How do you treat tick bites on humans?


Quick Answer

WebMD states that removing the tick and cleaning the bite area is the first step in tick bite treatment, followed by ice pack application and taking non-prescription medicines to relieve pain and itching. Most ticks do not cause serious health problems and can be treated at home, but increased pain, redness, swelling and pus around the area require medical attention.

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Full Answer

WebMD recommends using fine-tipped tweezers to remove a tick, but gloved hands or hands covered with tissue are also adequate for removing a tick. Never smother a tick with nail polish, gasoline, rubbing alcohol or petroleum jelly, and do not attempt to burn the tick off of the skin because doing so increases the risk of infection. Grab the tick as close to its mouth as possible, not around the tick’s belly, to avoid pushing the fluid from the belly into the wound. Place the tick in a jar or ziplock, and place it in a freezer in case the need for identification later arises. Wash the skin with a mild soap and warm water. Apply an ice pack once per hour for the first six hours after removing the tick bite, and take a non-prescription medicine, such as Tylenol, Advil or Bufferin, to provide swelling and itching relief. Calamine lotion provides itch relief topically. Local anesthetic sprays containing benzocaine are additional topical options.

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