Dear Dr. vybe: How Do I Remove a Tick I Got on My Wissahickon Hike?

 

Dear Dr. vybe,

 

What I love about this time of year is that there are fewer pests to bug me while I try to enjoy the outdoors. I can never relax during summer the way I want because I’m always being swarmed by mosquitos. This is the time that I normally thrive—not too warm that there are hoards of bugs, but not too cold to enjoy nature.

Visiting Wissahickon is one of my favorite pastimes, and I always try to take full advantage in these cooler months. I’m out practically every weekend, whether it’s walking the trails or fishing in the creek. I thought I was in the clear on my hike today, only to notice hours later that I was hosting a tick!

I’m normally a pro on all the ways to keep bugs off of me in the first place, but I’ve never had to deal with how to remove them once they’ve already invaded my space. What is the protocol for safely detaching these little freeloaders?

Sincerely,

Always Being Bugged

 

 

 

Dear Always Being Bugged,

 

I think we can all relate to your bug rant in one way or another. While some insects seem to be more attracted to specific people and their blood type than others, no one wants to be bothered while trying to soak up the remaining days before winter fully hits. Unfortunately, with fall still counting as tick season, it is very common to come across one when outside.

If a tick does decide to jump ship and come home with you, there are definitely set procedures to follow. Your main concern should be to quickly and properly removing the tick from your skin—plain and simple. Don’t attempt to use heat, nail polish, or any other rumored trick that is meant to get the tick to detach itself.

Use a pair of fine-tipped tweezers to grip the tick as close to your skin as possible so as to not crush or break off any parts of the bug when you pull. Be sure to clean the bitten area thoroughly after it is fully detached.

Don’t forget to keep an eye on the bite for any redness or swelling for several weeks after. If you develop a rash or fever, come into your nearest vybe as soon as possible so we can get you the proper antibiotics needed to prevent any long-term illnesses. We have several locations in Philadelphia, so stop by if you have questions. And try to do routine tick checks next time you’re on a hike! Prevention and acting quickly can make all the difference with those little guys.

Sincerely,

Suddenly Craving Some Fresh Air