Using insect repellents can help you avoid tick bites and greatly
reduce your risk of
Lyme disease. Follow these guidelines when choosing
and applying insect repellent:
Choose products containing DEET
(diethyltoluamide), a powerful chemical that may help repel ticks. Products are
available that contain various concentrations of DEET.
Lower concentrations are fine if your risk of
exposure to ticks is low.
Higher concentrations should be used if
you will be in an area known to be infested with ticks.
the concentration of DEET, the longer you will be protected.
concentrations can sometimes be harmful (toxic), especially to infants and
Follow product directions
Apply repellent only to areas of skin that are not
covered by clothing.
When applying repellent to the area around
the eyes and mouth, put a little bit of the product on your hand and then rub
it on your skin.
Higher concentrations of DEET can in rare cases be
harmful. Do not put DEET on small children's hands, as they are likely to put
their hands in their mouths.
Do not spray repellents directly onto
your face, and avoid getting them in your mouth and eyes.
After returning indoors, wash treated skin with
soap and water. This is especially important if you have reapplied tick
repellent several times or if you have used it for several days in a
Repellents are safer, especially for children and pregnant
women, when applied on clothes, not skin.
In some states, insect
repellents containing permethrin, a strong chemical that kills ticks on
contact, are available. Permethrin can be put on clothes (especially pants,
socks, and shoes) before exposure to ticks occurs. Avoid putting products
containing permethrin on your skin.
Primary Medical Reviewer
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Christine Hahn, MD - Epidemiology
August 31, 2010
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
August 31, 2010
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this