A few years ago I was planting some flowers and I noticed a spot on my leg.  I thought it was dirt but when I went to flick it off, it didn’t move. After taking a closer look I realized it was a tick and it was dug in there. Everything I have read about ticks and Lyme Disease says not to panic if you find a tick. Well, I wish I could have listened to that advice.  When I couldn’t pull it off my leg, I got a little panicked.

Fortunately, my husband was able to pull it out slowly with a pair of tweezers, which is the recommended way to remove a tick. No vaseline, no nail polish, no burning with a match.  That can make things worse. Just gently pull with tweezers. I never got the red bulls-eye rash. But, after being a health reporter for more than 35 years, I know you could still be infected with Lyme Disease, even if you don’t get the rash.  However, it takes at least 24 hours for a tick to transmit Lyme disease, so if you remove a tick immediately, chances are you will be okay.   Lyme disease can cause fever, headaches, fatigue, arthritis, and even facial paralysis.  Since that time, whenever I am gardening or in the woods, I  use a tick repellent that contains DEET and I check myself for ticks. Not all ticks carry Lyme disease, but if you want to get a tick tested, save it in a plastic bag or pill bottle. If diagnosed early, Lyme disease can be treated easily with antibiotics.

If you find a tick that has bitten into your skin don't panic just follow these simple steps:
  1. Grab the tick with tweezers and slowly twist and pull the tick out of your skin.
  2. If the head comes off it's okay, the head doesn't carry the germs that causes diseases in your body.

Here is a short video on how to remove a tick from the Mayo Clinic.

Here's what to do after a tick bite from Hopkins Lyme Disease Research.

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