photo of redness, signs to worry

photo of redness, signs to worry
photo of redness, signs to worry

Tick ​​bites are worrying because we immediately think of Lyme disease. The only solution to avoid the risk is to monitor the bite.

Ticks are particularly present from spring to late fall. Ces “wood lice” can transmit the bacteria”borrelia at the origin of the Lyme diseasean infectious disease characterized by joint pain that can lead to paralysis of the limbs. This is why tick bites are so scary! After removing the tick, the bite must be observed for 1 month. If redness, a sign of erythema migrans, appears, you should definitely consult a doctor.Originally, we are not the preferred hosts of ticks but occasional hosts, nevertheless we are increasingly bitten” explains Séverine Carret of the France Lyme association. The tick, which belongs to the arachnid family (like mites and spiders) is hematophagous. That is to say, it bites us to feed on our blood.

A tick evolves into three stages when she is female, two when she is male. “Each stage corresponds to a meal and a molt” specifies our interlocutor and she can sting us at each of the three:

Photo of ticks: larva, nymph, adult © France Lyme
  • the larva stage (first meal), the tick has 6 legs and is the size of a poppy seed (0.5 to 1.5 mm).
  • the nymph stage (second meal), it has 8 legs and is the size of a sesame seed (1 to 2 mm).Nymphs are the most voracious, responsible for 70 to 80% of tick bites and stings..” And also the most difficult to remove because they go deep into the skin.
  • the adult stage (third meal for females): it is the size of a grain of corn (3 to 6 mm). “Only the female tick makes this last meal, the male eats little or nothing.”

How to recognize a tick bite?

Tick ​​bite under the eye © France Lyme

You remark a black point at your skin level (especially in hot and humid areas (behind the knee, the calves, sometimes at the hairline…) and when you run your finger through it, do you feel it catch? Take a closer look because the only way to spot and recognize a tick bite is to look closely. “The tick is planted perpendicular to the skin, it burrows into it to access the small blood vessel, we can see its legs moving, specifies Séverine Carret. It can sometimes be seen climbing on oneself but it is very rare. It is generally seen when it is encrusted.” The tick bite is painless “car the tick secretes anesthetic substances“.

In most cases, tick bites do not cause pain but are easily identifiable on the skin as they can cause a redness around the sting.

► In the following hours, Itching may occur. This is not a sign of Lyme borreliosis but of an inflammatory reaction to tick saliva.

► One to two weeks after the injection, Some people may have symptoms suggestive of a flu such as headaches or joint problems. Fever is exceptional. There may be a feeling of fatigue with joint and muscle pain but they accompany the erythema migrans they do not appear alone.

Redness around the sting: consult a doctor quickly!

It’s the fear of anyone who has been bitten by a tick: seeing a circular red/pink plaque around the bite and which gradually widens then turns white in its center and disappears. The very characteristic oferythema migrans. “We can have such a erythema 3 to 30 days After the bite, it is a sign that the tick was infected with borrelia (bacteria that causes Lyme disease) and that it has infected you” explains Séverine Carret. If you notice such erythema, you should consult a doctor.

If you have been bitten by a tick, it must be removed. “The tick eats its meal over several days, alternating between sucking up blood and rejecting serum that does not interest it. The longer she eats, the more she gorges herself, and the higher the risk of infection.explains Séverine Carret. When she has finished her meal, she detaches herself and lets herself fall to the ground. When we remove her while she is encrusted, we disturb her in the middle of a meal, she can spit out what she has in her abdomen. However, it is in the digestive system and saliva that bacteria, viruses and fungi are concentrated. It is therefore necessary remove it carefully and completely (the head must not remain in the skin) and do not crush its abdomen.

© France Lyme

To remove a tick, you must use a tick remover, nothing else. Slide the hook under the tick without crushing it as close to the skin as possible. “Turn gently until it comes off by itself without pulling, then throw it in the sink or on the fire and disinfect the bite with an antiseptic explains our interlocutor.

  • Do not remove a tick with his nails.
  • Do not put any product on it before removal such as ether or alcohol to sedate it.
  • Do not pick it up with your hands as it may still be stung. Use a tissue instead.

The tick remover allows you to remove the tick painlessly, without leaving the “head” in the skin and without compressing its abdomen. Be aware that there are tick removers in three different sizes:

  • a very small one for micro-ticks (larvae and nymphs.
  • a way for them adult ticks
  • a bigger one for the engorged adult ticks.

When to consult in case of a tick bite?

After removing the tick, the bite should be observed for 1 month. If a circular red plaque appears around it, or if there are any unusual signs (fatigue, headache, fever, body aches, paralysis, etc.), you should consult a doctor immediately.

What to put on a tick bite?

If you have persistent or unusual symptoms that suggest Lyme disease (body aches, joint pain, severe headaches, fever, intense fatigue, etc.), you should consult a doctor immediately. Based on blood tests, he or she will be able to make a diagnosis and consider appropriate treatment. Since Lyme disease is a bacterial infection, treatment is based on taking an antibiotic (amoxicillin or doxycycline), sometimes combined with a corticosteroid.

What diseases are transmitted by ticks?

Just because you’ve been bitten by a tick doesn’t mean you’re going to get sick. “Not all ticks are infected, recalls our interlocutor, even if they are more and more so and have more and more pathogens.“Similarly: you may have been infected by a tick and have nothing because your immune system has been effective enough to protect yourself from infection. A tick carrying the “borrelia” bacteria can transmit it to humans via saliva when it bites them. They can develop “Lyme borreliosis” or “Lyme disease”. This is the main infection transmitted by ticks in France and Europe. In rarer cases, ticks can transmit other bacteria but also parasites and viruses, which can notably cause tick-borne meningoencephalitis, tularemia, babesiosis, human granulocytic anaplasmosis or certain rickettsioses.

When we walk in nature:

  • Cover your arms and legs with long clothing.
  • Tuck the bottom of the pants into the socks.
  • Wear light clothing (caps too) to spot them better.
  • Avoid brushy areas, ferns and tall grass.
  • Walk the paths.
  • Use repellents, giving preference to those with marketing authorization and respecting their conditions of use: all of this information appears on the label, packaging and/or product instructions.
  • Wear closed shoes and light-colored, covering clothing to better spot ticks on the surface of the fabric.
  • Avoid walking through tall grass, bushes and low branches and stick to marked paths.
  • Inspect yourself when you return from your walks. Take a tick remover and antiseptic in your backpack, just in case.
  • In case of a bite, immediately remove attached ticks using a tick remover, fine tweezers or, failing that, your fingernails. Do not use ether or any other product under any circumstances and disinfect the wound.
  • Monitor the sting area for several days and consult your doctor if symptoms occur.

→ After the walk: You should inspect your body and children from head to toe. Children particularly love rolling around in the grass or taking the paths away from forest paths. You should look at their scalp, ears and folds (legs, arms, etc.) when you come home. And listen to them if they complain of being abnormally tired or not feeling well. You don’t have to panic, but you have to be vigilant.” concludes Séverine Carret.



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