Have you had the opportunity to experience tick bite? Some people have this problem during hot days, so find out how to properly remove it.
If you have had the opportunity to experience these small bloodsuckers in action, then you know what chaos can occur when you start to look for advice on how to remove ticks, and you get a million different stories and methods on this topic.
There is everything – from easy nail polish to petroleum and tweezers twirling in one or another direction. And panic arises! Is there really a place for panic? How dangerous is tick bite really, and is it all we have heard just a myth?
The right and timely reaction can be a lifesaver, so it is necessary to know what ticks are, which diseases they carry and how to remove them.
What are ticks?
Nice weather undoubtedly awakens life around us. With the first spring sun and warmer air, we change, but so does nature around us, including some irritating kinds of insects. Ticks are certainly one of them.
It is a kind of insect that belongs to the spider’s family. What makes them special is the fact that they need a meal in the form of blood to survive and live. In order to feed, they look for a host on whose skin they can feed. This can be dogs, cats, or even people.
Ticks are a kind of parasites. Unlike mosquitoes, which also feed on blood, they do not jump but simply attach to the skin of the host.
Where can these parasites be picked up?
Usually, we bring these little predators with us when we go to nature and unkempt grassy areas. This danger is present as long as the nice weather, that is, from early spring to late autumn.
This is the biggest risk – nice weather and sunny days lure us into nature and fresh air, and there we are attacked by small bloodsuckers.
Is there a danger, and what are the symptoms of a tick bite?
It is true that these little parasites drink blood, but the tick bite is not dangerous because of the amount of blood they can drink, except if your skin is covered with them. And then you will definitely notice them!
In many cases, they eat and fall off. The problem is in the numerous microorganisms and bacteria that they can transfer through their bite and saliva into our bloodstream.
There are many species of ticks, and they are spread all over the world. There are also many diseases they can transmit, some of which are not naive, like Lyme’s disease.
What are the symptoms of a tick bite, and what should you pay attention to?
Tick bite often goes unnoticed and without any special consequences and symptoms. You may feel a slight itching on the place of the bite, and by scratching you can discover a parasite or the place of the bite.
Not all ticks carry disease. It is believed that about a quarter of the population carry some disease, and some of them can transmit several diseases at the same time. However, this is a very rare case.
Then, when tick carries a bacterium or virus, skin will get infected after some time, and the symptom that you will definitely notice is redness.
In many life situations, redness is a sign of caution! Don’t neglect this sign even when dealing with tick bites.
Some people can be allergic to tick bites, namely to their saliva. Symptoms of a tick bite include redness, itching, swelling.
Recent studies have shown that some people may become allergic to red meat after a tick bite, while they can eat white meat without a problem.
Ticks carry microbes directly into your bloodstream, and from there they are able to reach the most diverse parts of the body and cause symptoms that you would not even connect with a tick bite. There is a real reason for panic.
Do you know what Lyme disease is?
One of the most common diseases that tick can transmit to you is Lyme disease. Usually, itching and redness will show you that it is not a simple bite, but one that also carries bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi.
These bites are not painful, and they can go unnoticed without redness and if they are not in a visible place. Moreover, very often the symptoms of Lyme disease appear several days after the infection or tick bite.
If you have had a close encounter with this parasite? Then look after your health and your skin for a few days.
How is Lyme disease transmitted?
Ticks do not attack only people to drink blood. In fact, they are not particularly picky. They usually pick up bacteria from smaller animals they fed on, such as rats or some other wild or domestic animals.
It takes about 36 hours for a tick to transmit Lyme disease. This means that as soon as you notice it, you need to know how to react against it. If you notice it on time and remove it, you significantly reduce the chances of getting this disease.
Lyme disease is extremely dangerous because tick bite can pass unnoticed, disease untreated and slowly spread through the body. After a few months, it can turn into a chronic condition, and the symptoms are not at all pleasant.
The main symptom of Lyme disease is a specific reddening of the skin around the bite, which spreads in the form of a ring and looks like an eye.
This symptom can appear several days, or even several weeks after the bite, and may reach an area of 20 cm, with the central part of the circle of skin color, and the outer part of red color. It is present in about 80% of cases, and is not painful, and you do not need to feel it.
The other symptoms depend on which body part the bacteria attacked, but also on the phase of the disease in which it was discovered.
In the earlier phase of the disease, the following symptoms appear the most:
- Muscle Pain
- Swollen lymph nodes
These symptoms occur 3-30 days after the bite.
In a later stage of Lyme disease development, the following symptoms appear
- Severe headaches
- Neck pain
- Joint pain and swelling, especially the knees
- Facial paralysis, usually only one side
- Heart problems and arrhythmia
- Tingling in the arms and legs or sharp pains in them
- Problems with memory and concentration
These symptoms can last for up to 6 months, and there are also situations when this disease comes back because the bacteria are not completely destroyed and because the disease is noticed too late.
In this case we speak about Chronic Lyme disease that can completely exhaust you, take much of your life energy and significantly damage the quality of your lifestyle.
How is Lyme disease treated?
If the disease is detected in time and in time reacts, Lyme disease is treated with antibiotics, but that process can be very long.
In fact, the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi is elongated and somewhat resembles a screw, so that helps it to penetrate deeper into the tissues, and antibiotics have a hard time to reach it.
Besides that, it is very flexible, it can change the form that adapts to the tissue and as such can live a long time inside certain organs, disrupting their work and the immune system as a whole.
Around the world there are over 300 subspecies of this bacteria and many of them have developed resistance to antibiotics.
An additional problem is that the Lyme disease and infection itself are not shown in the analysis of blood, and symptoms are very easy to confuse with another disease.
In more serious cases, treatment of Lyme disease with antibiotics is not enough. So it is recommended to have a special diet that mostly consists of fresh and healthy food and avoidance of canned products, artificial aroma, too much sugar and milk.
For better detoxification of the body, it is recommended to take large amounts of water. Health of the intestines and intestinal flora plays a big role in defending our body and absorption and transfer of nutrients in the bloodstream.
If the disease really advanced, fatigue and changes on the body and face take over, that will affect the psyche, so we should take care of that aspect too.
In the end, for the treatment of Lyme disease, it is necessary to take care of this issue from different sides. The most important thing is to pull the tick, because from there everything begins.
How to remove ticks properly?
You must have heard a million variations on how to remove a tick, but this is the proper and safest way to do it. What you need is a pair of tweezers, some clean rubber gloves, and steady hands.
- Firmly grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible with the tweezers, but don’t crush it. Just pull it straight out.
- When you have removed the tick from the skin, don’t crush it to check how much blood it has taken or to kill it, because there is a chance that its contents will spill and you can spread bacteria.
Lyme disease is not only transmitted by tick bite. Bacteria from its spit can reach your skin and later find their way to penetrate the body.
- If the tick is still under your skin, the best thing is to go to a doctor.
- After you pulled out the tick, it is best to disinfect the place of the bite and watch the following few days whether the reaction will occur.
What are the home methods for removing ticks and are they effective?
The only effective method of removing ticks is the one that physically removes them from your skin. If you don’t have tweezers at hand, we will explain how to remove ticks using other methods:
- Method using a string – you will need a piece of string that you will wrap around the tick, as close to your skin as possible. Grab the ends and pull slowly but strongly, just like you would with tweezers.
- Method using a credit card or similar firm, flat surface. Grab the tick with one hand (in a glove) and slowly slide the card across your skin, under the tick’s body and head. Don’t make sudden movements. After a few attempts, the tick should loosen up.
Do not try to burn the tick, dip it in nail polish remover or petroleum jelly or any other method like that because it can release everything it has eaten into your blood stream, including pathogens from its saliva.
All attempts to crush, suffocate, stifle, or make the tick surrender are completely wrong, as well as the stories that it breathes through its behind. Actually, there is some truth to this, but it only breathes once to fifteen times in an hour.
There are more chances that, due to inability to breathe, it suffocates and spits its content into your bloodstream. In addition, turning will only increase the chances that tick’s mouth stays below your skin, and thus the chances for infection.
There are many ‘remedies’ for tick removal that will do more harm than good and many myths and wrong information related to them.
You should know:
- There is no chance that the part that remains under your skin, usually the mouth, will grow into another tick.
- They never enter your body whole. They only feed on blood and the only part that enters your body is its mouth.
- Ticks cannot lay eggs in their host and cannot reproduce inside your body.
The only danger lies in the fact that they are carriers of viruses and bacteria that really can get into your body and be very dangerous. And that is definitely not a myth!
What after tick bite?
After tick removal, you should clean the wound with water and soap. There is no need for antibiotic treatment if there are no signs of infection, because, as we said, not all are infectious.
However, the risk exists, so after a tick bite pay attention to that place so that you can notice the signs of infection that may appear a few days or even weeks after.
Also, pay attention to your general health, the appearance of temperature and similar symptoms, like a cold. This does not mean that you should panic and worry about it, but you should be aware that you can expect these symptoms and that you can link them to the tick bite.
This will help the doctor to diagnose you easier, and to treat you.
Can tick bite be prevented?
The best protection from ticks should be prevention, although it is not easy to implement when you are lured by the sun and the beautiful weather to go outdoors.
If you are sitting home in your four walls, the chances of a tick bite are none, except if you have a pet that can bring it into the house.
In addition to isolation, there are other preventive measures that are much more acceptable:
- When you get home, take a shower, comb your hair and check your body to see if you have not found a tick.
- Wash your clothes in warm water or shake well over the terrace and put them in the sun for 15 minutes if you do not plan to wash them immediately. Heat kills ticks.
- Check your pets regularly.
- Wear light clothing when you go outdoors so that you can easily spot them.
- If you are staying in nature, wear long sleeves, and tuck pants into socks. When it is too hot for this, choose a light wardrobe made of natural materials.
Tick bite does not have to be dangerous, and in the vast majority of cases it is not. However, you should know how to remove it and what the symptoms look like. These symptoms can be very dangerous, especially because they do not appear immediately after the bite.
Ticks are small, but do not underestimate them, because, what they can transmit to you is even smaller, and it can completely upset you.