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Health Topics

Fact or Fiction: Ticks

By Dr. Mia Taormina

There are many suggestions as how to best deal with ticks. Please read the following tips and suggestions as we debunk some of the most common myths:

1. Myth: Petroleum jelly, a lit match, or nail polish are the best ways to remove ticks.

Fact: These tricks don’t work and may even cause the tick to deposit more disease-carrying saliva into your skin. The best way to remove a tick is to grasp it gently by the head or mouth with a pair of tweezers and pull it out. Avoid crushing or smashing the tick and attempt to remove all embedded mouth parts. Wash the bitten area thoroughly. If you are unable to remove the tick, please seek medical attention.

2. Myth: Ticks only carry Lyme disease.

Fact: Ticks can carry many diseases including Rocky Mountain Fever, anaplamosis (also known as “dog fever”) and ehrlichiosis. The best way to avoid these diseases is to avoid tick bites.

3. Myth: Ticks aren’t an issue in the winter because it is too cold for them.

Fact: Tick season runs from April through November. Some experts claim ticks can adapt to even cooler temperatures and survive through the winter months. In addition, ticks can potentially move indoors to survive cooler temperatures.

4. Myth: Ticks are only found in trees.

Fact: Ticks are everywhere, even in urban settings. While they are more prevalent in wooded areas, ticks can live in the ground and climb up grass blades onto unsuspecting people and pets.

If you have been bitten by a tick recently, and experience any symptoms, please contact your primary care physician for further direction and treatment.

 

Topics and Subtopics: Children's Health , General Health & Infectious Disease

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