Lyme Disease: I Got Bitten By A Deer Tick!

May 5, 2022

Medical provider using tweezers to extract a tick from a patient's hand. AFC Urgent Care Worcester explains how to remove a deer tick

Ticks and Lyme disease is not something to obsess over, but it’s definitely something you should keep in mind this spring and summer, especially if you live in Massachusetts. Deer ticks especially, are tiny and can be very sneaky, latching onto you without you knowing. 

Lyme Disease is the most common tick borne illness in the United States and it is usually transmitted by the deer tick, commonly found in the New England area. AFC Urgent Care Worcester is expecting to see an ‘uptick’ in cases of deer tick bites and Lyme disease and wants you to plan ahead with these prevention tips.

Deer Ticks And Their Habitat

The best way to avoid getting bitten by a deer tick is to be aware of their habitat and where people often get bitten by one. Usually people assume that it can happen when you’re on a hike. But it’s actually more common to get a tick latched onto you at the entrance of deep woods or when you leave a wooded area. There is a space between the wooded areas and grassy plains where deer ticks love to hang out. So, if you’re out on a hike, make sure you perform a thorough tick check.

Ticks can also hide in tall grass and in the shaded areas of your backyard. If you have chairs or tables near the woodsey areas of your backyard, bring them out in the sun. Also, make sure to keep grass cut short and wear long pants that are tucked into your shoes. The idea is to make yourself look as unattractive to ticks as possible. 

The more skin you show means you’re a target for them to bite into!

What Happens If I Get Bitten By A Deer Tick?

Ticks like warm areas, so pay attention to areas with folds of skin such as under your arms, behind your ears, behind your knees, around your groin, in your belly button, and in and around your hair,” - Dr. Vincent Meoli, regional medical director of AFC.

If a deer tick latches onto you, don’t freak out. The important thing is to remain calm and try to remove it with a pair of fine tipped tweezers.

Do’s and Don’ts of removing a deer tick:

  • Using tweezers, grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible.
  • Gently pull the tick in a steady, upward motion.
  • 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.

AFC Urgent Care Can Also Help Remove Your Deer Tick!

“I need help removing my deer tick!” he cried. 

Sometimes it’s hard to remove a tick on your own. For this reason, you can visit AFC Urgent Care Worcester any day of the week with no appointment needed for tick removal and to be evaluated for tick borne illnesses. Our staff is medically trained to remove deer ticks and can assess the tick bite as well. We highly suggest coming in within the first 24 hours so that extraction can be as quick as possible. 

What are you waiting for? Walk-in today or make an appointment online to be seen today!

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