Ask a doctor: “How can I prevent scarring from insect bites and poison ivy?” »

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With the arrival of summer, we spend more time outdoors, which also means a greater risk of itchy skin conditions.

Insect bites and stings are naturally more common in warm weather, which brings out more insects, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Additionally, exposure to skin-irritating plants, including poison ivy, increases during the summer months.

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As insect bites and conditions such as poison ivy become more common, the resulting itching and scratching can wreak havoc on the skin.

To help reduce the risk of scabs and scarring, Fox News Digital reached out to three doctorswho offered their best tips for beating the itch and maintaining healthy skin.

Insect bites and stings are naturally more common in warm weather, which brings out more insects, according to the National Institutes of Health. (iStock)

Here’s what you need to know.

What causes the itching?

Local skin reactions are caused by an inflammatory response to one or more substances injected by the stinging insect or secreted by the offending plant or chemical, Mark Loafman, MD, a board-certified family physician with Cook County Health, told Fox. Chicago. Digital News.

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“This reaction generally remains localized,” he said.

“But in some cases, it can spread and cause a more systemic or generalized reaction – either through our bloodstream or, as is the case with poison ivy and poison oak, inadvertently spreading the disease. substance to other areas with our hands and clothing.

What causes scars?

With insect bites or allergic reactions To poison ivy, bites and rashes themselves usually don’t cause disruption of the skin barrier, but they can cause a lot of inflammation, said Chris G. Adigun, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at Dermatology & Laser Center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

The inflammation can lead to persistent redness and pigmentation, even if the bite or rash is not scratched.

Wearing protective clothing and using insect repellents, especially in the evening, can help prevent skin irritants, experts say. (iStock)

“This discoloration will disappear over time,” she told Fox News Digital.

If the bite or poison ivy is scratched, especially to the point that the skin barrier is disrupted and causes bleeding, it causes a wound that can leave a permanent scar, the doctor warns.

Tips for Managing Itching

Once you have been bitten or notice traces of poison ivy, experts recommend administering fast processing

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