Am I At Risk For Lyme Disease? I Spy A Little Deer Tick On You!

May 5, 2022

Deer tick on a leaf. AFC Urgent Care Dedham explains the dangers of deer ticks and the risks of Lyme disease

I spy with my little eye a small black legged deer tick on the back of your knee! Am I at risk for Lyme disease? Let’s find out together. AFC Urgent Care Dedham is currently seeing patients coming in for tick bites and lab work to determine if they have Lyme disease or not. Deer ticks are the ones that carry Lyme disease and they’re in abundance this time of year in the Massachusetts area. 

If you’re planning on going on a hike or spending time outdoors, it’s time to consider tick checks, and prevention tips so you can avoid getting Lyme disease in the warmer months. Here’s what you should know.

How Would I Know If I Have Lyme Disease?

Since deer ticks are very tiny and hard to spot, it can often lead to someone getting Lyme disease if left undetected. If a deer tick is latched onto you for over 36-48 hours, your risk for developing Lyme goes up. Symptoms of Lyme disease will start to develop days, sometimes weeks after being bitten. Usually you’ll notice a red rash on the bite wound in the shape of a bullseye and some itching. But the real symptoms to worry about later on are:

  • fatigue
  • joint aches and pains
  • a target shaped rash
  • low-grade fevers or chills

Lyme disease is treatable with a course of antibiotics. The sooner you treat it, the less likely you’ll develop chronic Lyme or long term effects on the joints and nervous system.

If You Spot A Deer Tick On You, Get It Removed Right Away!

Finding a deer tick in time will save you from getting Lyme. But, is it an easy process to do? Tick removal may sound easy, but because of the shape of a tick's mouth it can be hard to remove because their teeth are practically “fish hooks” that sink deep into you. 

You should follow this tick removal technique by The CDC to ensure you’re extracting it correctly: 

  • Using fine tipped tweezers, grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible.
  • Gently pull the tick in a steady, upward motion. This may take a few attempts as you want to avoid ripping the tick out.
  • Wash the area with a disinfectant immediately.
  • When trying to remove the tick:
    • DO NOT touch the tick with your bare hands.
    • DO NOT squeeze the body of the tick as this may increase your risk of infection.
    • DO NOT put alcohol, nail polish remover or Vaseline on the tick.
    • DO NOT put a hot match or cigarette on the tick in an effort to make it “back out.”
    • DO NOT use your fingers to remove the tick.

Can’t Remove Your Deer Tick? AFC Urgent Care Dedham Can Do It For You!

If you’re uncomfortable or still unsure on how to remove a tick, AFC urgent Care Dedham can do it for you!

With no appointment needed you can walk-in to AFC Urgent Care Dedham for tick bites and removals any day of the week. Our staff is medically trained to remove ticks and also assess tick bites. We highly suggest coming in within the first 24 hours to get the tick removed as soon as possible.

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