Mosquito Repellents

This week I found not only my PJs but also my pillow had become home to mosquitoes. Not the nicest thing to find when your head hits the pillow it has to be said.

Being someone mosquitoes love to snack on and knowing that bites and stings are a lymphoedema risk, it seems it is that time of year again when I need to find ways to keep the little buggers away from me.

citronella-candleHere a few things I know work and a few new ones that are worth a try:

  1. On my affected arm swap the E45 and Argan oil combo to Avon – Skin so Soft, which contains citronella.
  2. Get out the citronella tealights and start using those instead of my regular scented candles.
  3. Get some more lavender, rosemary, lemon grass and marigolds planted up in the garden.
  4. When opening windows in my bedroom remember to use the fly screens too.
  5. Cook with garlic more.
  6. Get out my mosquito swatter just in case.
  7. Make sure there’s no standing water inside or out.
  8. Cook with soy bean oil.
  9. Cut down or cut out perfumed products, especially when going outside.
  10. Wear long sleeved, light coloured tops with a tight weave.
  11. Avoid excessive exercise particularly at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are out. Sweat, carbon dioxide and warmer body temperatures are also very attractive to them.

(Source: Amelia Island Mosquito Control)

Medicine Cabinet

cabinetAs with the pocket first aid kit, finding a medicine cabinet for the house, which looked nice but could also hold a whole host of bits and pieces took quite a while. In the end I found this one from The Holding Company.

It’s white-painted metal with a chrome handle and can be fitted to the wall vertically, horizontally, with the door opening on the left, right or from above. It doesn’t have a lock though so I’ve put it quite high up on the wall out of the reach of little hands.

I have to say it looks really cool and it’s just the right size for everything I need to keep to close to hand, without looking too imposing.

Argan Oil

argan oilHere’s one for my shopping list today: Argan Oil. It was my breast care nurse who first mentioned it to me as something that could help with the healing of scar tissue.

The benefits of Argan Oil:

The active substances called triterpenoids that occur in Argan Oil offer amazing skin protection benefits. These include tissue healing (scars), anti-inflammatory, sun-protective and disinfectant properties.

The oil contains 80% unsaturated fatty acids and is more resistant to oxidation than olive oil. Argan oil also contains 0.8% unsaponifiables (a large group of compounds also known as plant sterols or sterolins). Sterolins improve skin metabolism, reduce inflammation and promote excellent moisture retention.

It is helpful for lowering cholesterol levels, stimulating circulation and strengthening the body`s natural immunity.

Source: Natural News

How to use Argan Oil on the body?

You can use Argan oil alone or in combination with your favorite body lotion by adding a few drops to each application.

  • After a bath or a shower, rub a 1-2 drops in your palms to warm the oil up
  • Apply to damp, still moist skin
  • Apply Argan oil to entire body including feet and hands
  • Gently massage until absorbed
  • Enjoy your smooth soft skin!

Source: Argana Vita

Suntan Lotion

So the advice is to protect our skin, and that includes making sure we don’t get sun burnt. Breast Cancer Care UK recommend we use a sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or above, and say we need to remember to apply it even under our clothes as it’s possible to become sun burnt through certain clothing.


Source: Breast Cancer Care UK

I have bought and tried both Nivea Sun Screen (SPF) 15 and Riemann P20. Out of the two I prefer Nivea, (which seems to be more readily available anyway) as the spray bottles make application much easier. The Riemann one is incredibly runny and can stain things yellow if you’re a bit too liberal with it. Despite that, Riemann P20 does claim to offer 10 hours of protection with just one application which lets face it, can be pretty useful.

Skin Deep

It’s important to look after our skin and to keep it supple and moisturised so that it can protect us by healing quickly from any cuts or bites. With that in mind, here are a few lotions and oils that work for me:

Avon – Skin so Soft
This oil helps to soften your skin and doesn’t leave any marks or smudges on your clothes. It’s best applied after a bath or shower when your skin is slightly damp to lock in the moisture, and because it contains citronella, it also helps to repel insects, which is a bonus.

Doublebase Gel
Recommended by my Lymphatic Masseuse as a non greasy, hydrating gel, Doublebase Gel is also great as a regular moisturiser. Simply apply it sparingly before and/or after washing.

Tip: Buy a smaller pocket sized tube and decant the gel from the larger pump version so you can have some with you wherever you are.e45-lotion

E45 Lotion
Used by many of my friends for different reasons, E45 is a light and unperfumed lotion which can be used all over the body. It’s easily absorbed and is perfect for sensitive skin. This is the one I use more than any other. It doesn’t cost a lot, it’s readily available, the pump makes it easy to use and it locks in moisture all day too.

Bio Oil
I bought Bio-Oil on the recommendation of my breast care nurse for use on my scars once they had completely healed. Whilst waiting for the scars to heal I decided to use it on my face, after removing my make-up and before I go to bed (as I’ve read that is also great for evening out skin tone). You don’t need to use a lot so apply it sparingly, rub it in well and wipe off any excess with a tissue.

See: LSN (Lymphoedema Support Network) Skin Care Advice