I Was Bitten by a Deer Tick: What's My Risk of Lyme Disease?

April 14, 2024

Tick awareness session at AFC Urgent Care Marlborough

"I got bitten by a deer tick. Am I now at risk for Lyme disease?"

It's a question we often hear, especially as the warmer weather draws us outdoors here in Massachusetts, where deer ticks thrive. While not every bite leads to Lyme disease, the risk is there if the tick remains attached for an extended period.

As spring brings longer days and outdoor adventures, it's essential to be aware of the dangers posed by deer ticks. AFC Urgent Care Marlborough understands the concerns surrounding tick bites and has compiled essential information on deer ticks, removal methods, and outdoor safety to keep you informed and protected.

Understanding the Threat of Deer Ticks

Deer ticks are prevalent in wooded areas and grassy fields, making them a common concern for outdoor enthusiasts. While not every tick carries Lyme disease, deer ticks are notorious carriers of this illness. If a deer tick remains attached for more than 36-48 hours, the risk of contracting Lyme disease increases. Symptoms can include joint pain, fatigue, a distinct rash, and low-grade fevers or chills.

Safe and Effective Tick Removal

If you find a deer tick attached to your skin, prompt removal is crucial. The CDC recommends using fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible. Pull back gently and steadily, avoiding twisting or jerking, which could leave mouthparts embedded in the skin. After removal, thoroughly cleanse the bite area with soap and water.

Preventing Future Bites

To minimize your risk of tick bites, take precautions when spending time outdoors. Wear long sleeves and pants, use insect repellent containing at least 20% DEET, and avoid areas with tall grass or leaf litter. After outdoor activities, conduct a thorough tick check to ensure none have attached to your skin.

AFC Urgent Care Marlborough: Your Partner in Tick Removal

If you're uncomfortable removing a tick yourself or experience symptoms of Lyme disease after a bite, seek medical attention promptly. AFC Urgent Care Marlborough is your local resource for tick bites, open seven days a week for walk-ins. Our medical team can safely remove the tick and assess the bite for further treatment if necessary.

No appointments are necessary, but if you prefer a streamlined experience, we accept most insurances and offer online scheduling for easy check-in. Plus, we offer an easy check out as well, with our online payment system. 

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