breeding sites have to be eliminated, observe the 4 o’clock habit, and dress with care by wearing long sleeved shirts and pants, if possible. – Rimaliza A. Opina