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Being bite by a tick is scary business and needs to be taken seriously. From removing the tick properly to treatment and monitoring, it’s good to know how to treat a tick bite in case you are ever faced with this situation.
I’m going to forewarn you that this post has images that are kind of gross but I’ve seen a lot of questions come up in Facebook groups that I’m apart of asking how to treat a tick bite so I wanted to share my own personal experience with you in case you are ever in the situation of needing to know what to do if you get bite by a tick.
This post contains affiliate links. See my disclosure here.
In the spring of 2015, we went tent camping along the North Carolina coast at Carolina Beach State Park. We hiked along swampy waters, hiked through the woods and saw natural fly trap plants growing, enjoyed ferry rides across the Atlantic Ocean and relished in outdoor cooking. We even ended up with a surprise addition to our family, a sweet, abandoned puppy.
It was an amazing trip except for one thing…I was bite by a tick but didn’t know until 3 weeks later!
We had returned home and were busy with a new puppy, 3 little kids, and a major kitchen renovation and somehow I had never forgotten to have my naked tick check (yes, this sounds disturbing, lol but whenever we return from camping or spending a lot of time outdoors, we always do a naked tick check. Literally, you stand naked, put your arms up and turn in a circle. That’s it.) With little kids, I can’t stress this enough. But anyway… I hadn’t been checked, so one night after working long and hard on the kitchen, I took a shower and when I got out and was drying off I felt something kind of furry feeling on my back. Of course I was immediately grossed out as I thought “omg! do I have a mole?!?!” I immediately ran to my husband and had him check. To my dismay, it was a tick. A very large and thriving tick. I had no idea it was there for 3 weeks!! It never hurt, never itched, I never even felt it.
I began freaking out and was paranoid I was going to die from Lymes disease. Thankfully, my hubby the Eagle Scout, is amazing at staying calm in situations like this and got the necessary tools to remove my tick.
How To Remove A Tick
1. Sterilize Tweezers. Using a match or lighter, heat the end of a pair of pointed or slanted tweezers to disinfect the tweezers. Be sure to allow the tweezers to return to room temperature before removing tick. If you do not have matches you can also use rubbing alcohol to disinfect the tweezers.
2. Getting the correct location. The tick buries it’s head under the skin, so when position the tweezers as close to the skin as possible
3. Removing the tick. Pull upward with even pressure and be extremely careful not to break the head off from the body. Do not twist or jerk the tweezers or the tick.
Having the tick removed did not hurt. However, mentally it’s uncomfortable.
How To Treat A Tick Bite
1. Immediately put the removed tick in a Ziplock baggie that can be taken to the doctor later
3. Take a picture of the area once the tick has been removed and then again every day to monitor the bite site. In my case, the bite site changed dramatically and enlarged and became a bit itchy.
4. Load up on immune boosting vitamins and minerals. I took personally 2 Nutriferon 3 times a day (activates the interferon in your body) ; 2 OmegaGuard 3 times a day (omegas reduce inflammation) ; 2 Garlic Complex 3 times a day (garlic is a nature antibiotic) and 2 Vitamin C 3 times a day (vitamin c is important for boosting and maintaining your immune system) for 1 week.
5. Visit the doctor. I found my tick bite on a Friday night (isn’t that always the case, once the doctor’s office is closed). I monitored the bite and then went to see the doctor onTuesday. She checked out the bite area and said that it did not look infected, however, I still opted to do a full round of oral antibiotics (doxycycline) and a topical antibiotic cream. I figured you can never be too safe! However, after starting the antibiotic, I wanted to make sure that my gut health wasn’t compromised, so I added in 1 Optiflora Probiotic 1 time a day.
Immediately After Removing The Tick
This is what my skin looked like immediately after removing the tick properly.
Four Day Later
This is what my skin looked like 4 days after removing the tick properly. My skin became very red, which spread to the size of at least a quarter. It was a bit itchy as well. However, with close monitoring and taking the antibiotics and vitamins and minerals, I was able to have it subside.
Side By Side Comparison
Here you can see the dramatic difference in my skin within four days of removing the tick. Be sure to monitor the area by taking pictures daily and compare. Also talk to your doctor about any changes that occur. Ask your doctor about the “bullseye” and be sure to ask what to look for should you have symptoms that resemble it.
3 years later tick bite update
It is now 2018 that I am writing this post and I am happy to report that after taking the full round of antibiotics (both oral and topically + taking all of my natural supplements, listed above) I am happy to report that I never had any negative side effects to receiving the tick bite. My skin returned back to normal within two weeks after removing the tick.
Tick Bite Prevention
Using a good buy spray is important. We have since began to use bug spray with deet in it when we know we are in areas where ticks are very prevalent. When using deet you do need to be very careful. Avoid aerosol spray cans or squirt bottles – if you cannot, spray onto your hands and then rub onto your skin, washing hands after.