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Tips to avoid itchy incidents this holiday weekend

While many will be outside, it's important to remember to avoid bugs and poisonous plants native to SC.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — This weekend many will hit the lake, the pool or the outdoors for Memorial Day Weekend. 

Dr. Kevin Via is a family physician with Prisma Health who has a few tips to stay safe from bugs and poison ivy while out and about. 

“Obviously, as the weather gets warmer, bugs become more prevalent, especially mosquitos. That’s what you think about most often when you think about bug bites," Dr. Via says. "They do make bug sprays, they work well. You probably want to get one that has low or no deet in it, that is generally the safer choice.”

Dr. Via also says to wear long sleeves or long pants when outdoors, since that can help deter bugs from landing on you. 

Something else to look out for is poison ivy. 

“Poison ivy can be difficult to identify," Dr. Via says, "remember it is a vine so it's going to be a crawling type of growth. A lot of times it can go up tree trunks or just along the ground.”

Dr. Via says poison ivy usually has three leaves, "a good rule of thumb is to try and avoid brush areas or things that look overgrown.”

Both the rash from poison ivy and bug bites can be treated with an over-the-counter lotion or cream or even Benedryl.

Dr. Via says, “With that in mind, on the lake, if you’re on the boat, obviously there’s not quite as much exposure there but on the shoreline and what not use bug spray, keep an eye out for any stagnant water if you can wear longer sleeves that can help minimize the bug biting as much, keep an eye out for poison ivy the vines growing on the ground with leaves of three and just stay away from those types of things, but still have fun right?”

Dr. Via says if poison ivy gets is on your face or comes in contact with your face, it could impact your breathing seek medical attention.

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