Tick Bite

Disponible En Espanol


Care at Home

  • WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW: * Most tick bites are harmless. * The spread of disease by ticks is rare. * If the tick is still attached to the skin, it needs to be removed. * Covering the tick with petroleum jelly or nail polish doesn't work. Neither does rubbing alcohol or a soapy cotton ball. Touching the tick with a hot or cold object also doesn't work. * Try one of the methods described below to remove the tick.
  • WHAT TO EXPECT: * Tick bites normally don't itch or hurt. * That's often why they may not be noticed.
  • PREVENTION: * When hiking in tick-prone areas, wear long clothing. Tuck the ends of pants into socks. Use an insect repellent to shoes and socks. * Permethrin products can be put on clothing. Because of this, it is a better choice against ticks than DEET.
  • CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF: * You tried and can't remove the tick or the tick's head * Fever or rash happens in the next 2 weeks * Bite starts to look infected * Your child becomes worse
  • ANTIBIOTIC OINTMENT: * Wash the wound and your hands with soap and water after removal. * This helps to prevent catching any tick disease. * Use an antibiotic ointment such as Polysporin. No prescription is needed. * Put it on the bite once.
  • TICK'S HEAD: * If the wood tick's head breaks off in the skin, remove it. * Clean the skin with rubbing alcohol. * Use a sterile needle to uncover the head and lift it out. * If a small piece of the head remains, the skin will slowly shed it. * If most of the head is left, call your doctor for help.
  • TICK REPELLENT FOR SKIN - DEET: * DEET is an good tick repellent also. It can be used on the skin not covered by clothing. * Use 30% DEET for children and teens (AAP 2003). Note: 30% DEET protects for 6 hours.
  • TICK REPELLENT FOR CLOTHING - PERMETHRIN: * Permethrin products (such Duranon or Permanone Tick Spray) are very good tick repellents. * An advantage over DEET is that permethrin is used on clothing. Put it on clothes, especially pants cuffs, socks and shoes. You can also put it on other outdoor items (mosquito screen, sleeping bags). * Do not put Permethrin on skin. Reason: It loses its ability to work once in contact with skin.
  • WOOD TICK REMOVAL: USE A TWEEZERS * Use a tweezers and grasp the tick close to the skin (on its head). * Hold the tweezers sideways next to the skin surface. * Pull the wood tick straight upward without twisting or crushing it. * Maintain a steady pressure until it releases its grip. * If you don't have tweezers, you can use your fingers. * Other options. You can use a loop of thread around the jaws. You can also use a needle pushed between the jaws for traction.
  • DEER TICK REMOVAL: * Tiny deer ticks need to be scraped off. * You can remove them with the edge of a credit card.

Disclaimer

The information contained in these topics is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.

Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before starting any new treatment or discontinuing an existing treatment. Talk with your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Nothing contained in these topics is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment.

  • Not a Substitute - The information and materials in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker should not be used as a substitute for the care and knowledge that your physician can provide to you.
  • Supplement - The information and materials presented here in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker are meant to supplement the information that you obtain from your physician. If there is a disagreement between the information presented herein and what your physician has told you -- it is more likely that your physician is correct. He or she has the benefit of knowing your child's medical problems.
  • Limitations - You should recognize that the information and materials presented here in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker have the following limitations, in comparison to being examined by your own physician:
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    • Your child could have an underlying medical problem that requires a physician to detect.
    • If your child is taking medications, they could influence how he experiences various symptoms.

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