Q: I’m going to be going away for Labor Day weekend and I am really scared about getting Lyme disease. How can I prevent getting bit by a tick?
A: Lyme disease is one of several infections that ticks can carry. The good news is that if you are vigilant about checking yourself for a tick bite and doing a few simple preventative measures you can enjoy Labor day weekend tick free!
If you are going to be on trails or in the woods avoid high grass or bushy areas as those are areas that ticks like to live. In high risk areas use bug repellents that contain 20-30% DEET on your skin or clothing, which will give you protection for several hours.
Make sure to check your entire body every 24 hours as even if you are bit by a tick carrying Lyme disease it generally takes 24 hours of contact to transmit it to you. So it’s especially important to make sure you check yourself thoroughly every day.
If you are bit by a tick don’t panic, not all ticks are carriers of Lyme disease. Follow these simple instructions below from the CDC to remove it, and save it for your health care provider to check when your back in town.
Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible. Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers. If you are unable to remove the mouth easily with clean tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal. After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water.
Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend and remember to pack your sunscreen!