Dr. Bob Arnot talks about the dangerous of deer ticks and how to avoid them and best options for treatment.
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I am Dr. Bob Arnot. Deer ticks have become a big problem here in the woods of the Northeast, the Pacific Northwest, and in the North Central states. Now, ticks usually are not a problem but the deer tick is. This is a tiny creature which is about the size of a pinhead it is brown in color and can cause potentially devastating complications to joints and to the neurological system. So, when you are in the woods like I am right here, here is what I will do: First of all, light-colored clothing, if I see one I can spot up before it takes its pinchers and sticks it into my skin. Secondly, I wear long sleeves shirts and I want to make sure that they are buttoned up here. I also want to have a long pair of trousers. It all looks goofy, if you want to stick the end of your trousers into your socks. A white sock is a good idea because you will also see the tick. When you get home, you want the entire family to do a tick check. Now if you do see one, do not panic. You have 36 hours before it can transmit the disease. Here are some other tips if you find that you had been beaten by a tick. So, how do you remove a deer tick? Okay, you can not afford to be squeamish here. First, you need to get a fine tip tweezers and grab the tick as close to the skin as possible and just pull it away. Do not use a hot match, Vaseline, or nail polish; just the tweezers. And, do not worry if the tick’s little mouth part stays stock in the skin because the disease is transmitted through its legs not its mouth. Then, just the area with antiseptic and you are done or if you would rather come in and we will remove the tick for you. Now for some reason you did not spot the tick in the first 36 hours, you can still prevent lime disease. Come in to Minute Clinic or your regular health care provider’s office for a single dose of antibiotics which usually does the trick. If you do end up getting lime disease, your first sign maybe a bulls-eye rash that radiates out from the side of the tick bite. Sometimes, this will be accompanied by very mild flu like symptoms. You need to heave these warnings and make an appointment with a healthcare provider or an infectious disease specialist. There are treatments for lyme’s disease but there effectiveness drops off considerably the longer you wait to start.