Should I put anything on a tick bite?

Author: Mosquito Squad of New Hampshire Lakes Region

Do you know what to do if you find a tick attached to your skin?

For many, if not most, the thought of carrying a tick indoors on our clothing or skin is just…ewwww! While it can be off-putting to unknowingly pick up a wayward tick, it can also be dangerous. That danger begins with the potential for a skin infection if the tick is not removed properly. After that, we must consider tick-borne illnesses, like Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis, Powassan virus, the most common of them all – Lyme disease.

This is how you should treat a tick bite.

As mentioned above, you must reduce the threat of a skin infection at the tick bite site. Proper and complete removal is necessary to prevent infection. If you do not properly remove the tick, you could be left with the tick’s anatomy under your skin, which could fester. To remove a tick, use fine-tipped tweezers. Do not twist the tweezer. Hold it firmly and steadily close to the tick’s head and pull straight out. Never use alcohol or other substances to attempt to flush the tick out. This could cause the tick to release infection into your body.

I removed the tick. Now what?

After you get rid of your heebie-jeebies, dispose of the tick. You can do this by putting it into a sealed baggie with alcohol. If you care to hold onto the tick in case you begin to feel ill, store it in the freezer inside the sealed baggie. Double-bag or tape it if you fear you might make an error in sealing the bag.

Should I put anything on the tick bite?

Gently, thoroughly wash your tick bite site with warm, soapy water. You may follow that process by applying rubbing alcohol or other antiseptic wash. It is not necessary to apply ointment or anything further to your bite unless you notice that the bite begins to fester.

The bite site is clean and disinfected. Should I do anything else?

If you have been bitten by an infected tick, you could begin to show signs within a few days or weeks. At any point within 30 days after your tick bite, you begin to feel sick for any reason, consult your physician to let them know that you have been bitten. If you were bitten by a black-legged tick (deer tick), do not wait for erythema migrans (bull’s-eye rash) to seek medical assistance. Reports suggest that up to 20% of acute Lyme disease infections do not result in a bull’s-eye rash. Acute Lyme is ultimately treatable, so be vigilant during the potential incubation period to note any sort of physical ailments. This could include unexplained joint or muscle pain, fever, fatigue, or other symptoms commonly related to flu. When it comes to Lyme disease or any tick-borne ailment, it never pays to try to wait it out.

You don’t have to wait for effective Alton tick control either.

Looking for tried and trusted Alton tick control? With Mosquito Squad’s year-round tick protection, it’s never too late to begin! Call Mosquito Squad of New Hampshire Lakes Region today at (603) 301-4857.