Tips to Protect Yourself From Ticks This Summer
Whether you’re hanging out at a local park or going hiking this summer, it’s important to watch out for ticks. These biting insects are out this time of year, and they can put you at risk of Lyme disease and other illnesses that they spread through their bites. Find out how you can protect yourself from these bugs this season.
Risk Factors for Tick Bites
You’re more likely to encounter ticks when you spend time in grassy areas or wooded areas. Ticks can hide in long grass and other areas, then jump onto your clothing or skin. When you wear clothes that leave skin exposed, you also have a higher risk of being bitten by a tick. These bugs attach themselves to exposed skin in order to feed. Other risk factors for tick bite problems include not removing ticks from your skin right away and not removing ticks the right way when they are on your skin.
Tick Bite Prevention
You can lower your risk of tick bites with some prevention tips. These include the following:
- Wear clothing that covers exposed skin as much as possible.
- Wear white outfits or light colored outfits rather than darker ones.
- Wear a cap or put your hair in a ponytail or bun.
- Apply tick repellent treatment to your clothing before heading out for hikes.
- Pull up your socks as high as they can go to protect your legs.
- Wear tick repellent sprays or other products.
- Walk along the middle part of walking or hiking trails instead of wandering along the edges of these trails.
- Keep your yard tidy, such mowing the lawn regularly and removing weeds, to discourage ticks.
- Check your clothes and skin often for ticks when you are outdoors.
What to Do After Coming Indoors
When you come inside, check your body for ticks. Look in moist areas where ticks might be hiding, such as your armpits or groin. Other areas to check include inside your belly button, in your hair, around your waist, behind your knees or in and around your ears.
After checking for ticks, wash your clothes in hot water and dry them on a high heat setting to kill ticks. You should also take a shower to eliminate ticks that haven’t bitten you yet. If you have a tick on you, carefully remove it with tweezers without crushing the head. Make sure you check your outdoor gear and your pets for ticks as well.
When to Seek Medical Care
If you develop symptoms of Lyme disease or other tick-related illnesses, you should get medical treatment as soon as you can. Some common symptoms include a bite with a bullseye rash around it, fever, fatigue, headache, stiff neck, chills, body aches and swelling in your lymph nodes.
If you have any signs or symptoms after being bitten by a tick, please visit PrimeCare Urgent Care as soon as possible for treatment.