What Happens if I Don’t Notice a Tick on Me Right Away?

July 1, 2023

What Happens if I Don’t Notice a Tick on Me Right Away?

Picture this: You had a wonderful weekend away at Lake Norman splashing in the water, hiking through the woods and enjoying many nights under the stars. You get home, hop in the shower and notice a tick really embedded in your skin.

Tick bites are not only kind of gross, but they actually can be dangerous in certain situations. Not every tick is infected with Lyme disease, but the risk is always there.

Our AFC Urgent Care Statesville team explains how to get a tick off of you quickly and what to do afterward, so read on to learn more.

Why Do Ticks Bite Humans?

Ticks are a part of the arachnid family and they survive by drinking the blood of warm-blooded animals, but they also will bite us if we are in the vicinity. They can drop from trees, get picked up in long grasses or brush onto your skin from a bush. Once a tick is on your body, it will start searching for a dark and warm part of your skin to latch onto.

It is important to remember that many ticks are not carrying Lyme disease, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to be vigilant. Lyme disease affects up to 30,000 Americans every year and can cause chronic side effects like fatigue and pain. If you don’t know how long it was since the tick originally bit you, removing it right away should be your main goal. Lyme disease can only be transmitted if the tick has been on your body for at least 36 hours.

Removing a Tick Entirely

  • 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 or toilet.
  • Wash your hands and the bite site thoroughly.

What Are Lyme Disease Symptoms?

Remember, not all ticks are carrying Lyme disease, so chances are that nothing will happen and the redness and irritation from the bite will be the only issues you end up dealing with. Just be aware of any flu-like symptoms over the course of the next month. Headaches, fevers, body aches, chills and that classic bulls-eye rash around the bite site should indicate the need for a doctor’s visit.

If you start to experience any of these symptoms, come see us! If you have photo of the tick that bit you, bring it with you so we can get a good look at it. We will check out the rash and evaluate your other symptoms. If we do determine that Lyme disease is your diagnosis, we will discuss next steps together and help treat you quickly to avoid the long-term joint pain and fatigue that can be caused by untreated Lyme disease.

  • 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 Statesville.

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