What Do I Do If I Find A Tick On My Skin
Dont panic. Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skins surface as possible. Pull up with steady, even pressure. Be careful not to squeeze or twist the tick body. Sometimes parts of the tick remain in the skin. You can leave them alone or carefully remove them the same way you would a splinter. Do not use heat , petroleum jelly, or other methods to try to make the tick back out on its own. These methods are not effective.
Wash the area where the tick was attached thoroughly with soap and water. Keep an eye on the area for a few weeks and note any changes. Call your doctor if you develop a rash around the area where the tick was attached. Be sure to tell your doctor that you were bitten by a tick and when it happened.
What If I’ve Had Lyme Disease For Years
If Lyme disease is not diagnosed and treated early, the spirochetes can spread and may go into hiding in different parts of the body. Weeks, months or even years later, patients may develop problems with the brain and nervous system, muscles and joints, heart and circulation, digestion, reproductive system, and skin.
Killing Deer Not The Answer To Reducing Lyme Disease Says Hsph Scientist
Prevalence of the disease, the most common tick-borne illness in North America, has increased dramatically in the region over the past few years. Massachusetts now has the countrys fourth highest infection rate, according to the most recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. Lyme disease produces flu-like symptoms in those bitten by infected ticks and, if not treated promptly, can cause more serious complications including arthritis, neurological symptoms, and even cognitive defects and heart rhythm irregularity.
Tamara Awerbuch, instructor in the Department of Global Health and Population at HSPH and a specialist in emerging epidemics, has done research on the life cycle of the deer tick. Based on her field studies in the 1990s, she argues that hunting deer wont effectively combat Lyme disease because ticks also depend on another key host animal: white-footed mice. Ticks do not actually get Lyme disease from deer, as is commonly believedrather, ticks contract it as larvae when they feed on infected mice. Adult female ticks need the deer to lay their eggs and for food, but the deer do not become infected.
Awerbuch spoke about her research and the decisions by some communities to allow deer hunting.
Q. Can you explain, based on your studies, why you think the deer hunts arent the right strategy?
Q. And what did you find?
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How Long Can You Live With Chronic Lyme Disease Can Lyme Disease Kill
Lyme Disease is, undoubtedly, nasty stuff.
Days to weeks after the fateful tick bite, Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria that cause Lyme, are still localized around the site of the initial encounter but you’re already likely to experience fever, joint and muscle pains, a stiff neck, and a general feeling of malaise. These symptoms are as generic as they are unpleasant, and unless you do end up with a notorious bull’s eye rash, you may have no idea what you are dealing with. Weeks to months after that, scary signs like Bell’s Palsy , shortness of breath, and heart palpitations may make their appearance. And months to years later? Say hello to forgetfulness, a lack of concentration, speech problems, sometimes severely swollen joints, tingling feelings, and severe headaches.
Lyme Disease is fairly easy to cure with oral antibiotics in the earliest stage , but if it goes undiagnosed and untreated, the consequences can be devastating. Once you start noticing all the signs of chronic Lyme Disease, or rather untreated Stage 3 or late disseminated Lyme Disease, your life might become so hard that you start wondering how long can I live with chronic Lyme Disease?
Protecting Property From Tick Infestation
To decrease the tick population around your yard:
- Clear the yard regularly by raking leaves, trimming bushes, pruning low-lying branches, mowing lawn.
- Create a 3-foot wide barrier around the perimeter of your lawn with wood chips, gravel, or mulch.
- Place cardboard tubes stuffed with permethrin-treated cotton in places where mice can find them. These tubes are available in hardware stores. Mice collect the cotton for lining their nests the pesticide on the cotton kills any immature ticks that feed on the mice. For best results, do several tube applications from early to late summer.
- Erect fences or use repellants or deer-resistant plants to keep deer away.
- Consider spraying once a year a small amount of tick-killing insecticide such as permethrin or bifenthrin around the perimeter of your yard. To avoid health and environmental risks, consult a licensed professional experienced with tick control.
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How Can Lyme Disease Affect Your Pregnancy
We dont know for sure about the effects of Lyme disease on pregnancy. Untreated Lyme may cause complications during pregnancy, including:
- An infection in the placenta. The placenta grows in your uterus and supplies your baby with food and oxygen through the umbilical cord.
- Stillbirth. This is when a baby dies in the womb after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
- Congenital heart defects. These are heart conditions that are present at birth. They can affect the hearts shape or how it works, or both.
- Urinary tract defects. The urinary tract is the system of organs that helps your body get rid of waste and extra fluids. Urinary tract defects can cause pain, urinary tract infections, kidney damage and kidney failure.
- Problems with your babys blood, like hyperbilirubinemia. This is when your babys blood has too much bilirubin in it. Bilirubin is a yellow substance that forms as red blood cells break down. Too much bilirubin can cause your baby to have jaundice. This is when your babys skin and the white parts of his eyes look yellow because his liver isn’t fully developed or isn’t working.
Untreated Lyme disease also may cause your baby to have a rash after hes born.
Blood Tests For Antibodies
Blood tests for detecting antibodies to B. burgdorferi are most reliable several weeks after infection has occurred and are rarely of value during the first 7 to 10 days of illness. During these initial days of infection, these tests can give false negative results .
Most authorities, including the CDC, recommend a 2-step testing process for Lyme disease:
- EIA Test. The first test used is an enzyme immunoassay . The EIA measures IgM and IgG antibodies to the B. burgdorferi spirochete. Positive results from this test still require confirmation with a Western blot test, since the EIA test is often positive even when there has been no infection. Negative results do not require further testing.
- Western Blot or second EIA test. If the EIA test is positive or uncertain, it is followed by the Western blot test. This test is more accurate and is very helpful in confirming the diagnosis but is more expensive and takes longer to complete. The Western blot creates a visual graph showing bands of IgM or IgG antibodies that laboratories use to interpret the immune response. More recently, recommendations have changed to allow for a second EIA in place of the confirmatory Western blot .
- V1sE . This newer FDA-approved test detects a specific component within the EIA IgG antibodies and is being increasingly used instead of the Western Blot to confirm a positive EIA test. Since it is less expensive and more rapidly completed, it may ultimately replace the Western Blot test.
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What Do You Do If There’s A Tick Under Your Skin
Use a pair of fine-tipped tweezers to remove it as soon as possible. Pull upward with steady pressure. If parts of the tick are still in your skin, try to get those with the tweezers, too. After everything is out, clean the bite area with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
You probably wonât get infected if you remove the tick within 36 to 48 hours.
How do you throw away a tick?
Put it in soapy water or alcohol, stick it to a piece of tape, or flush it down the toilet.
How To Live With Lyme Disease
People who are treated in the early stages of Lyme disease with antibiotics typically recover quickly and completely. However, treatment is sometimes delivered by IV to people in a hospital who can’t take the oral medications, or for people who are very sick with neurological Lyme disease. To live with Lyme disease, you need to keep the following things in mind:
1. Sun Sensitivity
People who are taking antibiotic doxycycline and who are strongly affected by the sun are advised against using sunscreen, as it’s ineffective with doxyclicine and can quickly lead to painful sunburns. The most important thing you can do is stay indoors during the middle of the day or wear long sleeve shirts and long pants, as well as a wide brimmed hat and sunglasses.
When taking antibiotics to treat Lyme disease, it’s important that you take a good probiotic at least 2 hours after your antibiotics and continue the probiotics for up to a month after your antibiotic treatment. Antibiotics kill off the good and bad bacteria in your gut, which means that you are susceptible to a Clostridium difficile infection , and in some cases, C. diff infection can lead to a hole in the intestines, which can be fatal.
3. Blood Tests
4. Immune System
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Achy Stiff Or Swollen Joints
Joint pain and stiffness, often intermittent, are early Lyme symptoms. Your joints may be inflamed, warm to the touch, painful, and swollen. You may have stiffness and limited range of motion in some joints .
Pain may move around. Sometimes your knees may hurt, whereas other times its your neck or your heels. You may also have bursitis . Bursae are the thin cushions between bone and surrounding tissue.
The pain may be severe, and it may be transitory. More than one joint may be affected. Most often the large joints are involved .
People often attribute joint problems to age, genetics, or sports. Lyme should be added to that list, as these statistics indicate:
- One study estimates that 80 percent of people with untreated Lyme have muscle and joint symptoms .
- Fifty percent of people with untreated Lyme have intermittent episodes of arthritis .
- Two-thirds of people have their first episode of joint pain within six months of the infection .
- Use of anti-inflammatory drugs may mask the actual number of people with joint swelling .
Joint pain that comes and goes, or moves from joint to joint, could be a sign of Lyme.
What Should I Do If I Find A Tick On My Child
Don’t panic. First Lyme disease is spread by the black-legged tick, not by the larger and more-common dog tick. The risk of developing Lyme disease after a black-legged tick bite is low, especially if the tick has been attached for a short time.
If you find a tick on your child, remove it using a fine-tipped pair of tweezers. Grasp the body of the tick and pull in an upward motion until the tick comes out. Do not squeeze or twist the ticks body. Take note of the ticks size and color, and how long you think it has been attached to your child.
If your child has been bitten by a black-legged tick that has been attached for more than 24 hours and you are in a Lyme disease endemic area, consult with your pediatrician. In some cases, your child may be prescribed antibiotics to prevent Lyme disease from developing.
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How Is Lyme Disease Treated
Your healthcare provider will figure out the best treatment for you based on:
How old you are
Lyme disease in the earliest stage is usually treated with antibiotics for 2 to 3 weeks.
Treatment will also be considered based on these and other factors:
If you are bitten by a tick that tests positive for the bacteria that causes Lyme disease
If you are bitten by a tick and have any of the symptoms
If you are bitten by a tick and are pregnant
If you are bitten by a tick and live in a high-risk area
Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
Signs and symptoms of Lyme disease can vary from person to person after being bitten by a tick.
Lyme disease occurs in stages. The signs and symptoms of each stage can overlap. In some people, Lyme disease may present in a later stage without a history of prior signs or symptoms.
The most commonly reported sign of Lyme disease is an expanding skin rash that typically begins at the site of the tick bite. This rash is called erythema migrans. It slowly grows to more than 5 cm in diameter over several days, and can sometimes:
- be circular or oval-shaped
- look like a target or bull’s eye
- go unnoticed, especially if it’s on:
- dark skin
- a part of the body that’s difficult to see
Some people may not develop a rash.
Other early signs and symptoms include:
If left untreated, the infection could spread to the joints, heart and nervous system.
Images of erythema migrans rash
Image 1Footnote a: A rash that looks like a bull’s eye at the site of a tick bite.
Image 2Footnote a: An oval-shaped red rash.
Image 3Footnote a: A red rash that has expanded across the width of a limb.
Image 4Footnote a: A red rash and blisters on a forearm.
Image 5Footnote b: A rash on a shoulder.
Image 6Footnote c: A rash on the back of a knee.
- Footnote a
Later symptoms of Lyme disease can appear days to months after an infected tick bite, and may include:
- more rashes
- migratory pain that spreads in the:
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Can You Die From Lyme Disease
If not treated, Lyme disease can sometimes be fatal. Death records collected by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control in the U.S. found that during a four year period from 1999 to 2003, 114 records listed Lyme disease as a cause of death. Left untreated, Lyme disease eventually spreads to the brain, heart, and joints where it can do a lot of damage.If it’s not promptly and aggressively treated, it may become chronic or may cause death later on.
Borrelia burgdorfi bacteria are not the only bacteria that ticks carry. Co-infections by other bacteria are often missed, such as Bartonella, Babesiosis, Mycoplasma fermentans, and Ehrlichiosis can also be transmitted. They can also be dangerous with their own set of symptoms, and people must be tested for them during the Lyme treatment. Co-infections can exacerbate Lyme disease or induce similar disease manifestations making the condition worse.
How can you die from Lyme disease? Possibly as Lyme bacteria are particularly difficult to kill, and in many cases the use of antibiotics only temporarily suppresses them. They prefer to travel in tissue because of their corkscrew shape, and they’re clever enough to conceal themselves by entering healthy cells, where they remain unnoticed by the immune system. As soon as the bacteria enter the blood stream, they quickly enter the central nervous system where they cause the most harm.
Which Areas Are More Likely To Have It
The tick that causes Lyme disease has been moving from the Northeast and upper Midwest into the Southern and Western U.S., Mexico, and Canada. Cases in California and Florida are on the rise. After a drop between 2017 and 2018, the numbers jumped a little bit in 2019.
But most Lyme cases in 2019 were in 15 states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New
Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Washington, DC, is also a hotspot.
In 2019, Pennsylvania had the most Lyme infections, with 6,763. New York was next, with 2,847 cases.
In the Southern U.S., where itâs hotter, ticks stay under leaves so they don’t dry out. This means people donât get Lyme from Southern ticks very often because they don’t usually come out to bite.
Even though people only report about 30,000 cases of Lyme infection in the U.S. each year, there are actually around 476,000 a year. The same tick also can spread other diseases, including babesiosis, anaplasmosis, and Powassan virus. Those diseases are also on the rise in the U.S.
Whoâs likeliest to get Lyme disease?
Boys up to age 15 and men between the ages of 40 and 60 are the most likely to get Lyme disease. Thatâs because they tend to play outside and go camping, hunting, and hiking.
Why are there more ticks now than there used to be?
There are several reasons why Lyme is spreading. Some of these are:
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What You Need To Know About Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is an infection caused by the spiral-shaped bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, which is most commonly transmitted by a tick bite.
There are over 300,000 estimated new cases of Lyme disease in the United States each year.
The symptoms of Lyme disease depend on the how long the infection has been present in the body. The first sign of Lyme disease is often an expanding round or oval red “bullseye” rash.
If left untreated, people may develop neurological symptoms and heart problems, and have an approximately 60 percent chance of developing Lyme arthritis.
When Should You See A Doctor If You Think You Have Lyme
The rash is a pretty good indication that you may have been bitten. Take a photo of the rash and see your doctor. At this stage, treatment with antibiotics will probably work.
If you don’t have the rash but have symptoms like fatigue, fever, and headache but no respiratory symptoms like a cough, you may want to talk to your doctor.
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