Summers in Georgia are hot, humid, and full of bugs. From mosquitos to chiggers to ticks, you are bound to get bit by something this summer.
Ticks are one of the most unwanted pests to come in contact with. Ticks are scientifically classified as Arachnida (a classification that includes spiders). As gross as it sounds, ticks require blood meals to survive. Their complex life cycles depend on taking blood from another species, which makes them especially harmful to humans. Ticks are transmitters of disease for both humans and animals. When microbes in their saliva and mouth secretions get into their host’s skin and blood, disease transmission can occur within minutes to a few hours once a tick attaches to the skin.
The most important thing to know about ticks is that they can attach to your skin without you knowing it. Therefore, if you are out in the woods, garden, around bushes, or in tall grass, you will want to examine your skin afterward thoroughly. If you have someone with you, it is best to check one another because ticks are often easy to miss. Make sure you check the scalp, behind the ears, under your clothing, and anywhere your skin has been exposed.
If you have a tick bite, make sure you remove the tick promptly and carefully. If the tick has attached itself to your skin, you will want to use tweezers to grasp the tick as close to your skin as possible. Gently pull out the tick using a slow and steady upward motion. It is important to avoid twisting or squeezing the tick because you don’t want to break off part of the tick and leave some of it embedded in your skin. Once the tick has been removed, wash the bite area with warm water and soap. You should follow up by using rubbing alcohol and going back and forth over the area.
Most people do not have adverse reactions to tick bites, only experiencing minor swelling or soreness on the skin. However, if you notice a rash developing, perhaps with a bull’s-eye pattern, a severe headache, difficulty breathing, or heart palpitations, you will want to call 911 immediately.
At Medical Dermatology Specialists in Atlanta, we offer advanced and personalized skincare treatment for patients of all ages. If you have been bitten by a tick and are having skin reactions, please contact our practice today.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Jamie Weisman, Medical Dermatology Specialists, Inc.
Medical Dermatology Specialists, Inc.
5730 Glenridge Dr, Suite T-100
Atlanta, GA 30328
Monday – Thursday 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM