Understanding Lyme Disease -- Prevention

How Can I Prevent Lyme Disease?

•Avoid tick-infested areas, particularly in May, June, and July.
•Wear shoes, long pants tucked into socks or pant legs, and long sleeves when outside in areas where there are deer ticks. • Use insect repellent with 20%-30% DEET around your ankles, other areas of bare skin, and clothes.
•Check for ticks especially around the armpits, groin, scalp, belt line, neck and head after being in areas where there may be ticks.
• Remove deer ticks on your skin as soon as you see them.


How to Remove a Deer Tick Safely

To remove a tick safely:   
• With tweezers, grasp the tick as close to your skin as possible. Pull gently and steadily. • Be patient. Ticks can "cement" to your skin. 
• Save the tick for identification, if possible. Wash the bite with soap and water.  
• Don't try to burn a tick with a lit match or use other products (like petroleum jelly) on the tick. 

Should I Take Antibiotics?

If you have been bitten by a tick, call your health care provider. Antibiotics may be given to prevent Lyme disease. However, antibiotics are usually only given when the tick has been identified as a deer tick, has been attached for at least 36 hours and you have been in a region where there is a high risk of contracting Lyme disease.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Sabrina Felson, MD on July 20, 2017



Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). UpToDate.

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