Preparation H to Treat Mosquito Bites
Preparation H is primarily indicated to treat hemorrhoids, but like many other topical creams, it has various other uses such as reducing bags and dark circles under the eyes, and yes—treating the occasional (and not-so-occasional) mosquito or insect bite.
The active ingredient in Preparation H is a drug called phenylephrine, an ingredient found in many cold medicines. It not only constricts blood vessels, but also reduces swelling and irritation associated with bites, mild rashes, and other minor skin conditions. Every medication of this type contains slightly different ingredients, so be sure to read the entire list carefully. If you are allergic to any one of the ingredients listed, choose another kind of mosquito bite remedy available on the market.
To use Preparation H on a mosquito bite, clean your hands and the area thoroughly, then dry with a clean towel; squeeze a small amount of the cream onto your fingertip, or a cotton swab and apply it directly to the spot. After a while, if the bite still itches, you can reapply the medicated cream; it can be used up to four times per day.
In general, Preparation H is a safe treatment for all kinds of skin ailments, but like any other drug, it must be used as directed. No side effects have been commonly reported regarding the use of this topical remedy, but in very rare cases, negative reactions could occur such as developing a severe allergy to one of the ingredients. Symptoms can include arrhythmia, headache, anxiety, shakiness, difficulty breathing and insomnia. If any of these symptoms present themselves, medical attention should be sought immediately.
- Unlike most other mosquito remedies, this particular topical cream is not recommended for children under the age of 12; therefore, it should be kept out of their reach at all times.
- Additional research is needed in order to determine whether Preparation H is safe for pregnant women or breastfeeding mothers; therefore nursing and expectant women should consult their doctors before using the remedy.
- Preparation H is for external use only and should never be ingested. If you or someone you know ingests the cream, you should call your local poison control center immediately and follow their instructions.
- Avoid contact with the eyes as the cream can cause severe eye irritation.
Talk to your Doctor or Pharmacist
Because Preparation H medicated cream can interact with other drugs, you should talk to your health care provider or pharmacist if you are considering taking it simultaneously with other medical products. Even non-prescription drugs can be dangerous when combined with Preparation H. Depending on your daily intake of pills, you may need to try another remedy to relieve the discomfort caused by mosquito bites.
Like most non-traditional mosquito bite remedies, Preparation H has a variety of different uses, making it a practical ointment to keep on-hand in your medicine cabinet. You can consider a less expensive generic brand, provided it contains the same active ingredient as the brand name.
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