Most of the tick bites are harmless and do not cause any health problems. However, ticks can get infected from their hosts and are able to carry diseases. Disease carrier ticks can transmit these diseases to both animal and human hosts upon feeding. If a human is bitten by an infected tick, this will then pose serious health problems to the human. When a tick bites, it will move further in the skin and will there stay until it is done feeding on blood. Tick sizes may vary and the small ones are really difficult to see. But in cases where a tick is found, it is very important to remove it as soon as possible as this will also help reduce the risk of getting a disease from the bite.
Remove the tick with a tick removal device or tweezers by grasping the tick as close to its mouth as possible or close to the skin surface. If tweezers or other devices are not available, use gloves or cover hands with tissue – ticks must not be handled with bare hands. Pull the tick straight out of the skin without squeezing or twisting to avoid breaking the tick’s head or mouthpart. Check to see if there are any mouthparts or head that is left, and make sure to remove it. Also, avoid crushing or squeezing the tick’s body as this might transfer infected liquid from the tick to the body. Do not apply anything on the tick such as petroleum jelly or burn the tick while it is still attached as this will also increase the risk of infection. After its removal, clean the bite area with soap and water or alcohol.
A simple home remedy may be helpful in the relief from tick bites. After the removal of the tick, applying ice to the bite area will help reduce the pain, swelling and itchiness. This may be done by putting ice in a plastic bag and covering it with a towel or simply put some ice in an ice bag. Put the ice bag on the bite areas for about 15 to 20 minutes every hour or as directed by the healthcare provider. Avoid scratching the bite to avoid worsening the condition or increasing risk of infection.
Effective tick bite medicine
Sometimes, tick bite medicines may be needed when symptoms start to appear or when infections arise. These medications include the following:
- Antibiotics – these medications are given if one gets infected from the tick bite. Either an oral or topical antibiotic will be prescribed by the doctor. It is important to take or apply antibiotics for the prescribed entire course of the treatment, even if symptoms begin to disappear.
- Antihistamines – antihistamines are given to help reduce symptoms of tick bite such as swelling and itchiness.
- Skin protectants – skin protectants such as calamine lotion or topical preparations containing zinc oxide are also helpful in relieving the itchiness and redness of the skin from the tick bite. It may also help prevent infection from occurring.
- Local anesthetics – these medications help reduce any pain and itching of tick bites.
- Oral or topical steroids – topical steroids are used to reduce the redness and itchiness of the bite. However, these must not be used on areas where there are cuts or infection. Oral steroids may be needed when serious reaction to the bite arises. It must be taken with food to prevent stomach upset.
Prior to taking or using these medications, it is best to tell the healthcare provider if one is allergic to any of these tick bite medicines. Talk to a healthcare provider if these medications do not work or side effects start to develop. Observe for any unusual symptoms that may develop as these may be a sign of a contracted disease from the bite of an infected tick.