If you are like us, you are spending much more time outside at this point in the year. The warm weather, sunny days and family events make it so easy to enjoy the outdoors! We would also bet that you have found at least one tick on yourself or family member already this year.
Tick season is in full swing right now, so being aware of your surroundings and your skin is crucial. While not all ticks are dangerous, you still want to move quickly if you discover one on your body.
Our AFC Urgent Care Indian Trail team explains below how to remove ticks and why it is important to keep an eye on how you feel afterward.
How Do You Know if a Tick Is Carrying Lyme Disease?
Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing immediately if the tick that bit you was carrying Lyme disease. The good news is that the majority of tick bites are just a nuisance and don’t pose a health risk to you. You can simply remove the tick, and the redness and irritation will go away in a few days.
However, you do still want to act quickly because if the tick is carrying the disease, it needs to be attached to you for at least 36 hours in order to transmit it to you. So the faster you work, the lower your risk of getting sick will be!
How to Remove a Tick Safely
- Use a clean tweezers and pull slowly and steadily away from the skin.
- Do not twist as you pull.
- Take a picture of the tick.
- Dispose in the garbage in a piece of tape or flush down the toilet.
- Wash your hands and the bite site thoroughly.
Will I Know if I Have Lyme Disease?
Not immediately. Once you have removed the tick, wash the area thoroughly and try not to stress about it. Chances are that you will be just fine! Lyme disease takes three to 30 days to produce symptoms, so keep an eye on how you feel over the course of the following month.
Body aches and chills, a fever, a headache, and that classic bulls-eye rash around the bite site are all common symptoms of Lyme disease. If these signs appear, it’s time to visit with a doctor so you can get the treatment you need quickly.
Signs a Doctor’s Visit Is Recommended
- You can’t remove the entire tick on your own
- Your rash gets bigger or looks like a bulls-eye
- Flu-like symptoms appear
- Signs of infection appear, like pus or redness and swelling
If you are ever worried about an animal or insect bite, come see us at AFC Urgent Care Indian Trail.