Tick Bite & Lyme Disease Treatment in Connecticut, Massachusetts & New York
Have you been bitten by a tick? If you need assistance with tick removal or Lyme disease treatment, turn to PhysicianOne Urgent Care. We’re a trusted urgent care practice with locations across Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York, and our providers have extensive experience treating both tick bites and Lyme disease.
The Connection Between Tick Bites & Lyme Disease
One of the main concerns with tick bites is that they can transmit Lyme disease, a type of bacterial infection. Black-legged ticks, which are usually about the size of a small seed, can carry the bacterium that causes Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi). This type of tick climbs grasses and plants and waits for a human or animal to pass by so that it can affix itself to the host’s skin and draw blood for nourishment. If the tick is infected, it may transmit the infectious bacteria into the host’s bloodstream while doing so.
Notably, ticks also have the potential to transmit other illnesses, including:
- Powassan virus
- Rocky Mountain spotted fever
- Southern tick-associated rash illness
What Are the Symptoms of Lyme Disease?
One of the telltale symptoms of Lyme disease is a rash that expands over time. Contrary to popular belief, Lyme disease rashes don’t always resemble bullseye targets, and not everyone with Lyme disease develops a rash. Other signs of a potential Lyme disease infection include:
- Joint pain and swelling
- Muscle pain
These symptoms tend to develop within 30 days after a tick bite, so it’s important to remain especially vigilant during that period. If you’re concerned that you might be infected, you should promptly seek Lyme disease treatment, since an untreated infection could potentially spread to other areas of the body, including the heart and the nervous system.
When to Seek Medical Care for a Tick Bite
It’s possible for you to remove a tick by yourself. (To do this, you’ll need to grasp the tick with a pair of fine tweezers and then gently pull upward without twisting, squeezing, or puncturing it.) But if you don’t feel comfortable removing a tick on your own, or if you try removing it but are unsuccessful, you should promptly seek professional care. Our local providers can assist with tick removal in the center, or via 24/7 telehealth.
Even if you’ve already removed a tick yourself, you may still want to consult with a medical provider. Once they’ve evaluated your condition, they’ll supply you with customized treatment recommendations, which might include taking an antibiotic such as doxycycline to reduce your risk of infection.
Whether you choose to remove a tick on your own or seek professional care, it’s important that you act quickly. The risk of acquiring Lyme disease increases the longer a tick is attached to a person’s skin, and removing a tick within 24 hours will significantly reduce your chances of becoming infected. Plus, if your provider recommends taking doxycycline, the medication will be most effective if started within 72 hours after removing the tick.
How to Prevent Tick Bites
Because tick bites can transmit Lyme disease and various other illnesses, it’s important to proactively take steps to reduce your chances of being bitten. Whenever you spend time in a wooded area, even if it’s your own backyard, you should:
- Treat your clothing and equipment with permethrin
- Wear long sleeves and pants
- Tuck your pant legs into your socks
- Apply an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellent containing DEET, IR3535, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD), picaridin, or 2-undecanone (but don’t use products containing OLE or PMD on children under the age of 3)
- Stick to trails and avoid walking through high grasses, brush, and leaf litter when possible
Once you come inside, carefully check for ticks on your body, your clothing, and any gear you were carrying. And if you had a pet with you, be sure to check them, as well. You should also try to shower within two hours of coming inside.
Ticks are most active during the warm spring and summer months, so it’s important to be especially cautious during those seasons. But don’t let your guard down in fall and winter. It takes only 48 hours of above-freezing temperatures for ticks to become active, so they’re technically active year-round.
Quality Care Delivered With Ease & Speed
If you think you may have been bitten by a tick, or if you’re experiencing the Lyme disease symptoms described above, visit PhysicianOne Urgent Care today. We have locations across Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York, all of which offer tick bite and Lyme disease treatment 365 days per year during extended hours. We offer walk-in availability, online booking, and a 24/7 integrated telehealth service, so you can choose the treatment option that works best for you.