Ticks: When Should You Worry About a Tick Bite?
Do you love to spend time outdoors? Then you are more likely to encounter ticks and tick bites at one point or the other. In fact, ticks are common in Europe and you can easily find them in grasses, shrubs, trees, and leaf piles.
Ticks aren’t bugs that bite you and then scoot off. Ticks are usually attracted to people and their pets and when one gets on your body, it finds a place to burrow its head through to eat. And when it set up a camp and starts feeding, it remains there for many days.
But do you know the scary part? Tick bites seldom cause any harm or any itchy sensation. It may look like a fleck of dirt on your skin at the beginning, but it swells up and becomes prominent as it feeds.
However, tick bites can cause allergic reactions, and some ticks can pass diseases to pets and humans which can be deadly.
What are Ticks?
Ticks are blood-sucking arthropods like spiders that belong to class Arachnida. There are more than 800 species of ticks worldwide but only ticks that belong to Families Ixodidae (hard ticks) and Argasidae (soft ticks) are implicated in diseases or illnesses.
- The Hard ticks attach and feed for days, and as the tick becomes full of blood, it tends to transmit diseases. The life cycle of ticks starts from the larva stage, then to the nymph, and to the adult male or female stage.
- The soft ticks are more rounded and soft. These ticks feed for less than an hour but disease transmission occurs in less than one minute.
Many tick-borne diseases have been recorded in Europe. Below is a list of the prevalent tick-borne diseases throughout the world:
- Lyme disease (borreliosis)
- Tick-borne relapsing fever
- Southern tick-associated rash illness
- Powassan encephalitis
- Q fever
- Colorado tick fever
- Heartland viral disease
- African cattle disease
A tick bite might leave a small red bump on the skin. Some people skin will show 1 to 2 inches of redness around the region of the tick bite. The red area will only become bigger if it’s a rash, and that’s a sign of disease
Risks and When to See a Doctor
Several factors can put you at risk of tick bites including:
- Hiking through grasses or in the woods with your skin exposed
- Not wearing clothes that cover the legs, arms and other body parts.
- Not using insect/ flea and tick repellants when you have pets at home.
Make sure you see a doctor if you notice the following:
- The bite area shows some signs of infection including swelling, pain, warmth, or oozing pus.
- Development of symptoms like headache, fever, stiff neck or back, tiredness, or muscle or joint aches.
- Part of the tick remains in the skin after removal
How to Safely Remove a Tick
If you notice a tick on any part of your body, it is important to remove it as soon as possible. You can follow these steps to safely remove a tick:
- Grasp the tick firmly at its mouth or head using tweezers.
- Pull firmly and gently until the tick detaches from the skin. Ensure you don’t twist or rock the tick to avoid leaving some parts inside in the skin.
- Wash your hands first with soap and water, and then the site of the bite.
- Swab the bite site properly with alcohol.
How to prevent tick-borne illnesses from tick bites
The ideal way to prevent tick-borne illnesses or infections is to prevent a tick bite. However, you can use the following tips below:
- Wear pants and long-sleeve shirts when walking in grassy areas or in the woods.
- Walk in the middle of rails.
- Check under arms, hairs, between legs, behind ears, and behind knees after being in tick-prone areas.
- Take a shower after spending time outdoors.
- Use tick repellants.
- Treat gear and clothes with 0.5 percent permethrin.
The sooner you identify and remove any tick from your body, the safer you are from tick-borne diseases.
You can get the best medical advice and treatment for tick-borne diseases by consulting experts through doctena.com. So, whenever you notice any signs or symptoms of tick bites, visit doctena.com and get professional consultation for quick treatment.
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