Preventing and Treating a Tick Bite

by Dr Deirdre O’Neill

Welcoming the hot summer nights, vacations and more family time, comes with preventing the woes of summer. This is the time of year to remember the tips on how to eat right with the BBQ & family picnics, handle excess sun exposure, and properly remove a tick.

Ticks can harbour the organism responsible for Lyme disease. Lyme infected ticks are prevalent on Vancouver Island, more than most of us are aware. Tick bites are often painless, and easily go unnoticed as ticks are very small.

The best form of prevention of Lyme disease is to avoid getting bit in the first place.

Avoid brushy, overgrown grassy and wooded habitats
Wear light coloured long sleeves and pants, and tuck pants into socks
Tie back or cover long hair
Spray your clothing with Repellent Sprays, like DEET for skin and Permethrin for clothing

When you come in from the outside where you may have encountered ticks
Throw your clothing in the drier at high heat
Have a tick check done on your body
Have a shower
Check your pets and keep them off your furniture

A Couple of Options for Removing a Tick:

Never squeeze or burn a tick
Here is a link to two videos instructed by Dr. Murakami, an expert on Lyme Disease. The first video is meant for physicians, the second is meant for the public.

Otherwise use fine pointed tweezers. Grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible. Do not squeeze the tick’s body. Pull firmly straight out.
Save the tick for testing in a jar.
Disinfect the site of the bite.

If there is any question that you have been exposed to a tick, seek immediate medical care. The doctors at Sage Clinic can guide you in the best avenue for early treatment.