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Tick/Insect Bites and Early Lyme Disease

What are tick and insect bites and stings and what are the symptoms?

Insect bites and stings are common and usually harmless. Insect bites and stings often result in pain, redness and swelling in the injured area. Allergic persons can experience a localized allergic reaction (swelling, heat, or itching at the site) or a systemic allergic reaction such as hives, wheezing, shortness of breath, faintness, and swelling of face or mouth.

Ticks are small spiderlike parasites that fasten themselves onto the skin and feed on blood. Tick bites occur most often during spring and summer and in areas where there are many wild animals. An allergic reaction may result from a tick bite. This reaction may be mild, with a few annoying symptoms, or rarely, a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) may occur.

What are the symptoms of early Lyme disease?

Ticks may also become infected by deer on whose blood they have fed. A person bitten by an infected tick is at risk for developing Lyme disease. Lyme disease symptoms vary widely because Lyme disease can affect various parts of the body. Typical symptoms include a red rash that starts small and progresses in size over a few days to a month, often taking on a bulls-eye appearance. Other symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and body aches. If the infection is not treated, serious complications my occur.

What is the treatment for tick and insect bites and stings and early Lyme disease?

If you have been bitten by a tick, it is important to remove a tick's entire body as soon as you find it, because the longer the tick remains attached to your skin, the greater your risk of developing infection or Lyme disease. Visit Healthcare Clinic for tick removal. If you have not had a tetanus shot in the past 10 years, you should visit a healthcare provider such as Healthcare Clinic to get this vaccination.

If any of the symptoms of early Lyme disease listed above are experienced, visit Healthcare Clinic immediately. Treatment for Lyme disease is most effective when begun early, within the first 48 hours. If treated early, most cases of Lyme disease can be successfully treated with a few weeks of antibiotics.*

Treatment of insect bites and stings depends on the type of reaction. If there is only redness and pain at the site of the bite or sting, application of ice is adequate treatment. Clean the area with soap and water, and refrain from scratching because doing so may cause an infection. Itching at the site of the bite or sting may also be treated with an over the counter antihistamine or calamine lotion.

This treatment is available at Healthcare Clinic locations for patients 18 months and older.

Walk in or schedule an appointment at the Healthcare Clinic nearest you.

If you believe you have a medical emergency,  please call 911.

1 Prescriptions written when clinically appropriate. Patients have a choice of pharmacy.

2 Service is available at Healthcare Clinic locations for patients 18 months and older.

* Patient care services provided by Take Care Health Services, an independently owned professional corporation whose licensed healthcare professionals are not employed by or agents of Walgreen Co. or its subsidiaries, including Take Care Health Systems, LLC.