Understanding Tick Bites and Lyme
How to prevent tick bites
- Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-
registered insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol,
or 2-undecanone and always follow product instructions.
Wear clothing treated
soon as possible after spending time outdoors.
Check for ticks daily. Ticks can hide under the armpits, behind the knees, in the hair, and in the groin.
Tumble clothes in a dryer on high heat
for 10 minutes to kill ticks on dry clothing after you
If the clothes are damp, additional time may be needed.
How to remove a tick
fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.
Pull upward with steady, even pressure to remove the tick. Avoid
twisting or jerking.
Clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
Remove the tick as soon as possible to
reduce your chances of getting an infection from the tick bite.
Don’t use nail polish, petroleum jelly, or a hot match to make the tick detach.
If tick mouthparts remain
in the skin, leave them alone. In most cases,
they will fall out in a few days.
to see your healthcare provider
If you develop a rash, fever, exhaustion, or joint and muscle aches within several weeks of removing a tick or spending time in tick habitat, see your healthcare provider. Be sure to mention your recent tick bite and when it happened, or that you’ve spent time in places where ticks may live.
People treated with antibiotics in the early stages of Lyme disease
usually recover rapidly and completely.
most commonly used to treat Lyme disease include: doxycycline, amoxicillin, or cefuroxime axetil.
ahead to recovery
Rest and take antibiotics as prescribed. Recovery may take several weeks or longer. Some people wonder if there is a test to confirm that they are cured, but there is no such test.
Retesting for Lyme disease is not recommended because blood tests might be positive for months or years after you have been
treated. A positive test doesn’t mean you are still infected. It simply means that your immune system remembers your
infection. You can get Lyme disease again if you are bitten by another infected tick, so
protect yourself from tick bites.
For more information see www.cdc.gov/Lyme and www.cdc.gov/Ticks