Insects are part of daily life in Cyprus, but photos of a child covered in a rash attributed to insect bites after swimming at Ladies Mile went viral yesterday, prompting an online discussion on what caused the problem and how it can be avoided,
Active Radio contacted dermatologist Dr Constantinos Symeonides for some simple advice on what precautions can be taken.
He said that the high temperatures in Cyprus facilitate the reproduction of insects whose bites may lead to skin problems. In extreme cases of allergic shock, the repercussions could even be fatal, he warned.
He advised the public to use insect repellent and to avoid public spaces where there is a lot of litter or stagnant water.
It is recommended that children wear long sleeve, light coloured clothes, since insects usually bite the limbs, while another good protection is to avoid consuming large quantities of sugar or sweets, since glucose in the blood attracts insects.
He said that however itchy, bites should not be scratched nor boils burst as it could lead to infection. In the event that the skin problem develops into intense itching, red blotches and boils, those affected should visit a dermatologist.
One first step to relieve the discomfort from an insect bite is to bathe the affected area with cold water or place a cold compress on it. People who know that they are allergic should visit their doctor immediately.