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Tick bites: First aid/Conditions/Prevention

 Tick bites

Most tick bites are painless and cause only minor symptoms such as a change in skin color or swelling.

Lyme disease can be transmitted by ticks, which need to be attached to a person for at least 36 hours before transmitting the illness. Other infections can be spread in a few hours or even a few minutes.

Tick bites


To take care of a tick bite

  • Remove the tick as quickly and carefully as possible. Gently remove the tick by grasping it as close to the skin as possible. Pull it out slowly and steadily with upward motion. Do not twist or squeeze the tick; use fine-tipped forceps or tweezers. Do not handle the tick with your bare hands. Do not use petroleum jelly or a hot match to remove it. A tick is a small, black insect that you can see on people and animals.
  • Secure the tick and take a picture.If you find a tick, you can identify it by looking at its picture. If you develop new symptoms after being bitten by the tick, your provider may want to see the tick or a picture of it.
  • Wash your hands and the bite site.Warm water and soap should be used to scrub the surface. Alcohol or an iodine solution can also be used to clean the surface.

When to seek emergency care

If you experience any problems that make you feel like you might need emergency help, call 911 or your local emergency number.

  • A severe headache
  • Difficulty breathing means it's hard to breathe.
  • Paralysis
  • Heart palpitations

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your doctor.

  • You will not be able to completely remove the tick.If a tick is attached to your skin for a long time, there is a greater risk of getting a disease from it. Your skin may also become irritated.
  • The rash gets bigger and bigger.If you get a small bump at the site of the tick bite, that's normal. If the bump develops into a larger rash or you develop a rash anywhere that has a bulls-eye pattern, it may mean Lyme disease.Most people develop the rash within 3 to 14 days.

    Even if the rash goes away, you should still consult your provider because you may still be at risk of contracting the disease. The risk of getting a disease from a tick bite depends on where you live or travel to, how much time you spend outside in woody and grassy areas, and how well you protect yourself.

  • You develop flu-like signs and symptoms.A fever can cause fatigue, joint pain, and a headache. This can also lead to a rash.
  • You think the bite site is infected.Signs and symptoms indicate pain, redness, or oozing from the site.
  • It looks like you may have been bitten by a deer tick. You may need antibiotics.

If you have a tick, bring it with you to your doctor's appointment.

Tick bites: First aid/Conditions/Prevention

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