According to the CDC, tick bites resulting in human Lyme disease has been on the rise in recent years. The condition can cause rashes, stiffness, nausea, and fever. If left untreated, it can further result in arthritis, heart problems, or auto-immune disorders. To prevent Lyme disease and the potential chronic health problems that come with it, follow these tips to avoid tick bites.
How to Avoid Tick Bites
1. Stay on the Trail
Ticks live in grass, trees, and leafy areas. When doing outdoor activities in wooded or grassy locations, do not go through areas with dense brush. Stay on the trail where you will not come into direct contact with the ticks’ natural habitat. If you must veer off the path, then cover exposed skin with long pants and sleeves.
2. Use Insect Repellent
Before you embark on an outdoor excursion, apply insect repellent. The CDC recommends using an insect repellent with at least 20% of DEET or picaridin. Follow the instructions on the packaging and reapply as needed. You can also treat clothes and camping items, like tents, with permethrin, which repels ticks and other insects. The EPA has a useful tool to help select the best option for your needs.
3. Perform Tick Inspections
Carefully inspect your clothing and pets for ticks. Clothes should be washed and tumble-dried on high to kill any pests. Shower within two hours of any outdoor activities and conduct a full-body inspection for hiding bugs. Ticks prefer moist areas, so check armpits, behind the knees and ears, belly button, and hair.
4. Tick Removal
If a tick finds its way to your skin or clothing, it's important to remove it quickly. If you have been bitten, gently remove the insect with a pair of tweezers and disinfect it with alcohol. If you develop any symptoms such as a rash or fever, you may need to take a regimen of antibiotics for several weeks to defend against Lyme disease and other auto-immune disorders.
When Lyme infection is not discovered and treated early, it can result in long-term auto-immune disorders. If you’ve been diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease, seek guidance from an immunology expert at Integrative Medicine of New York, PLLC, in Westbury, NY. They have been providing regenerative medicine treatments like ozone and hyperbaric oxygen therapy to residents in Long Island, New York City, and the Tri-State area for over 35 years. To learn more about how they can assist, visit them online. Call (516) 759-4200 today to make an appointment.