Warmer weather is a great excuse to spend more time outside, and things like gardening, hiking, or playing in the backyard with the family are all fantastic ways to spend a day! But, with warmer weather comes more insects. Some are beneficial, like spiders and bees. Others, like ticks, can be downright dangerous.
Ticks can cause a variety of health issues, including Lyme Disease. Unfortunately, they’re not always easy to spot until they’re on you and starting to burrow.
If you’re bit by a tick, it’s important to take action as quickly as possible.
The most important thing to do if you see a tick anywhere on your body is to remove it immediately.
Unfortunately, that can be easier said than done if it’s started to burrow. You shouldn’t just attempt to pull it off with your fingers, as that could separate the head from the body and the tick could continue to burrow and bite.
Instead, use tweezers to grasp the tick, getting as close to your skin as possible.
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Use a direct upward motion to remove the tick from your skin, and try not to twist or squeeze the insect in the process.
Once the tick is removed, make sure it’s “trapped” before you throw it away. Consider securing it with a piece of tape to make sure it doesn’t get away. Make sure to wash your hands when you’re done!
It’s also a good rule of thumb to take a picture of the tick that you can share with your healthcare provider in case you start to experience adverse symptoms.
Speaking of symptoms, if you start to experience a rash, flu-like symptoms, or you think the area of the bite is infected, don’t hesitate to go to your doctor. Additionally, if you think you were bitten by a deer tick, don’t wait for symptoms to start showing up before you see a doctor.
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Finally, if you aren’t able to completely remove the tick and a piece of the head is still burrowed into your skin, get medical help as soon as possible. The longer a tick stays attached to you, the more at risk you can be of getting sick.
Because ticks are often hard to spot in nature, you might not be able to avoid them completely. But, if one does bite you, taking action quickly and contacting your doctor if you’re worried is the best way to go.