How to Remove a Tick

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Once the tick has been removed, it is very important to wash the affected area with soap and warm water immediately. Even though the tick is gone, washing up this way can prevent skin infections.

If not found and removed, a tick will feed until engorgement and eventually drop off … Many physicians can tell tales of the ill child whom they found an engorged tick on that had been attached and feeding for several days found in hidden areas.
-Dr. Ericka Hayes

Skin infections cause warm, painful, red swelling that can be accompanied by fever and chills. Red streaking from the infection area is common, as well as draining pus. Applying an antibiotic ointment, such as Polysporin, to the bite site greatly reduces the chance of developing an infection.

It is important to remove ticks as soon as possible because the longer they stay on their host, the likelier it is they will transmit infection. In order to transmit illness, a tick must be attached for several hours.

“This has been most well studied in Lyme disease, and data shows attachment and feeding are likely needed for at least 12 hours so that the tick is engorged and has transmitted the infection,” said Dr. Hayes.

Symptoms of Tick Borne Illnesses

Depending upon which type of tick bites your child, reactions can vary significantly.  “Presentation for tick borne illness can be tricky, as it is often non-specific and mimics viral infections,” explained Dr. Hayes. “Presenting symptoms often include fever, body aces, headache, fatigue and general malaise.”

  • 80-90% of people with Lyme disease develop a classic bull’s eye rash, usually 8-14 days after exposure. Lyme disease can produce neurological and arthritic symptoms as well.
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) is characterized by small, flat, pink non-itchy spots on ankles, forearms, and wrists.
  •  Tularemia invokes skin ulcers and regional enlargement of lymph nodes draining the area of the tick bite such as groin, armpit, and neck/scalp.

Also, not everyone with tick illness recalls a tick bite and some ticks are so small they may go unnoticed. On top of that, bites are not always easily discovered. “Realize that if a tick bite is on the back, the patient may not be able to see the rash themselves,” said Dr. Hayes. Therefore, the absolute best defense, is as they say, a good offense.

Preventing Tick Bites

  • Perform diligent tick checks after outdoor exposure, including hidden areas, such as scalp, scrotum, groin, etc.
  • Apply higher percentage formulations of DEET (20% and up) on exposed skin and clothing; but never under clothing.

{ MORE:  Bug Bites and Stings }

 

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How to Remove a Tick

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5 comments

  1. LIZ says:

    omg, important information to know tnx

  2. mommy nhoj says:

    This is really scary! Thanks for the outlined tips.

  3. Namaste says:

    I look around the children after a walk in the park and woods every time..

  4. mamma says:

    UGHHHHH I despise ticks and they are so bad this year in the south.. my littlest one is 3 and seems to attract bugs like she was a jar of sugar water. I recently had to remove a cluster of ticks and I mean I removed around 20+ of the real small ones that you can barely see it looked like a speck of dirt and they were so small that I had a hard time getting them off of her. her other sisters didn’t get a single one on them. She is covered in little red bumps my poor baby.

    • Tatooed Mom says:

      If they’re coming from your yard you might consider fumigating it. I recently moved from a house that was infested with ticks in the backyard and I was always afraid of my newborn getting bitten by one if they got into the house.

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