If I find a tick on my skin or on my dog, what should I do to remove the tick and what kind of symptoms should I look for that may indicate infection?
Ticks are skillful at attaching themselves to skin. When they do, it is difficult to remove them. Use fine tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin surface as possible and pull at a perpendicular angle to the skin surface until they let go. Removal should be attempted as quickly as possible to decrease the length of exposure. Avoid “breaking” the tick so that no small pieces are left in the skin which could cause a localized infection. In rare instances where a tick bite does lead to an infection, initial signs and symptoms include itching, burning and redness in a circular fashion around the tick bite. Sometimes that rash can proceed to what is called a bull’s-eye lesion with concentric red circles around the bite area. If the disease is going to progress, you’ll start to have flu-like symptoms including muscle aches, fatigue, headache and fever. If you begin to experience any of these symptoms following a possible tick bite, get evaluated by your primary care physician or go to a certified urgent care like Lakes Urgent Care to initiate prompt diagnosis and treatment.