If you have been out enjoying the beautiful summer weather in the Charlotte area, you are certainly not alone! We are grateful for all of the outdoor adventures and opportunities our community offers during this time of year. What we aren’t grateful for, however, are ticks and tick bites.
You are at risk of experiencing a tick bite whenever you are outside, but it is much more common in the summer. Not all ticks are dangerous, but some of them can be carrying Lyme disease, which can make you really sick.
Our AFC Urgent Care South Charlotte team wants you to stay safe while enjoying the summer season, so read on to learn more about tick bites and the signs of Lyme disease.
Why Do Ticks Attach to Your Skin?
Ticks can be found all over the country, and they survive by attaching to the skin of warm-blooded animals to drink their blood. They will also drink ours, too, if the opportunity presents itself! Ticks can be found on leaves in the trees, on long grasses, or on shrubs or bushes. If you brush up against them, they can attach to your clothing and start to crawl.
Ticks are really small, and many people can’t feel them crawling on their skin. If you don’t notice it right away, it could easily embed itself into your skin without you realizing it. Once you discover the tick, your main focus should be removing it entirely as quickly as you can. Ticks carrying Lyme disease need to be attached to you for at least 36 hours to transmit the disease, so work fast!
Tips for Easy Tick Removal
- Use a clean tweezers and pull slowly and steadily away from the skin.
- Do not twist as you pull.
- Take a picture of the tick.
- Dispose in the garbage or toilet.
- Wash your hands and the bite site thoroughly.
How Common Is Lyme Disease?
There are millions of ticks out there, and only around 30,000 people contract Lyme disease annually, so the chances of you getting sick aren’t very high. So once you remove the tick from your body, take a deep breath and try to relax. All you need to do afterward is watch how you feel over the course of the next month.
Lyme disease can appear anywhere from three to 30 days after the initial tick bite and can cause headaches, a lingering fever, body aches or chills, or that classic bulls-eye rash around the bite site. If you start to feel sick, the best thing to do is be seen immediately! Lyme disease can become serious or can lead to chronic issues like fatigue and joint pain.
When an AFC Visit Is Recommended
- You can’t remove the entire tick on your own
- Your rash gets bigger or looks like a bulls-eye
- Flu-like symptoms appear
- Signs of infection appear, like pus or redness and swelling
If you are ever worried about an animal or insect bite, come see us at AFC Urgent Care South Charlotte.