Deer Ticks…They’re Baaack!!

Hope Health Family Practice offers you some handy tips about how to deal with Deer ticks.

Remember to cover up and apply tick repellent when going for hikes or being in fields and woods.

Remember to check yourself thoroughly when you have come in from the outside.  Strip down and pay particular attention to creases, the waist, underarms, hair line and groin.  Ticks seem to be drawn to those areas.

If you find a tick, do the following:

  1. Remove it with a pair of tweezers by firmly pulling straight back until it releases.  Deer ticks can be very difficult to remove as they hang on tightly.  Dog ticks come off much more easily. 
  2. Notice the color and size.  Dear ticks are brown and tiny (the size of a pin head),when not engorged (filled with blood).  Dog ticks are bigger and darker.
  3. Note if the tick looks engorged.  An engorged tick looks white/gray and puffy
  4. If it is engorged, try to think about when you might have last been exposed to ticks.
  5. If the tick is engorged, removal is difficult and/or you think the tick has been on 24 hours or more, then you should contact your Primary Care Provider for an appointment.

The bite of a Deer tick will leave a nasty looking bite.  The center part of the bite is usually dark brown/black and often there is a surrounding reddened area that can extend up to an inch or two in diameter.  It will appear within a day or two of the bite.  THIS IS NOT A LYME INFECTION RASH.  This is just from the reaction to the bite.

A Lyme infection bulls-eye rash takes 7-10 days to develop post bite, if it develops at all.  It can be very obvious or extremely faint.   The size of redness can vary greatly and it doesn’t always look like a bulls-eye.  Sometimes it can be sore but usually you won’t feel it at all.

The great outdoors is part of why we all live or visit Maine.  Knowing a few tips about how to stay healthy and enjoy nature will make the long awaited spring and summer more pleasant.    Have fun out there!


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