Insect-Borne Diseases and the Benefits of Using Icaridin Based Insect Repellentsby Crysta Hammond
Every year, more than 700,000 deaths occur due to diseases caused by insect bites, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Diseases like malaria and the Zika virus, for instance, present health risks both at home and abroad. There are several measures that have been developed to guard against insect-borne diseases and some of the most effective are personal prevention methods such as the use of insect repellents.
Insect repellents are often chemical formulations that are applied topically on the skin and on clothing. There are some natural insect repellents, but their effectiveness has not been determined and is currently not on the list of recommended repellents. Insect repellent sprays, lotions, or wipes contain either DEET or Icaridin as active ingredients.
However, there have been complaints about allergic reactions to DEET-based products. Thus, Icaridin-based insect repellents are preferred by users with sensitive skin. Icaridin is also recommended by Health Canada as an effective topical insect repellent.
The pertinent question though is how safe Icaridin is for use and if there are any health risks involved.
What exactly is Icaridin?
Interestingly, Icaridin does not kill insects, rather it repels them by blocking them from sensing their prey. So a person that uses a spray, lotion or wipes with Icaridin is protected from insect bites for up to 10-12 hours.
Insect repellents with Icaridin are highly effective and also quite beneficial to users. However, it is necessary to carefully examine the possible health risks before delving into the many benefits.
Are there any health risks when using insect repellents with Icaridin?
Considering the fact that Icaridin is a chemical, it is natural to wonder if there are any risks for users. In general, exposure to large amounts of any man-made chemicals usually causes mild to severe effects.
However, a number of studies have found that moderate exposure to Icaridin does not have any health risks. Naturally, there might be exceptions to this, but an insect repellent like TotalSTOP is specially formulated to be gentle on the skin. When sprayed on clothes or applied to the skin, the insect repellent is delicate and does not cause any irritation.
Again, a human health risk assessment for exposure to DEET and Icaridin found that when exposed to large amounts of Icaridin, there were “no signs of behavioural or pathological anatomical neurotoxicity.”
It is pertinent to note that this substance is so gentle on the skin that the Canadian Paediatric Society recommends Icaridin-based insect repellents for children from ages six months and older.
Benefits of using Icaridin based insect repellent
Insect repellents have served as excellent preventive measures against diseases spread by vectors and other insects. Icaridin has been the preferred option in Europe and recently, in North America. DEET-based insect repellents were the go-to option for several years, but some users experienced side effects such as skin irritation, seizures, low blood pressure, agitation and poor coordination.
These effects have made many users wary of using DEET-based insect sprays. Sprays that have Icaridin as the main ingredient, however, show none of the negative effects associated with DEET.
Insect repellent sprays that contain Icaridin are highly effective, giving up to 12 hours of protection against mosquito and tick bites. Such sprays are efficacious in preventing diseases such as malaria, the Zika virus and Lyme disease. They also give up to 10 hours of protection against black flies.
It means that people who live in or travel to areas that are heavily populated by these insects can enjoy a high level of protection. No more swatting or discomfort from insect bites which significantly reduces the risk of getting insect-borne diseases.
Another benefit of Icaridin-based repellents is how gentle they are on the skin. People with sensitive skin can now use insect repellents without fear of skin reaction. Icaridin is fragrance-free, odourless and non-toxic, making it ideal for those with allergies.
Because of how gentle such sprays are, Icaridin is safe enough to be used on expectant mothers and children as young as six months. It is not advised to apply Icaridin to children younger than six months. Further, when used on textiles and other materials, Icaridin does not cause damage.
Thus, insect repellents with Icaridin as the active ingredient are safe for use across different ages and subgroups. With no known health risks, these insect repellents are recommended for topical use. The Committee to Advise on Tropical Medicine and Travel (CATMAT) approves the use of Icaridin for travellers, particularly in an endemic setting.
In Summary, There are no health risks associated with the use of Icaridin-based products. It is safe to use even on infants as young as six months old. It is non-toxic and does not cause allergic reactions in users.
TotalSTOP is a DEET-free insect repellent utilizing Icaridin as an active ingredient. Icaridin is recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), the CDC, and is EPA-Registered. It provides long-lasting, 12-hour protection from all kinds of ticks and mosquitos and 10-hour protection from black flies.
Icaridin is approved for use in 40+ countries, and TotalSTOP is perfect for the whole family including individuals with skin sensitivities, children that are 6+ months, pregnant, and nursing mothers!