What Happens when you’re Bit by a Tick?

Tick bites are a common thing that normally isn’t a big deal as long as you know proper tick bite first-aid. Ticks are more common in some regions of the US, and those who spend more time outdoors are more prone to tick bites. After a hike, camping trip, hunting, or other outdoor adventure, you should always check your body for ticks. A tick that’s not found quickly after biting can lead to infection and other health conditions. If you find a tick, don’t panic!

Visit AFC Urgent Care North Andover for tick removal and Lyme disease tests. Our providers can help determine if you will need treatment for Lyme disease in the future.

Removing the Tick

When you find a tick, don’t attempt to remove it with your hand. Get a pair of tweezers and pull the tick off by grasping it as close to your skin as possible. Try not to twist or squeeze too hard, just pull in an upward motion. Save the tick in a small container after removal in case further testing is needed. It’s not recommended to use heat or chemicals to remove a tick from your skin, despite popular old wives’ tales. Wash your hands and the bite area thoroughly with soap and water after removal.

When to See a Doctor

You should visit AFC North Andover right away if you’re unable to remove the tick entirely at home. If a tick has been on you for a while, it may be harder to remove and require the help of a doctor. If the site of a tick bite begins to feel hot or show signs of infection, you should visit a doctor right away. Lyme disease is a type of disease that certain ticks carry. If you were bit by a tick with Lyme disease, you’ll need prescription antibiotics.

Early Symptoms of Lyme Disease

Symptoms of Lyme disease typically begin 3-30 days after being bit. Early symptoms may include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Joint pain
  • A rash that forms around the bite
  • Headache
  • Redness around the bite

A rash from Lyme disease doesn’t look the same for everyone, but it typically forms in a circular shape and may resemble a bullseye with the bite in the middle. Tick bites aren’t itchy either. If a doctor suspects you have Lyme disease, they can order blood testing to check for antibodies in your blood and send the tick to be tested, too, if you were able to save it in a container.


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Our mission is to provide the best healthcare possible in a kind and caring environment, in an economical manner, while respecting the rights of all of our patients, at times and locations convenient to the patient.

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