Martha Jefferson Healthwise: Tick Bites

March 12, 2014

It's not quite spring, but doctors are already getting reports of tick bites and now they're warning people about prevention, the symptoms and related illnesses.

Whether you're out playing a round of golf or taking your kids to the park, doctors say you should be on the lookout for ticks.

However, Dr. Margo Gill of Forest Lakes Family Medicine says there are a few things you can do to keep ticks away in addition to checking for them on your skin and showering when you come in from outdoors.

"We certainly don't want people to stay holed up inside. We do want people to protect themselves though. The safest way we do that for adults and children is by using deet about 20% to 30 % in most bug repellants that you want to spray on your socks ankles and skin that is exposed," said Dr. Gill.

Because Lyme disease is a concern when it comes to getting a tick bite, Dr. Gill says you should be on the lookout for the following symptoms: a rash that looks like a target, fevers, headache and joint pain.

If you've been bitten by a tick and have these symptoms, Dr. Gill says you should see a doctor right away. Although, it takes about two to six weeks for Lyme disease to show up on a test, a physician may start you on medications if they believe you have the disease.

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