Removing Ticks   Frank Barnhill M.D.

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There are three types of common tick, the dog tick, wood tick, and the deer tick.  Deer ticks are the usual carriers of Lyme disease and dog and wood ticks tend to harbor Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF). 

Here are some important facts about both:

  • ticks can be found in wooded areas year round.  So look !

  • the longer a tick is embedded, the more likely it can transmit disease.

  • only fewer than one out of ten ticks carry these diseases.

  • always mark your calendar on the day the tick is found.  Signs of disease may not show up for 10 to 21 days later.

  • ticks tend to embed in areas of high blood flow and heat, such as skin creases and scalp.
Here are tips on removing a tick:
  •  do not burn the tick with a match! do not use gasoline, turpentine or any irritating chemical to make the tick “back out”.  All of these actions will cause the tick to vomit on the skin near the wound it created to suck blood.  That’s the way Lyme disease and RMSF enter the human body.

  • remove the tick by flipping it straight up from the skin using a pair of tweezers or multi-folded paper towel.  Then pull outwards in a brisk fashion such that the entire head and a small piece of skin is still attached to the tick.  Never use bare fingers to remove a tick!

  • Wash the bite area thoroughly with warm soapy water and apply Neosporin.
Dr. Frank 

These health tips are offered for your common sense use and are not intended to take the place of a visit to your doctor.  Your use of the materials implies your understanding that nothing herein contained represents individual medical advice.

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