Ticks are parasites that live outside of the body and feed on blood. They are typically found in grassy wooded areas. Ticks prefer to live in warm and humid environments. They transmit infections into other living creatures as well as humans of at least 12 types. The risk of developing an illness related to tick bites depends on
- The type of tick. Investigate what ticks are in your area.
- The time of the year
- How long it was attached. Ticks should be removed quickly to prevent illness’s associated with tick bites.
- Geographic location
Removing a tick
Use very fine tweezers, and grab the tick close to the skin and the ticks head. Do not grab the tick by its body. Pull gently upward until the tick releases itself. Avoid twisting and squeezing, as you want to prevent the head from coming off the body of the tick. This can cause germs to enter your body and result in illness. Once removed, wash the bite site with soap and water, and apply an antibacterial ointment or cream to prevent skin infection.
Do not try to remove tick with matches, petroleum jelly, or finger nail police. They will not remove the tick and may increase chance of fluids entering your body.
An evaluation between 2-4 hours is recommended if a sudden onset of hives, rash, itching or swelling occurs in areas outside of the original tick bite or if there has been a history of allergic reactions to tick bites in the past. An evaluation within 24 hours is recommended if you are unable or unwilling to remove the tick, and the tick head imbedded in the skin, redness, pain, swelling, drainage or heat at the tick site (may be a sign of infection), or rash or flulike symptoms develop 2-4 weeks after a tick bite.
See future articles for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Lyme’s Disease!