Should I see a doctor about a tick bite?

Posted by Mosquito Squad

December 20, 2023

If you are bitten by a tick, you might wonder if a doctor visit is necessary.

Fortunately, not every tick bite results in an automatic trip to the physician. But let’s say you find an engorged tick embedded in your or a family member’s skin, and you notice in the following days that the bite is becoming red and swollen. Should you see a doctor? Yes, swelling, rash, and irritation around any tick bite requires medical attention.

What will happen when you see a doctor about a tick bite?

A couple of issues could be the result of an infected tick bite. One could be simple irritation if the tick was not properly removed. If you notice immediately that you left the tick head under your skin, there are a couple of ways you can try to remove it. Wash the tick bite gently with soap and water and apply rubbing alcohol. Use a sterilized needle or fine tip tweezer to gently get beneath your skin to free up the tick head. If you are unable to free it, you should visit a doctor, who can help you safely remove it. If you were unaware that the tick head was left, and you notice redness, see a doctor for assistance and potential treatment of the skin infection. If you did not leave the head behind, but experience a rash, or flulike symptoms, seek immediate medical attention. These symptoms could be the result of early onset Lyme disease or another tick-borne illness, such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Babesiosis, or Tularemia. All these tick-borne diseases are treated with various antibiotics in the early stages.

See how to properly remove a tick here.

Why You Should Not Hesitate to See a Doctor After a Suspicious Tick Bite

No one enjoys doctor visits, so it’s easy for us to reason away that the rash we see or the symptoms we feel after a tick bite might just be a cold or flu. Do not dismiss even small symptoms after a tick bite, because waiting too long for treatment could result in intense illness. For instance, if Lyme disease is not caught and treated early, it could lead to a lifelong battle with chronic symptoms. Babesiosis can result in anemia, liver issues, as well as kidney and heart failure in some patients. Tularemia can be fatal if left untreated. It is always better to see your doctor in the event of any suspicious symptoms post-tick bite.

Learn more about these illnesses on the CDC’s website here.

Meredith Tick Control for Tick Bite Protection

Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire will help protect your family from the threat of ticks around your home with year-round tick control. Call us at (603) 538-3125 to begin your Meredith tick control program today.