As the weather gets nicer and we spend more time outside, we are more susceptible to finding ticks on our skin and in our hair. Ticks can be found in any grassy or wooded area, so it is important we protect ourselves before going in these areas. It is also important to check our bodies for ticks after being outside.
The best thing we can do is prevent tick bites by wearing protective clothing, such as long-sleeves, closed-toed shoes, and hats. Applying permethrin 0.5% to clothes can also be used for protection. Other insect repellents can be used on the skin. After coming inside, do a scan of the body, clothes, pets, and any objects that were outside.
If you find a tick on your skin or in your hair, don’t panic! Remove the tick as soon as possible. Sometimes simply taking a shower will wash the tick off. Tweezers can be used to pull an attached tick off of the skin. Carefully place the tweezers at the head of the tick so no part of the body stays attached.
An ice pack can be applied to the site of the tick bite if there is pain or irritation. Avoid scratching or itching the site.
Doctors can also help remove stubborn ticks that won’t detach from the skin. If a rash that resembles the shape of a “bulls eye” becomes present, a doctor can assess the rash. Also, if you develop signs or symptoms of an infection, such as a fever, be sure to contact your doctor.