How to prevent a tick bite
At Jayhawk Pharmacy and Patient Supply, we help you by looking at your whole health picture. That includes helping you with health tips to live your healthiest. Learn how to prevent a tick bite with the information below.
Be informed of your surroundings when outside
- Protect your clothing—Permethrin can help treat clothing and gear and will remain active through several washes. Additionally, clothing and camping gear can come pretreated with Permethrin.
- When walking on a nature trail, avoid the edges and grassy areas.
- Use bug spray.
Check for ticks once inside
After being outside, especially for long periods of time, use a mirror to check all body parts for possible ticks. Common areas where ticks may be include:
- Under arms
- Inside belly button
- Between legs
- Back of knees
- In and around ears
- In and around hair
Search pets and camping equipment. Often, pets and gear can act as a catalyst for ticks to come into your home. Common areas where ticks may be include:
- Between the toes
- Around the tail
- Around the eyelids
- Under the collar
- Between the back legs
- Under the front legs
- In and around the ears
- Shower within 2 hours of coming inside to wash away unattached ticks and do a full body check.
- To kill a tick you find on clothing: dry clothes in the dryer on high heat for 10 minutes.
How to remove a tick:
- Use a small pair of tweezers to grab the tick as close to the skin as possible.
- Do not make sudden movements with the tweezers including twisting and jerking as this can cause its mouth to break off and stay in the skin. If this occurs, take away the parts of the mouth using tweezers. If you are unable to do this, leave it alone and allow the skin to heal.
- After removal, clean the area of contact and hands with isopropyl alcohol or soap and water.
- To dispose, flush it down the toilet or put it in alcohol, putting it in a sealable container, and wrap tightly with tape.
- If a fever or rash develops within a few weeks of removing a tick from the skin, contact your doctor and tell them when it occurred and where you most likely got the tick.
Keeping pets safe:
- It is important to use tick-preventing products on your dogs because they contract ticks and tick-borne illnesses very easily and vaccines are not currently available for most diseases that ticks carry.
- Monitor your dog closely as a tick bite may be hard to see. Also, signs of a tick-borne illness may not be seen for 7 to 21 days or longer after a dog gets bitten.
- You can reduce the risk of tick-borne illnesses by spraying for ticks in your yard, checking pets on a daily basis (specifically after they’ve spent time outside) and removing any ticks immediately if you see one attached to your pet.
- Do not use any chemicals on your cats before asking your veterinarian.
Symptoms of tick-borne illnesses
Some tick-borne diseases have a distinct type of rash
- Rocky Mountain spotted fever: red or purple spotted rash.
- Southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI): red, expanding bulls eye that develops at the site of a Texas tick bite.
- Lyme disease: circular rash similar to STARI. It is not usually painful, but can be warm and presents 3 to 30 days after bite.
- Tularemia: skin ulcer at the site of bite and comes with swelling of lymph glands.
Other symptoms include:
- Aches and pains (fatigue, headache, and muscle pains)
Note: Tick paralysis is an uncommon illness that can occur through a toxin in tick salvia. Symptoms include paralysis that can be confused with other neurological disorders. The paralysis typically wears off within 24 hours after removing a tick.
If you present with any of these symptoms after a tick bite, see a physician immediately as an early diagnosis prevents further complications.
For more information about ticks, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at https://www.cdc.gov/ticks/index.html
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