Getting a tick bite usually doesn’t mean you need to see the doctor, but it is worth treating immediately and watching for any signs of a health issue. While most ticks don't carry diseases, some do—and the resulting illnesses can be life-changing or even deadly if not treated promptly. Make sure you're treating tick bites correctly with these instructions from Morris Park Medical Center in the Bronx, NY. Their knowledgeable doctors will guide you through each step and help you determine when it’s time to visit the clinic for help.
Medical Care for Tick Bites
1. Remove the Tick
There are several folk remedies for removing ticks, such as smothering or burning them. While these methods may encourage a tick to detach, they're slower and less effective than simply pulling it from the skin. Carefully grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible using a pair of fine-tipped tweezers. Pull steadily and evenly without jerking or twisting. If any part of the tick is left behind, remove it with tweezers as well.
2. Clean the Bite
After the tick is gone and you have removed any remaining parts, kill the tick by submerging it in alcohol or wrapping it tightly in tape; don't crush it with your fingers as this can spread the blood already in its stomach. Use rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water to clean the area. Wash your hands and tweezers thoroughly as well. If you like, you can cover the bite area with a nonstick bandage.
3. Watch for Complications
For several weeks after the tick bite, monitor the area. Call your doctor if you develop a skin infection or any sign of a rash. Tick bites are often identified by their bull’s-eye shape. You should also go to your health care provider if you experience a persistent headache, fever, joint pain, or flu-like symptoms. Tell your doctor about the tick bite and where you were bitten; this information is crucial to identifying illnesses like Lyme disease.
When you go outdoors this summer, wear long sleeves and pants and use bug spray to deter ticks. Always perform a full-body check when you return home from your adventures. If you are bitten, these tips from a team of experienced doctors will help you handle it. To learn more about identifying tick bites, call Morris Park Medical Center at (718) 664-7679 or contact them online.