Lyme Disease: What To Know This Season
How do you know if you’ve been bitten?
Given that the ticks are the size of a poppy seed, you’ve got to have pretty good eyes. The CDC recommends that if you’ve been walking in the woods, in tall grass, or working in the garden, check your skin afterward, ideally in the shower or bath. That way, you’ve removed your clothes, which may carry ticks, too.
What do you do if there’s a tick under your skin?
Remove it with a pair of fine-tipped tweezers as soon as possible, pulling upward with steady pressure. If parts of the tick remain in the skin, also try to remove them with the tweezers. After everything is out, clean the bite area with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
Mead says you’re not likely to get infected if you remove the tick within 36 to 48 hours.
Some people have an allergic reaction to ticks, so they’ll notice a bite right away.
How do you dispose of a tick?
Place it in soapy water or alcohol, stick it to a piece of tape, or flush it down the toilet.
When should you see a doctor if you suspect you have Lyme?
The rash is a pretty good indication that you may have been bitten. At this stage of the illness, treatment with antibiotics will probably be successful, Aucott says.
What’s the best way to prevent a tick bite?
Ticks can’t fly or jump, but instead live in shrubs and bushes, and grab onto someone when they pass by. To avoid getting bitten, wear pants and socks in the woods, areas with lots of trees, and while handling fallen leaves. Wear a tick repellent on your skin and clothing that has DEET, lemon oil, or eucalyptus.
For even more protection, use the chemical permethrin on clothing and camping gear.
Shower within 2 hours after coming inside, if possible. It lets you look at your skin and wash ticks out of your hair. Also, put your clothing and any exposed gear into a hot dryer to kill whatever pests might remain.