How Do You Protect Yourself Against A Tick Bite?
Wearing light colored clothes makes it easier to spot a dark or black ‘crawlies’. While outdoors, do a few body scans throughout to check that nothing is crawling on your clothes, legs or arms if you are, e.g. gardening in shorts and t-shirt.
Then there are additional options to prevent a tick bite. These can be essential oils combinations, or chemicals. If you opt to use chemical sprays, be sure not to inhale the vapors, as they are toxic to your brain. Here are some options to consider:
- Non chemical (I am not endorsed by any but have used the first two myself):
- Use sprays on shoes, socks, clothing, even hats (keep away from eyes, nose an mouth. Warning: Essential oils are very potent, so only spray outdoors.)
- Nantucket Spider (online, health stores, some garden supply stores)
- Tick Tick Naturals https://www.ticktocknaturals.com/shop
Bottom Line Deet-free natural sprays:
- Other: Essential oils including cinnamon bark, clove bod, neem, oil of oregano, lemongrass, cedar wood. This must be diluted in carrier oil, as they are potent and can burn the skin.
- Chemical choices: Permethrin spray
Permethrin – treated clothing: http://www.outdoors.org/articles/amc-outdoors/tick-defenses-permethrin-and-lymeez-tickwear/
2. Leave outdoor clothes and shoes in a separate area when you come into your home. Check your pets.
3. Take a hot shower.
4. Do multiple body check throughout the da , esp. in the creases or warm, moist areas such as the armpit, waist or behind the ears.
What to do when there is a tick attached:
- Do not irritate the tick, it will become stressed and will feed faster, and thus will regurgitate potentially more pathogens.
- Use fine tweezers, as though you are going to pick up a poppy see d (order online)
- “Grasp it from the side where it meets the skin, and, using steady gentle pressure, gently pull in the opposite direction from which it embedded, until the tick is released. Expect to see the skin “tent” as you gently pull. Place the tick in a lidded container or zip-lock bag. Wash and disinfect the bite site, your hands, and your tweezers. Avoid handling the tick.”
- If the tick is attached where you cannot reach it, contact your doctor immediately or go to the nearest ER where they can remove the tick safely.
- Contact your health care provider immediately and discuss prophylaxis treatment. If this is not an option, go to the nearest ER.
- If on hand, apply oil of oregano on the tick bite site (in a diluted form).
- Whether or not you choose to get prophylactic treatment after a tick bite, it is imperative to be vigilant for symptoms that might suggest active infection. Common Lyme symptoms include fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, and fatigue. ILADS.Org
Recommended treatment based on guidelines from ILADS (International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society)
- The preferred regimen is 100–200 mg of doxycycline, twice daily for 20 days.
- However, here has never been a study demonstrating that 30 days of antibiotic treatment cures chronic Lyme disease.
- Doxycycline is preferred when concomitant Anaplasma or Ehrlichia infections are possibilities.
- Short treatment courses have resulted in upwards of a 40% relapse rate, especially if treatment is delayed.
- It is important to note that Doxycycline (or other tetracyclines) will not address malaria-type infections, e.g. Babesiosis, that can infect an individual with a tick bite. This is also applies to infections including Bartonella and Mycolasma, or the Powassan virus. It is these infections that can induce illness while the individual thinks they are still sick with Lyme disease.
- The gold standard Western Blot test is unreliable in accuracy, presenting much false/ negative result, but also false/ positive results.
ISSUES WITH DIAGNOSIS & DIAGNOSTICS
- Testing too early after a tick bite will reduce chances of an accurate result, as the body needs 4-6 weeks to make antibodies against the infection. Also, some individuals with a suppressed immune system will not make sufficient antibodies in response to a Lyme disease infection.
- Ultimately, Lyme disease is a clinical diagnosis based on medical history, and physical findings.
“There is a distinction between diagnosis and diagnostics. A diagnosis encompasses the considered explanation for a patient’s symptoms based on the elements described above, as well as the process by which the diagnosis itself is reached. Diagnostic refers to laboratory and other test modalities used to aid in reaching a diagnosis. Challenges exist in both areas when considering Lyme disease.” ILADS.org
Rika Keck, NY Integrated Health LLC