In summer, people like to go for a walk in a field. When they do, they often have to contend with tall grasses and lurking ticks. It happens sooner than you think and a tick sticks to you. But what now? In this article you will learn everything you need to know about first aid for a tick bite.
What does a tick bite look like?
At first, we humans do not notice or feel a tick bite. This is due to the anaesthetic that the tick emits when it bites. Usually, it is already too late and the tick has attached itself to the skin for hours. The size of the tick can vary depending on how old it is and how long it remains on the skin. Therefore, the discovery of the bloodsucker can often be detected very late.
A tick bite becomes visible as soon as the skin is swollen, the tick is large enough or reddening of the skin occurs. If the tick is removed, the puncture hole is still visible. The bite can take a more serious course as soon as the redness spreads.
What diseases can be transmitted by a tick bite?
In most cases, a tick bite can spread two diseases – Lyme disease and TBE.
Lyme disease is a disease caused by the so-called bacterial species of Borrelia. Up to this point, there is no vaccine for this disease. The first symptoms of Lyme disease can be the following:
- Muscle and joint pain
A quick removal of the tick is therefore absolutely necessary. This can reduce the risk of contracting Lyme disease. In the case of a disease, it is visible as a circular reddening of the skin at the site of the bite. If this reddening occurs, immediate medical treatment is urgently required!
TBE is an abbreviation for “early summer meningoencephalitis”. It is a viral disease that occurs in endemic areas. However, not all ticks carry the virus. About 5 per cent of ticks in endemic areas carry this viral disease. TBE can affect the nervous system. The developments can ultimately lead to meningitis or encephalitis. If symptoms of this kind occur, it is absolutely necessary to consult a doctor.
First aid for tick bite: How to remove?
The highest priority in the event of a tick bite is to remain calm. After all, a jerky removal of the tick can have consequences later on. We help you with first aid for your tick bite.
What is the best way to remove ticks?
To remove a tick, the best tool is a pair of tick tweezers. They enable us to grasp the tick close to the skin and remove it afterwards. In addition, the tweezers make it possible to remove the tick without squeezing it.
Remove ticks quickly
In order to remove the tick without damage, the following tools should be provided:
- Tick tweezers / tick lasso / tick card
- Wound disinfectant
- Place tick tweezers as close to the skin as possible.
- Pull the tick out of the skin by pulling slowly.
- Once the tick has been removed, the wound can be disinfected with a disinfectant.
- Hands should then be washed so that no residue of the disinfectant remains.
Should ticks be turned or pulled?
The correct technique for removing a tick is to pull it out. However, the tick can be loosened by gently twisting it back and forth. However, care should be taken when doing this. Jerky twisting can cause the tick to split. Therefore, twisting is only recommended if the tick is difficult to loosen.
Where is the best place to dispose of the tick?
Once a tick has been removed, it should be killed. Common methods for doing this are crushing or squashing. In addition, one should make sure that no body fluids of the tick are on the skin. Body fluids of a tick can contain pathogens and these can be transmitted through open wounds on the human skin. Also, do not remove the tick in the toilet. There is a possibility that the tick will survive in the water.
Can you remove the tick with your finger?
A tick can also be removed with the fingers. However, this requires long fingernails. In addition, there is a possibility that the tick will be crushed. This should be avoided as a matter of urgency, as there is a greater chance of pathogens being transferred to the human body.
The following steps are necessary to remove the tick with the fingernails:
- It was ensured that the fingernails were long enough.
- Grasp the tick close to the skin with the fingernails, but never close the fingertips together.
- Move fingernails to the left and right so that the tick can be pulled out.
- Use a disinfectant on the wound.
What to do if the tick head gets stuck?
From time to time, residues of the tick may remain on the skin when the tick is removed. The biting apparatus of the tick is also usually mistaken for the tick’s pigtail. However, it is important to remain calm, as the biting apparatus does not represent an increased health risk for humans.
Basically, one thing is most important – the tick must be removed. Residues of the tick are repelled by the skin after some time and ultimately pose no danger to humans.
However, if the wound becomes infected, a doctor should be consulted as a matter of urgency.
What to do if the tick bite itches?
If the tick bite starts to itch, the first priority is not to scratch the wound. In addition, if you feel itchy after a tick bite, you should consult a doctor. It is not typical for the wound to start itching after a tick bite. This can be more of an indication of a disease or a bacterial infection.
To relieve itching after a tick bite, it is recommended to cool the wound. This also helps to combat swelling on the skin.
How long do you see a tick bite?
As a rule, the healing process of the tick bite wound should take about seven days. Any skin change after seven days should definitely be assessed by a doctor. If a reddening of the skin forms with a diameter of about 4 centimetres, then this is a wandering redness and indicates a Borrelia infection. This requires antibiotic treatment, which is ordered by a doctor.
When should I go to the doctor with a tick bite?
In principle, a visit to the doctor after a tick bite is not objectionable, even if the tick bite should not be a cause for concern. Especially after you have given first aid for a tick bite, you should have it examined by a doctor. Ultimately, however, you should always keep an eye on the tick bite and act as quickly as possible if there are any changes in the skin.
Especially if flu-like symptoms become apparent, this can indicate an illness with TBE. In this case, medical treatment is essential.
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