When it comes to tick bites, the first thing we think of is Lyme disease. So, the thought of little bugs burrowing in your skin is enough to keep you hiding inside. Which is the shame, especially during the summer when you can hike, bike, enjoy campfires and so much more. So, to make sure you get to spend all the time you want outside and avoid the dangers of a tick bite, here’s exactly what you need to do if you ever get one.
Technically, ticks aren’t insects. Instead, they’re arachnids (like spiders or scorpions) and these little bugs like to burrow themselves in skin to suck blood. Yuck.
But along with hitchhiking on your body, ticks can also spread illnesses, and of course, the most famous of these is Lyme disease – a disease caused by the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria.
And this is only one of the many tickborn illnesses that individuals can contract, thanks to one tiny tick bite.
But don’t let this scare you. Tick bites can be serious, but they’re not a down deal.
What to do if you have a tick bite
Do a body scan
As soon as you come in from the great outdoors, check your body and if you can’t see certain areas, ask a friend, partner or parent to check your body, too. Ticks are small, but you can spot them.
If you spot a tick, you can remove it with a pair of tweezers or with a cotton swab.
Remove tick with tweezers
Use tweezers to grab onto the tick’s body as close to the skin’s surface as possible. Then, gently, slowly and with consistent force, draw the tick out. If you jerk, plank or twist, you can remove the body but leave the blood-sucking head inside.
If that goes happen, you can try to remove the head with a tweezers. Then, clean the area with soap and water.
Remove tick with a cotton swab
Take a cotton swab and dampen it. Then, gently and firmly push the tick in circles to help draw it out without removing the head from the body.