Some people seem to never get bitten by a pesky mosquito–some people, like me, can’t seem to keep them away. (Seriously, one cocktail at an outdoor bar and I become an all-you-can-drink buffet for the suckers.) First comes the light prick, then the itching, and then come the not-cute red welts.
To avoid them: Dr. Waldorf recommends a DEET bug-repellant–but not one that’s combined with sunscreen. “Sunscreen needs to be reapplied frequently, and you don’t want to use DEET more than once a day,” she advises. Dr. Waldorf likes Ben’s, Deep Woods Off, or anything with a DEET concentration of 20-30%. If you’re not fond of using DEET products, she recommends treating clothing with Permethrin (you can also buy pre-treated clothing).
If you’ve already been bitten: First, you’ll want to treat the bite. Dr. Waldorf recommends a topical cortisone cream–if you can get prescription strength, that’s best, but otherwise an over-the-counter like Cortaid 1% twice a day will work too.
It’s even better if you can combine the topical treatment with an oral anti-histamine like Zyrtec or Claritin. “The steroid reduces the inflammation and itch and the anti-histamine reduces the swelling and itch,” Dr. Waldorf says.
When it comes to covering up the spots, Guilis says that much like a “really bad acne breakout,” covering up bug bites is tricky. “You have to dry out the bite so swelling and irritation goes down,” she says. “Sometimes an ice cube on the problem area will help.”
After icing down, Guilis recommends spot covering the bite with a matte based makeup, “so it doesn’t get greasy and run.” She likes Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua foundation, Neutrogena Blemish Control Foundation, Chantecaille concealer, or Laura Mercier Concealer for the task.