“I got bitten by a deer tick. Does this mean I have Lyme disease?” is a common question we get asked all the time.
The truth is, some of us may get bitten by a deer tick this season. After all, we live in Massachusetts, it’s a prime location for deer ticks to breed and latch onto you. But if we don’t remove it in time, there is a risk of contracting Lyme disease.
As the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, many people look forward to spending time outdoors. If you happen to have gotten bit by a deer tick, or you’re trying to figure out how to stay “tick free” when going on a hike or a walk in your backyard, AFC in Marlborough has laid out the information you need to know about deer ticks, removals, and how to stay safe outdoors.
Understanding the Dangers of Deer Ticks
Deer ticks are commonly found in wooded areas and grassy plains, making them a common threat for people who spend time outdoors. While not all ticks carry Lyme disease, deer ticks are notorious for spreading this serious illness. If a deer tick latches onto you for more than 36-48 hours, you may be at risk of contracting Lyme disease, which can cause joint pain, fatigue, a target-shaped rash, and low-grade fevers or chills.
Removing the Tick Safely and Effectively
If you have been bitten by a deer tick, the first step you should take is to remove the tick from your skin as soon as possible. The CDC recommends using fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to your skin as possible. Gently but firmly pull backwards, using even pressure. Avoid twisting or jerking the tick, as this can cause the mouthparts to break off and remain in your skin. After removing the tick, wash the bite area thoroughly with soap and water.
Preventing Future Tick Bites
To reduce your risk of getting bitten by a deer tick or other tick species, it is important to take certain precautions when spending time outdoors. Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants, use insect repellent that contains at least 20% DEET, and avoid walking in areas with tall grass or leaf litter. After spending time outdoors, perform a full-body tick check to ensure that no ticks have attached themselves to your skin.
Deer ticks can be a serious threat to your health, but taking prompt action after a tick bite can help to reduce your risk of developing Lyme disease. If you have been bitten by a deer tick, be sure to remove it safely and seek medical attention if necessary. By taking preventive measures and being vigilant about tick checks, you can enjoy the great outdoors without fear of tick-borne illnesses.
AFC Urgent Care Marlborough Can Remove Your Deer Tick For You!
If you are uncomfortable removing the tick on your own, or if you notice any symptoms of Lyme disease after the bite, it is important to seek medical attention promptly. AFC Urgent Care Marlborough is your go-to urgent care center for tick bites, and we are open seven days a week for walk-ins. Our medical professionals can remove the tick safely and evaluate the bite wound to determine if further treatment is necessary.
No appointments are needed, but if you prefer an easy way to check-in, it’s just a few clicks on our website. Along with our online scheduling, we also have an online check out, where you can pay for your bill, too.