The travel international entail, in if same, certain risks in health, that will depend on both of the traveller as of the type of trip to perform. Travelers can find with sudden and significant changes in altitude, humidity, temperature, etc., which adds a potential exposure to various infectious diseases.
One of the most important risks in travelers to certain areas are those that involve insects transmitters of disease (referred to as “Vectors”), notably the mosquito, the insect vector diseases severe and frequent in the tropics and subtropics.
Mosquitoes are the most important vectors of diseases, but are not, at all, alone. There are diseases that are spread by flies bite, tick, fleas, lice and bedbugs, but in general they are less frequent and more localized diseases geographically.
There are various measures of protection (see the section “Insect TRANSMITTERS of disease”), which include the correct information, avoiding travel to areas of outbreaks or epidemics active, wearing proper clothing, protected accommodation choice, the use of mosquito nets, the use of insecticides and use repellents on exposed skin.
Repellents are chemical compounds which, applied on the skin, interfere the chemical receptors of insects and prevent that they focus on skin for the sting. These products act only when the arthropod is located within walking distance of its goal, i.e., within walking distance of the skin.
Different species of insects or other arthropods react differently to the same repellent. The effectiveness of the repellent basically depends on its concentration and the rate and uniformity of application. Thus, abrasion of the clothing, the absorption capacity of the skin, bath or washing of the skin with water (including the water of rain) and high temperature environments (each 10 ° C temperature decreases by 50% the time protection) are factors that decrease the effectiveness of these products.
It is important to know that, in general, higher concentrations of active ingredient provide longer duration of protection regardless of the active ingredient, although concentrations above 50% will no longer offer a marked increase at the time of protection and that products with less than 10% of active ingredient may offer limited protection, often 1-2 hours.
Correct application: There are repellents in the form of liquids, lotions, waxes strong (bar type), creams, foams, soaps and impregnated wipes Repellents can also be applied to exposed skin or first applied on hands and then rubbed on the skin. Is should avoid the contact with mucous and not must be sprayed directly in her face or applied on eyelids or lips.
The palms of the hands should be washed after applying repellent. They should not apply in sensitive skin, damaged or burned by the Sun or in deep folds of skin. In general, repellents should be used in strict accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, without exceeding the dosage, especially in young children.
Products that combine solar and repellent protection because the instructions for the use of each of them are different are not recommended (most of the time the insect repellent does not need to be renewed as frequently as the sunscreen) and there are studies that show the possible interaction between both products, specifically increasing the systemic absorption of DEET when used combined with Sun protection. In general, the recommendation is applying protective solar in first place, and then, last 20 minutes, apply the repellent.
There are many products (repellents and other systems) sold also as safe, natural and effective to reduce the risk of bites of arthropods. However, different sources show these products as lacking sufficient scientific basis to recommend them or there is even one sufficient scientific basis to indicate the lack of utility of the product.
These products include various essential oils, electronic devices (ultrasonic), wrist, and ankle socks impregnated with repellents (either for human or animal use), electrocutadores devices, traps mosquitoes by smell and take by mouth of vitamin B1 or the ingestion of garlic. Since they have not been subjected to real evidence of effectiveness against insect vectors of diseases, travellers should consider them, in the best cases, third line or support measures.
1. DEET (N, N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide) is widely used in the world’s population repellent. It is effective for the majority of insects/arthropods.
2. Picaridin / Icaridin is another repellent of insects of broad use and effective also to repel many types of insects / arthropods.
3. other repellents topical use of proven, although with a less scientific knowledge about them are those based on IR-3535, pyrethrin, citridiol and citronelae. Repellents that can be advised also, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions, but available data for efficacy and safety are minor.