As we are now in the Summer Holidays many of us are out and about enjoying the wonderful countryside we have around us.
However, do keep an eye out for Ticks. These tiny bugs can transmit bacteria such as Lyme Disease, when bitten. This is a debilitating and little known about condition. They are typically found in woodland, grassland, moorland or heathland but are also found in urban parks and gardens. When out walking, remember to keep to footpaths, avoiding long grass
See NHS Choices and Lyme Disease UK for more information on signs, symptoms and treatments for Lyme disease. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/lyme-disease/
Here are some tips to help you avoid coming into contact with these tiny critters:
- Wear appropriate clothing (a long-sleeve shirt and trousers tucked into your socks);
- Use an insect repellent;
- Wear light coloured fabrics that may help you spot a tick on your clothes;
- Inspect your skin for ticks, particularly at the end of the day, including your head, neck and skin folds (armpits, groin and waistband)
- Check your children’s head and neck areas, including their scalp (skin on top of their head)
- Check that pets do not bring ticks into your home in their fur.
If you do get bitten by a tick, removing it quickly and correctly can help to reduce any potential risk. The only safe way to remove a tick is to use a pair of fine-tipped tweezers, or an easy-to-use device which can be purchased from pharmacies or vets.
Grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible. Pull upwards slowly and firmly, as mouthparts left in the skin can cause a local infection
Once removed, apply antiseptic to the bite area and keep an eye on it for several weeks for any changes
Contact your GP if you begin to feel unwell or develop a circular red skin rash, often described as a bull’s-eye rash, and remember to tell them that you were bitten by a tick.