It is very easy to miss a tick bite, as ticks can be no larger than a head of a pin. If you notice a tick on your skin, it is important to remove it as soon as possible to reduce your chances of developing a Lyme infection.
If you or your pet have recently spent time outdoors and you notice a lesion on your skin with any of the following characteristics – you should be evaluated for a possible tick bite.
- A bite with a central scab
- A bite with a surrounding red rash
- A bite with a dark, bruised appearing center
- A bite with black specks within it that may be insect legs
HOW TO REMOVE A TICK
There are multiple products specifically designed for tick removal that are effective, inexpensive, and widely available in pharmacies.
If one of these products is not available to you, using a fine-tipped tweezers will also suffice.
- Using fine-tipped tweezers, grasp the tick as close as possible to its attachment site on the skin.
- Using even pressure, pull upward slowly & steadily. Be sure not to twist or jerk the tick- if you do, parts of the tick may remain in the skin. If a portion of the tick, usually the mouth, is still embedded in the skin – leave it alone and allow the skin to heal.
- After the tick is removed, clean the area of the bite thoroughly using rubbing alcohol, soap and water, or an iodine scrub.
- Dispose of the tick by submersing it in alcohol, sealing it in tape, or placing it in a sealed bag or container.
Some providers may prescribe you a prophylactic dose of an antibiotic after a tick bite to further reduce your chances of developing a Lyme infection.
If you have a tick embedded that you are unable to remove or are concerned that a lesion on your skin may be a tick bite, visit the nearest PhysicianOne Urgent Care center to be seen as soon as possible. No appointment necessary, open 365 days/year.
Services available at PhysicianOne Urgent Care include:
- Tick Removal
- Rash assessment
- Preventative treatment for Lyme and other tick-borne diseases