Tick Bites

Maryland is tick country. If you are outside in grass areas it is good to know how to avoid ticks and what you should do if you find yourself with a tick bite.

tick bitesAre ticks dangerous?

Ticks are not poisonous, however, their bites can cause allergic reactions and they may care a variety of blood born diseases.

How to check for ticks?

Ticks like warm, moist, dark areas of the body. They can often be found in the groin area, underarms, or in your hair. Unlike a mosquito or a bee, when ticks bite they typically hang on to you (yuck). Ticks can stay on the body up to 10 days (again, yuck).

What do I do if I find a tick?

According to Healthline.com, “The most important thing to do when you find a tick on you is to remove it. You can remove the tick yourself with a tick removal device or with a set of tweezers. Grasp the tick as close as you can to your skin’s surface. Pull straight up and away from the skin, applying steady pressure. Try not to bend or twist the tick. Check the bite site to see if you left any of the tick’s head or mouthparts in the bite. If so, remove those. Clean the bite site with soap and water.

See your doctor as soon as possible to find out if any treatment is necessary based on the type of tick that bit you.” Different ticks may potentially carry different diseases.  

What are the signs and symptoms of a tick bite?

Tick bites are usually harmless and may produce no symptoms. However, if you’re allergic to tick bites, you may experience:

  • pain or swelling at the bite site
  • a rash
  • a burning sensation at the bite site
  • blisters
  • difficulty breathing, if severe

Some ticks carry diseases, which can be passed on when they bite. Tick-borne diseases can cause a variety of symptoms and usually develop within several days to a few weeks after a tick bite. Potential symptoms of tick-borne diseases include:

  • a red spot or rash near the bite site
  • a full body rash
  • neck stiffness
  • a headache
  • nausea
  • weakness
  • muscle or joint pain or achiness
  • a fever
  • chills
  • swollen lymph nodes
  • “Be sure to seek medical attention as soon as possible if bitten by a tick in order to be evaluated for any potential treatment.” (Heathline.com)

How do I avoid ticks?

  • Wear long sleeves and long pants when walking in the woods or grassy areas where ticks are common.
  • Walk in the center of trails.
  • Use tick repellant that’s at least 20 percent DEET.
  • Treat clothing and gear with 0.5 percent permethrin.
  • Take a shower or bath within 2 hours of being outdoors.
  • Check skin closely after being in tick-prone areas, especially under arms, behind ears, between legs, behind knees, and in hair. (Healthline.com)

The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this site!

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.