Useful Tips

Tick ​​bites: symptoms and treatment


How to handle a tick bite depends on the severity of the consequences. In most cases, a small red spot appears, swelling, slight itching. With increased sensitivity of the skin, an allergic reaction develops, requiring special treatment. When using non-sterile tools in the process of extracting a tick, an infection gets into the wound, and the use of local antibiotics is subsequently required.

How to treat a tick bite in a person with a normal reaction

After extraction of the parasite, swelling, redness, inflammation, and slight itching remain. To improve the condition of the epidermis, speed up the recovery process, it is necessary to disinfect the wound, then apply a remedy with a calming, anti-inflammatory effect.

For disinfection use any antiseptic:

  • medical alcohol
  • ammonia
  • iodine,
  • hydrogen peroxide,
  • tincture for alcohol - motherwort, valerian, hawthorn, calendula, etc.

To speed up the recovery of the epidermis, ointment or cream is applied:

  • Menovazine
  • Calendula,
  • Balm Asterisk,
  • Bepanten
  • Boro Plus,
  • Rescuer.

If there is nothing at hand, at home or in nature, folk remedies are used.

  • Shaving foam - apply for 5 minutes.
  • Toothpaste with menthol - wash off after 5 minutes.
  • Pasta from baking soda - diluted with water to the state of slurry, applied until dry.
  • Vinegar solution - 1 cup 1 teaspoon of the product. Lubricate the wound after a bite or apply a compress for 20 minutes.
  • A slice of lemon - anoint a tick bite, repeat the procedure twice more per day.
  • Vodka - you need to lubricate the wound or apply a compress for 5 minutes.
Tick ​​Bite Remedies

The condition of the skin is normalized within 3 days, the traces of a tick bite completely disappear after a week.

How to treat a wound after a tick bite for allergies

You can determine the presence of an allergic reaction by severe itching, large-scale redness, additional rash, and inflammation. If the tick is pulled out, you should immediately disinfect the wound with an antiseptic. After that, smear the affected area with an antihistamine, anti-allergic effect.

Smear the wound twice a day with a thin layer. Only the inflamed area of ​​the epidermis is treated. Antihistamines have anti-inflammatory, antipruritic, sedative, regenerative effects. Unpleasant symptoms disappear almost immediately, the skin after regular treatment of the wound is restored in 3 days.

  • Fenistil-Gel
  • Psilo-Balm
  • Advantan
  • Eloc
  • Betamethasone
  • Hydrocortisone ointment.

The cost of the drug is from 200 rubles. up to 800 rub. You can buy in pharmacies. They are released without a prescription.

If the bite site becomes inflamed after removal of the tick, itches, cannot be treated at home, after 3 days you should immediately seek help from specialists. It is necessary to take antihistamines inside. The dosage is selected depending on the age, body weight of the victim.

Bite infection after tick removal

In most cases, parasites are extracted independently at home. You can remove the tick with the help of a thread, tweezers, special devices, and a syringe. Sudden movements are not allowed, as the head comes off, remains under the skin. If the tick is improperly removed, a part of its body remains under the skin, which can lead to inflammation, wound decay.

Tick ​​Removal Methods

The site of the bite after removing the tick must be sanitized. All used tools must be pre-treated with an antiseptic. If these rules are not followed, an infection gets into the wound, swelling, inflammation, itching, mucus secretion, pus appear. Symptoms develop a few days after removal of the tick.

The affected area should be smeared with drugs with an antibacterial effect. Local antibiotics are available in the form of ointment, cream, lotion. Processing a meta bite begins with washing the wound with hydrogen peroxide. Remove the accumulation of pus, mucus, dirt.

You can treat a tick bite with one of the following medicines:

  • Vishnevsky ointment,
  • Tetracycline ointment,
  • Levomekol,
  • Eloc C
  • Salicylic ointment.

You can buy medicines at the pharmacy. Cost from 50 rub. up to 500 rub. There are contraindications, age restrictions.

If a tick has bitten, an infection has got into the wound, it is not allowed to use antiallergic drugs. But the use of combined drugs is allowed, which includes a glucocorticosteroid, an antibiotic.

Severe consequences

Ixodid ticks spread dangerous diseases - Lyme disease, tick-borne encephalitis. The incubation period lasts an average of 14 days. With borreliosis, at the place where the tick has stuck, eczema appears. Its size reaches 60 cm in diameter. In this case, independent treatment is not allowed, you need to immediately seek help from specialists. How to treat the skin, the doctor will tell. For the treatment of borreliosis, a course of antibiotics is prescribed.

Tick-borne paralysis

Tick-borne paralysis is rare, ascending flaccid paralysis develops after a bite of tick-producing ticks Ixodidae, parasitic on humans for several days.

In North America, some varieties Dermacentor and Atwotta cause tick-borne paralysis due to neurotoxin secreted into the saliva of the tick. In the early stages of tick feeding, there is no toxin in saliva, so paralysis develops only when the tick parasitizes for several days or more. Even a single tick can cause paralysis, especially if it bites on the back of the skull or near the spine.

Symptoms include anorexia, drowsiness, muscle weakness, impaired coordination, nystagmus, and ascending flaccid paralysis. Bulbar or respiratory paralysis may develop. Differential diagnosis is carried out with Guillain-Barré syndrome, botulism, myasthenia gravis, hypokalemia and a spinal tumor. Paralysis is rapidly reversible after removal of the tick (or ticks). In case of respiratory failure, oxygen therapy or respiratory support is carried out if necessary.

Other arthropod bites

The most common arthropod bites in addition to ticks in the United States include bites of sand flies, horseflies, deer flies, midges, flies, mosquitoes, fleas, lice, bedbugs and water bugs. All these arthropods, except for predatory bugs and aquatic bugs, also suck blood, but not one species is poisonous.

The composition of the saliva of arthropods varies, and lesions caused by bites range from small papules to large ulcers with swelling and acute pain. It is also possible the development of dermatitis. The most serious consequences are due to a hypersensitivity reaction or infection, for susceptible people they can be fatal. In some people, flea allergens can cause a respiratory allergy even without a bite.

Knowing the location and structure of blisters and ulcers, one can sometimes judge the arthropod itself. For example, midge bites are usually located on the neck, ears and face, flea bites can be numerous, located mainly on the legs and feet, bedbug bites, often located on the same line, are usually located on the lower back.

The bite is cleaned, in the presence of itching, an antihistamine ointment or cream with glucocorticoids is applied. In severe hypersensitivity reactions, appropriate treatment is prescribed.

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Bed bugs

Bedbug or Cimex lectularius is a blood-sucking ectoparasite. Body length is 3-9 mm, color is yellow-brown. It penetrates the skin with the help of a special proboscis, while the jaw has 2 ducts, one of which is adapted for sucking blood, the second for secreting saliva into the wound. They bite at night from 3 to 8 in the morning.

  • The body has a very flattened shape, so it is difficult to crush the bug
  • Lead a nocturnal lifestyle
  • Up to 500 bites can be detected on human skin in one night
  • Bite only open parts of the body, unable to bite through tissue
  • They live in upholstered and cabinet furniture, crevices, linen, clothes, under wallpaper and in books
  • They live equally well in mud and in perfectly clean conditions
  • On the clothes of a person are transferred to other houses and apartments
  • Life expectancy - 1 year
  • Withstand temperatures up to 50 ° C

Harm to humans

Bites of bed bugs themselves are not dangerous for the transmission of any disease, although the possibility of transmission of tularemia, anthrax, brucellosis, and smallpox pathogens through an insect is not excluded. Also, the bug bite does not cause pain discomfort.

But a significant skin rash, severe itching, allergies, an unpleasant odor from the body, and an unaesthetic appearance of the skin often bring psychological trauma to a person who, not knowing the reasons for his condition, begins to search for terrible diseases and closes himself in his problems. Thus, the consequences of a bite of bed bugs are the physical and moral suffering of a person.

How to detect an insect indoors?

  • Brown-brown spots on bedding and underwear that remain from insects accidentally crushed by humans.
  • Accumulations of eggs, excrement and scales remaining after molting a bug in grooves between pieces of furniture, under furniture, in niches for linen of sofas and beds.
  • Specific odor in rooms (with severe infection).

Symptoms of a bed bug

A person may not notice symptoms of parasitism of a bed bug for a long time or attribute symptoms to other diseases (scabies, allergic dermatitis, etc.).

  • Multiple small spots on the body of red color, resembling small acne or mosquito bites. Traces of bedbug bites
  • Slight swelling of the affected skin.
  • Severe itching.

However, these symptoms are not always present. Biting, an adult bug secretes a special enzyme into the human skin, making its bite invisible both in sensations and externally - there is no redness and itching. Vivid symptoms occur in people with a tendency to allergies, with severe infection of the premises, as well as when bitten by young bugs.

What do bedbug bites look like?

It is not difficult to distinguish the bites of a bed bug from the bites of other insects. Typically, these are:

  • multiple bites (50-100 or more). Although outwardly the bite sites are similar to a mosquito bite, in practice, such a massive mosquito attack in a residential building is not possible,
  • a kind of bite path, i.e. red dots located one after another at a distance of several mm to several cm. Unlike the moves of the itch mite, the bed bug leaves such a path in one night, and the scabies mite - in a few days.

Bedbug treatment

There is no specific treatment for bedbug bites. Minor skin rashes are resolved on their own within 3-4 days. Therapeutic measures are aimed at eliminating unpleasant symptoms and should be carried out in parallel with measures to combat bedbugs:

  • Thorough skin hygiene with detergents in the evening and morning.
  • Lubrication of affected skin with hydrogen peroxide or antipruritic ointment (Fenistil) 3-4 times a day (see allergy ointments)
  • With a severe allergic reaction - taking antihistamines for 3-5 days (Loratadin, Zirtek, Telfast, see the list of allergy pills).

How to get rid of bed bugs

The most effective is the sanitization of infected premises, which is carried out by a specialized organization. Very often, attempts to remove annoying insects on their own end in the fact that people simply get rid of infected furniture, however, this is not a guarantee that all individuals left the living room.

Physical methods

  • These include exposure to high temperatures on parasites. Warming the room for 6-8 hours with a temperature of +48 C ensures the destruction of bugs and their eggs.
  • At home, you can use a steam cleaner, the steam of which penetrates into poorly accessible places, seams of furniture upholstery, etc. This method also helps to decontaminate clothes, underwear, toys, etc. by heating in dryers for about 20 minutes.
  • Washing things at a temperature of at least 50 ° C is also effective.

Chemical methods

These include the use of insecticides, which should process furniture, crevices, baseboards, floors and other places in accordance with the instructions. Processing should be carried out twice, the second time - two weeks after the first treatment, when young individuals from the surviving eggs can hatch.

Self-administration of insecticides requires accuracy and caution. No matter how safe insecticides are, you can not process the premises in the presence of children and pregnant women. It is necessary to strictly follow the instructions, especially the dosage of the drug, as well as take personal measures to prevent poisoning.

The most effective insecticides:

  • Chlorpyrifos-based GET fluid. It can be used in rooms where children are. Efficiency of processing provides protection against bugs for 6 months. The same properties are possessed by a similar insecticide Dobrohim Micro.
  • Multicomponent insecticide Taran based on zetacypermethrin. The drug remains active for 2 months after treatment.
  • Aerosol Reid based on cypermethrin, pralletrin and imiprotrin. Effective for 15 days.
  • Boric acid, vinegar, turpentine are also used in the fight against bedbugs, but their effectiveness is lower.

Natural methods

These include the use of plants: common tansy, fresh or dry wormwood is decomposed in the most typical habitats of bugs - under furniture, in crevices, on the floor, etc. The treatment of rooms and furniture with a decoction of marsh rosemary leaves also helps. These methods are safe for humans and involve use without eviction from the premises.

Another natural method is taking infected furniture to the street for several days, which is effective at sub-zero temperatures and in heat. Insects can not withstand frost and direct sunlight, so they die during the day. In addition, they lose their power source, which accelerates their death.

They say that where cockroaches live, bed bugs are not found, because cockroaches are the natural enemies of the latter. But this is not the best way to fight parasites - cockroaches, although they do not bite a person, but carry various infections.

Dust mites

The dust mite, Dermatophagoides, has a microscopic size of 0.1-0.5 mm. About 150 species of dust mites are isolated. Being a synanthropic arthropod, it lives in a human dwelling. The life cycle is 60-80 days. City apartments are an ideal habitat for a dust mite, because they have an optimal environment for reproduction and life: temperature 20-25 C and high humidity plus a constant power source, which serves as a dead epithelium lost by a person. A large number are found in household dust, beds, sofas, carpets.

Symptoms of tick-borne allergy:

  • persistent rhinitis that is not associated with ARI disease, which is difficult to treat with vasoconstrictors and other drugs. Suddenly begins and also suddenly ends, in advanced cases it is present almost year-round,
  • nasal congestion,
  • lacrimation
  • headaches,
  • itching and redness of the skin, dryness and peeling,
  • dry cough,
  • asthma attacks at night.

Treatment for allergies caused by dust mites

Tick-borne allergy is a global problem, since the complete destruction of house dust mites is impossible, and every year an increasing number of people with increased sensitivity to dust mite antigens, especially children, are registered (the percentage growth of allergic children is 6% per year).

This is the most active household allergen, the amount of dust mites of 10 mcg per 1 g of dust 3 times increases the likelihood of developing bronchial asthma.

The most effective is the implementation of ASID therapy: allergen-specific immunotherapy. The method consists in introducing an extract of house dust mite allergens into the body in a gradually increasing concentration. Thus, the immune system gradually gets used to the allergen, the severity of the allergic reaction decreases, and overall sensitivity to this allergen decreases. Properly conducted treatment leads to the fact that the allergic person completely ceases to respond to the allergic component of the house dust mite and gets rid of the symptoms.

This method is preferable to traditional treatment with antihistamines, it is used in children from 5 years old and adults. Allergies, especially with house dust mites, are difficult to correct with antiallergenic drugs, the body gets used to them, and more and more powerful drugs are required in higher concentrations. At the same time, the human immunity weakens, the body becomes sensitive to new allergens, and allergic rhinitis and conjunctivitis gradually develops into asthma.

Equally important is maintaining the cleanliness of the premises:

  • проведение ежедневной влажной уборки
  • минимизация «пылесобирающих» предметов: ковров, мягких игрушек, пледов
  • постоянное проветривание помещений
  • навязывание специальных очистителей воздуха, которые якобы моют воздух, новомодных пылесосов – это скорее рекламный ход производителей данных товаров. Ни один прибор не способен на 100 % избавить от пылевого клеща. А на заселенность клещами общественных мест, детских садов, офисов мы вообще никак не можем повлиять.

A variety of tempering procedures, good nutrition, proper drinking regimen and a healthy lifestyle positively affect immunity and increase the body's resistance to allergens.

Fleas are small insects 1-4 mm in size. The body has a flattened shape, so the insect is difficult to catch. They are distinguished by great jumping ability due to the presence of long hind legs and high “maneuverability” - a flea easily runs from place to place in the thick coat of an animal

Natural hosts of fleas are warm-blooded animals with a wool coat. Man, as an organism for constant life activity, is not of interest to a flea. Fleas that can live on a person for a while and bite it are called Pulex irritans, cat fleas, Ctenocephalus telis, which can also feed on human blood. People can get into a person’s home with animals, as well as on the person himself, attaching himself to his clothes.

Flea bites on a person

Most often, fleas bite into the lower extremities. When living in plaids, upholstered furniture, fleas can bite for other parts of the body. Biting, the flea is tightly attached to the skin of a person, it may look like a black dot.

Symptoms of a flea bite are bright, it is difficult to confuse them with other types of bites. Biting, the insect introduces a special enzyme into the wound, which dilutes the blood. The bite itself is accompanied by sharp pain, which turns into itching and burning. At the site of the bite, a hyperemic spot remains with a diameter of about 5 mm, at the center of which is a bloody dot. The spot swells, the hemorrhagic point remains visible for 3-5 days and causes significant itching. With the development of an allergic reaction, urticaria occurs.

In children, general symptoms may also occur, especially with multiple bites: low-grade fever, anxiety, diarrhea.

What to do with a flea bite

  • Treat the bite site with an antiseptic - hydrogen peroxide, an alcohol solution, potassium permanganate.
  • Apply a cold compress to the bite site.
  • Apply an antipruritic or antiallergic ointment to the bite area.
  • It is important not to comb the wound throughout the entire resolution period of the bite on the skin, as this will lengthen the recovery period of the skin and threaten secondary infection. Soda lotions (1 tsp soda per glass of water) will help relieve itching.
  • If the wound is still suppurating, a sterile cotton swab with an antibiotic-containing ointment (levomekol, gentamicin, etc.) should be applied to the abscess.

How to get rid of fleas

  • Remove fleas in pets using special insecticides.
  • To disinfect animal habitats - bedding, soft houses. To do this, they need to be soaked in a solution of household disinfectant, then washed in water with a temperature of about 50 ° C and rinsed thoroughly.
  • Treat the apartment, car interior with a special insecticide, carefully observing the instructions and safety rules - Tetrix, Effectively Ulra, Sulfak, Chlorpyrimark. If necessary, the treatment is repeated after 2-3 weeks.
  • If you are intolerant of chemicals, you can use the wormwood grass, which should be laid out around the apartment, especially on the floor and at the entrance.
  • Throw away the dust bag for the vacuum cleaner, where fleas happily live and breed.

Ticks are a real threat to rural and urban residents, from warm spring days to autumn. Every year, an increasing number of infected ticks are recorded, the bite of which can cause dangerous diseases such as tick-borne encephalitis, Lyme disease and others.

Ticks attack both humans and animals in order to get food - blood. They react to the temperature and smells of warm-blooded, sensing them from a distance of 5-10 meters. In anticipation of the victim, they sit on the plants, clinging to a person’s clothes or animal hair with their front paws at the moment when he touches the plant. They do not bite right away, so the victim has the opportunity to notice and shake him.

In the world there are about 48 thousand species of ticks.

  • The most real threat comes from tick bites from the Ixodidae group, causing borreliosis and tick-borne encephalitis (symptoms),
  • Arthropods causing various tick-borne fevers.

Ticks live not only in forests and parks, they can be found in the green area of ​​the house territory, low shrubs and even grass. As a rule, they do not rise above 1 m of vegetation. Their size is small, only 2-4 mm, it is very difficult to notice the tick, it is almost impossible to feel it on yourself at the time of the attack.

How does a tick bite occur?

It is almost impossible to immediately detect a tick bite. Places of tick bites are lubricated with a special anesthetic substance, so it is practically not noticeable. Particularly sensitive people may feel discomfort in the form of a pulling pain, a sensation as if a speck or needle was caught under the clothes.

The tick tries to choose areas with delicate and thin skin, which is easier to bite:

  • neck,
  • BTE region
  • armpits
  • code under the chest,
  • groin and genitals,
  • buttocks.

At the time of the bite, the tick bites through the skin and places a wound with hypostome, a special outgrowth of the pharynx with denticles holding the tick. In the process of blood suction, the tick significantly increases in size.

If a tick is infected with tick-borne encephalitis, then it retains the pathogen virus throughout its life. The virus enters the bloodstream of a person through the saliva of a bitten arthropod, therefore a person becomes infected in the first minutes after a tick bite, early extraction of the parasite does not exclude infection with a dangerous infection. The same goes for tick-borne fevers.

If the tick is infected with borreliosis, then the pathogen bacteria enter the blood of a person only when the tick begins to suck blood, because live in the digestive tract of an arthropod, and this is a few hours after the bite. In this case, early extraction of the tick can prevent the disease.

How to remove a tick - first aid for a tick bite

If there is an opportunity to get to a medical institution as soon as possible - this should be done, doctors will quickly and without consequences remove the tick. If this is not possible, you should remove the tick yourself as soon as possible:

Put rubber gloves and a plastic bag on your hands.
Extract tick:

  • using special devices (Tick Twister, Ticked-Off, The Tickkey, Trix Tick Lasso, Anti-tick). They are always accompanied by detailed instructions for use.
  • using a thread. A strong thread is thrown on the head of the tick at the very base, i.e. near the skin in the form of a loop. The ends of the thread are tightened neatly, after which, holding the ends of the thread, you should rotate the tick clockwise or counterclockwise - a couple of movements, and the tick can be easily removed from the wound.
  • with tweezers. With the tip of the tweezers, they gently grab the head of the tick and twist it, without pressing on the abdomen and without tugging.

After removing the tick, it should be planted in a glass jar.

  • Remove the remainder of the tick with a sterile needle if they remain in the wound. It is best to use a sterile needle from a new syringe, in extreme cases, you can take a regular needle, hold it above the flame, treat it with alcohol a minute after cooling down and only then remove the tick.
  • Treat the wound with an antiseptic.
  • Send the extracted tick to the laboratory for research.

The consequences of a tick bite encephalitis - symptoms of tick-borne encephalitis

The latent period is 5-25 days, but most often the symptoms appear in the period 7-14 days after a tick bite. The common symptoms characteristic of this infection begin acutely and brightly, i.e. the patient can clearly indicate the hour the clinic begins:

  • heat,
  • chills,
  • Pain in the eyes,
  • photophobia,
  • muscle, bone, and joint pain
  • headache,
  • vomiting
  • lethargy and drowsiness,
  • cramps (in children),
  • redness of the sclera of the eyes, face, neck, upper torso.

Forms of encephalitis

The target organ of the disease is the brain (see tick-borne encephalitis statistics). There are several forms of the course of encephalitis, which have their own clinical features.

Diagnosed in 40-50% of cases. Fever, the main symptom of the disease, lasts 5-6 days at a level of 38-40 C. After the temperature drops, the main symptoms disappear, but weakness and lethargy remain for several more weeks. Complications are very rare.

This is 50-60% of cases. It occurs with severe general intoxication (hyperthermia over 38 C, fever, chills, sweating, headache of high intensity), as well as symptoms of inflammation of the meninges: nausea and vomiting, decreased elasticity of the neck and neck muscles (difficulty trying to bring the chin to the neck), asymmetry of the face, dilated pupils. Recovery is long, remission proceeds in a state of weakness and weakness. Chronization of the process is possible.

The heaviest with the stream. Characteristic: high fever, impaired consciousness with delusions and hallucinations, severe intoxication, convulsions, disorientation in space, impaired breathing and heart function. Most often goes into a chronic form.

It develops within a few months and even years after the disease. Frequency - 1-3% of cases of the total mass of patients. The patient has a constant twitching of the muscles of the neck, shoulder girdle and face, tendon reflexes and muscle tone in the extremities decrease, the psyche is disturbed, dementia develops.

This disease occurs with damage to the nervous system, joints, heart, skin, very often becomes chronic. 10-14 days after the bite, the early stage of the disease begins:

Symptoms of the disease

  • Occur within 2-14 days after a bite.
  • The initial period lasts 3-4 days: severe hyperemia, intense headache, body aches, especially in the lower back, severe weakness, vomiting, lack of appetite, dizziness, impaired consciousness.
  • In the midst of a peak, an abrupt decrease in t occurs - at first it falls by 1-1.5 days, then it rises and holds up to 7 days, after which it falls again. There is a petechial rash on the chest and on the lateral surfaces of the abdomen, bleeding gums, bleeding from the ears and eyes, internal organs, nose. The condition worsens sharply, blood pressure drops, tachycardia, lethargy, and confusion occur. Mortality reaches 25%.
  • During the recovery period, which lasts from several months to 1-2 years, a person feels weakness and fatigue, heart pain, dizziness and headaches, and a decrease in blood pressure.

What can not be done with a tick bite

  • To panic. Awkward actions in this situation are definitely not needed. Remember - not every tick is contagious, but it’s too early to relax.
  • To remove a tick from the skin with bare hands - there is a risk of the virus entering the body through microporesis of the skin.
  • Touch the eyes and mucous membranes with the hands that touched the tick.
  • Use oil and other liquids to deprive the tick of oxygen - in this case, the aggressiveness of the tick increases.
  • Press, sharply pull out the tick - this contributes to the entry of saliva and gastric contents into the wound. A sharp pulling out of the tick threatens to rupture it - part of the arthropod will remain in the body.

Disease prevention

It is prescribed after examining the extracted tick if it is contagious.

  • Borreliosis - a course of antibiotic therapy, depending on the drug is carried out within 5-20 days after a bite.
  • Tick-borne encephalitis is the management of immunoglobulin obtained from the blood of a person who has had a disease. Very often gives serious allergic reactions. In Europe, immunoglobulin is not used, antiviral treatment is prescribed (iodantipyrine for adults, anaferon for children).

Algorithm of action, if bitten by a tick

Regardless of who the tick bit (child, woman, man, elderly person), it is necessary to do the following manipulations when this fact is detected:
1. Remove the tick in any way possible (see sections below),
2. Treat the place of tick suction with an antiseptic (iodine, alcohol, zelenka, Chlorhexidine, hydrogen peroxide, etc.),
3. Place the tick in a closed container and, if possible, pass for analysis in order to determine whether it is a carrier of infections,
4. Take tests for borreliosis and tick-borne encephalitis to determine if infection has occurred after a tick bite,
5. Perform prophylactic administration of drugs, the action of which is aimed at the rapid suppression of an infectious disease transmitted to humans by a tick,
6. Observe your own condition for a month after a tick bite.

When a tick bites, it is imperative to remove the insect as soon as possible and treat the place of its suction to the skin. The rest of the points of the algorithm can be omitted, with the exception of observing one's own state for a month. If within 30 days after a tick bite there are any signs of malaise, you should consult a doctor, as this may be a symptom of the development of tick-borne infections that must be treated.

It is advisable to place the tick after extraction from the skin into a closed container only if it can be transported to a specialized laboratory for research for a maximum of 24 hours. Such laboratories are usually located in infectious diseases hospitals. However, since in many cities and countries of Europe ticks are, in principle, not examined for whether they are carriers of infections, but they monitor the condition of people after a bite, it is senseless to pack an insect in a container in most cases.

In general, the identification of whether a tick is a vector of infection is not necessary, but is necessary only for an early accurate determination of the subsequent tactics of the behavior of a bitten person. So, if the tick is “clean”, that is, it is not a carrier of infections, then a person can forever forget about the bite, since it does not bear any consequences. If the tick is a carrier of infections, this does not mean that it necessarily infected a person and he needs to wait for the development of the disease. Indeed, in 80% of cases, the bite of an infected tick does not lead to human infection. Therefore, if a person is bitten by an infected tick, it is necessary to monitor its condition for a month and, if possible, take blood tests to determine whether infection has occurred. That is, the analysis of the tick allows the person himself to adhere to the correct tactics and be ready for a possible disease, and not rely on "maybe".

A more rational (compared to passing a tick to the laboratory) tactics of behavior after a bite is taking blood tests to determine if a human insect has infected any infection. However, you don’t need to donate blood immediately, since the tests will be uninformative. Not earlier than 10 days after the bite, you can donate blood for the detection of tick-borne encephalitis and borreliosis by PCR. If the analysis is performed by ELISA or Western blotting (immunoblotting), then to detect tick-borne encephalitis, blood should be donated only two weeks after the bite, and borreliosis - after 4 - 5 weeks.

During PCR, the presence of the pathogen in the blood is detected, so this analysis is very accurate. And during ELISA and Western blotting, IgM antibodies are detected against tick-borne encephalitis virus and the causative agent of borreliosis. The ELISA method is inaccurate because the percentage of false positive results is high. Western blotting is reliable and accurate, but is mainly done only in private laboratories located in large cities, as a result of which it is not available to every person who has been bitten by a tick.

If the results of any analysis (PCR, ELISA, Western blotting) are positive, then this means that the tick infected the person with an infection. In this case, you must immediately undergo a course of treatment, which will allow you to cure the disease at an early stage.

You can not take tests, and immediately after a bite, carry out preventive treatment against tick-borne encephalitis and borreliosis by taking medications. Such treatment in most cases helps to prevent the development of infection, and a person does not get sick, even if a tick infected him.

Despite the temptation to take preventive treatment immediately after a bite in order to protect yourself from the development of infection, if infection has occurred, you should not do this. Doctors and scientists consider the following tactics of behavior after a tick bite to be the most optimal and justified:
1. Pull the tick out of the skin.
2. On the 11th day after the bite, donate blood for the detection of tick-borne encephalitis and borreliosis by PCR.

If the PCR result is positive for any one or both infections, then medications should be started to prevent the full development of the disease and its cure at the stage of the incubation period. To prevent borreliosis, antibiotics Doxycycline + Ceftriaxone are produced, and encephalitis - Iodantipirin or Anaferon. If the result is positive for both infections, then antibiotics and iodantipyrine are taken simultaneously for preventive treatment.

If the PCR result is negative, then 2 weeks after a tick bite, you should donate blood for the detection of tick-borne encephalitis by ELISA or Western blotting. Then, after 4 weeks, re-donate blood for the detection of borreliosis by ELISA or Western blotting. Accordingly, when receiving a positive test result, antibiotics or Iodantipirin should be taken, depending on which particular infection was detected (encephalitis or borreliosis).

Принимать антибиотики и Йодантипирин сразу после укуса клеща без проведения анализов оправданно только в тех случаях, когда инцидент произошел вдали от цивилизации (например, туристический поход, велопробег и т.д.) и добраться до медицинских лабораторий невозможно. В этом случае для профилактики заражения энцефалитом и боррелиозом необходимо принимать и антибиотики, и Йодантипирин, поскольку неизвестно, переносчиком какой инфекции является клещ.

Общие правила удаления клеща

If a person is bitten by a tick of any age and gender, then first of all it is necessary to remove the insect as soon as possible, since the longer it is on the skin, the higher the likelihood of infection with infectious diseases. It is necessary to remove the tick from any place on the body, observing a certain technique, since the insect is very tightly attached to the skin with the help of a proboscis with peculiar processes. These processes make the proboscis of the tick look like a harpoon, so simply pulling the insect out of the skin will not work (see Figure 1).

Picture 1 - The proboscis of the tick in the skin.

In order to remove it, one should not drip oil, glue, milk on the tick, cover it with a jar and perform any other actions aimed at blocking the spiracles of the insect located on the back of its body. The fact is that when closing the spiracle, the tick cannot breathe normally, and this makes it aggressive, as a result of which it splashes out its saliva into the blood very intensively and in large quantities. Namely, saliva contains the pathogens of the infection that the tick carries. Thus, blockage of the spiracle of the tick increases the risk of human infection with encephalitis or borreliosis.

You can remove the tick with your hands, tweezers, a tight thread or special devices of domestic or foreign production (Tick Twister, The Tick Key, Ticked-Off, Anticlash), which are sold in pharmacies or in Medtekhnika stores. These devices have various shapes and methods of application, therefore it is recommended to select the optimal variety in Medtekhnika and use it as needed. Such devices for removing ticks need to be bought in advance and carried with you on various outings. If there are no devices, then you need to remove the tick with the usual improvised means, such as tweezers, thread or the fingers themselves.

Regardless of how the tick is removed, you can not touch the insect with your bare hands. This is due to the fact that when removed, the tick can be damaged and then the contents of its intestinal tract will fall on the skin, with which it can penetrate the systemic circulation if it contains any small, invisible to the naked eye wounds. That is, by removing a tick with bare hands, a person increases the risk of infection with various infections. That is why before removing the insect it is necessary to wear rubber gloves on your hands. If there are no gloves, then you can simply wrap your hands in a regular bandage or clean cloth. Only by protecting your hands in this way can you start extracting the tick from the skin.

After removing the tick, it is necessary to disinfect the wound by treating it with any available antiseptic, for example, iodine, Chlorhexidine, hydrogen peroxide, calendula tincture or alcohol. Optionally treat the wound remaining from the tick with alcohol or iodine. After treatment, the skin is left without a bandage. If a person wants to pass a tick for analysis to determine whether it is a carrier of any infection, then the insect should be placed in a jar along with a piece of cotton wool moistened with water, close the container and store in the refrigerator. If a person does not want to give a tick for analysis, then the removed insect can simply be burned in the flame of a match, a lighter or a fire, or crushed by shoes.

Consider how to properly remove ticks in various ways.

Tick ​​removal with Tick Twister

This device is best for tick removal for two main reasons. Firstly, Tick Twister allows in 98% of cases to completely remove the tick without tearing it and thus not leaving the head of the insect in the skin. This is a very important advantage, because the head remaining in the skin will have to be removed with a needle, like a splinter, which is rather painful and unpleasant. In addition, the tick head remaining in the skin is a source of pathogenic microbes that the insect carries. And, accordingly, the tick head located in the skin continues to be a source of infection for humans.

Secondly, the use of Tick Twister avoids pressure on the digestive tract of the tick, as a result of which there is no risk of ejecting a large amount of insect saliva containing pathogens. When using tweezers, thread or fingers, there is often strong pressure on the digestive tract of the tick, as a result of which it sprays a large amount of saliva into the skin, which contains tick-borne infections. Accordingly, such an injection of saliva increases the risk of contracting an infection if this has not already happened.

In addition, Tick Twister is very convenient to use and does not cause pain during tick removal.

Using Tick Twister is very simple: you need to grab the tick between the teeth of the device, then rotate it around its axis counterclockwise 3 to 5 times and easily pull it towards you (see Figure 2). After several turns counterclockwise, the tick is easily pulled out of the skin. After removing the tick, the place of its suction is treated with iodine or alcohol.

Figure 2 - Rules for using Tick Twister tick extraction tool.

Tick ​​Removal Guidelines with The Tick Key

This device allows in most cases to successfully remove the tick without tearing it apart, and also not to press on its digestive tract, preventing the release of saliva into the blood. However, The Tick Key is slightly worse than the Tick Twister in its characteristics, since it is inconvenient to use in some inaccessible areas of the body, such as the inguinal and axillary folds, the area under the breast in women, etc.

Use The Tick Key to remove the tick in three steps (see Figure 3):
1. Put the device on the skin so that the tick is inside a large hole,
2. Slide The Tick Key without lifting it from the surface of the skin, so that the tick gets into a small hole,
3. Turn The Tick Key counterclockwise 3 - 5 times, and then pull the tick towards you.

After removing the tick, the place of its suction is treated with iodine or alcohol.

Figure 3 - Rules for using The Tick Key to remove a tick.

Tick ​​removal with Ticked-Off

The Ticked-Off device is as convenient and practical as the Tick Twister, however, unfortunately, in most cases it can be bought in the CIS countries only through online stores.

Ticked-Off to remove the tick should be used as follows: put the spoon vertically to the skin, and then push the sticking part of the tick into the hollow. Having fixed the tick in this way, you should rotate the device 3-5 times around its axis counterclockwise, after which it is easy to pull it towards you (see Figure 4). After removing the tick, the place of its suction is treated with iodine or alcohol.

Figure 4 - Rules for using Ticked-Off to remove ticks.

Rules for removing a tick with the Antic tick tool

An anti-mite is a special tweezers made of wire (see Figure 5), which allows you to reliably grab a tick and, at the same time, not press on its digestive tract, which ensures quick, effective and safe removal of an insect from the skin.

Figure 5 - Fixture Antiklesche.

To remove the tick, the Anti-Tick device must capture the insect as close to the skin surface as possible. To do this, by pressing the thumb and forefinger on the middle of the tweezers, part its tips apart and place them so that the head of the tick is between them. Then you should stop the pressure on the middle of the tweezers, allowing its tips to close around the tick. After that, it is necessary to turn the device 3 to 5 times counterclockwise around its axis and easily pull it towards you.

After removing the tick, it is necessary to treat the place of its suction with iodine or alcohol.

Thread removal rules

First, you should slightly press your fingers on the skin in the area of ​​the sucking tick, as if trying to squeeze a pimple. After that, take a strong thread 15-30 cm long and make a loop with a diameter of 2-3 cm in the middle. Then put the loop on the skin so that a tick gets into it. Tighten the loop firmly, connect both ends of the thread into one and start twisting your fingers counterclockwise. When the thread is tightly twisted, pull it toward you and the tick will easily be removed from the wound (Figure 6). Treat the wound remaining at the site of the tick with iodine or alcohol.

Figure 6 - Removing a tick with a thread.

Rules for Removing Tick Remains from a Wound

If the tick was not completely removed, and any parts of its body (most often the head with the proboscis) remained in the skin, then they must be pulled out. If the remains of the tick are not pulled out, then an abscess may form on the skin or there will be a long-lasting inflammation that does not pass until parts of the body of the insect come out on their own.

Removing tick residues from the wound is done in the same way as a splinter is removed, that is, with a needle. The needle is pre-sterilized by treatment with hydrogen peroxide, alcohol or holding in a flame for 1 to 2 minutes. Then, with a sterilized needle, the remains of the tick are removed from the wound and treated with iodine or alcohol.

How and how to handle a tick bite site?

After the tick has been removed from the skin, it is necessary to treat this place with any antiseptic. Alcohol and iodine are best suited for this purpose, but you can use hydrogen peroxide, and Chlorhexidine, and green, etc. Any existing antiseptic is poured onto a piece of clean cotton wool and liberally lubricate the wound remaining after removing the tick. After this treatment, the skin is left open and no bandage is applied.

At the site of the tick bite, redness, swelling and itching may persist for 3 weeks. In this case, it is recommended to lubricate the inflamed area with iodine and tincture of calendula daily, and take any antihistamine inside (for example, Erius, Telfast, Suprastin, Fenistil, Tsetrin, etc.).

How and what tests to take after a tick bite to detect tick-borne encephalitis and borreliosis at the stage of the incubation period?

Currently, the following blood tests are performed to determine whether a tick has infected a person with encephalitis or borreliosis.

  • Venous blood to determine the presence of tick-borne encephalitis virus and borrelia by PCR (analysis is done no earlier than 11 days after the bite, because before that it is not informative).
  • Venous blood for the determination of antibodies to tick-borne encephalitis virus type IgM by ELISA (analysis is given at least 2 weeks after the bite).
  • Venous blood for the determination of antibodies to the borreliosis virus type IgM by ELISA (analysis is given at least 4 weeks after the bite).
  • Venous blood for the determination of various antibody variants (VisE, p83, p39, p31, p30, p25, p21, p19, p17) to tick-borne encephalitis virus type IgM by Western blotting (analysis is done at least 2 weeks after the bite).
  • Venous blood for the determination of various antibody variants (VisE, p83, p39, p31, p30, p25, p21, p19, p17) to the IgM type borreliosis virus by Western blotting (analysis is given at least 4 weeks after the bite).

The most informative are blood tests performed by PCR and Western blotting. Therefore, it is best to perform these tests for early detection of possible tick-borne infections. ELISA should only be used if PCR or Western blotting is not available.

To detect latent tick-borne infections, it is recommended to take tests twice after a tick bite. The first time at the time indicated for each method (after 11 days for PCR, after 2 or 4 weeks for ELISA and Western blotting), and the second one month after the first analysis. Both times, you should donate blood for analysis by the same method. For example, if the first analysis was performed by PCR, then the second should be performed by the same PCR method. Moreover, the second time the analysis is surrendered only if the results of the first were negative.

If the first and second tests for both infections are negative, then the tick did not infect the person. In this case, you can simply forget about this unpleasant episode of your life. If the second analysis turns out to be positive, then a course of preventive treatment should be taken, which will suppress the disease at the stage of the incubation period.

If the first analysis showed a negative result for one of the infections and a positive result for the second, then the tactics change somewhat. To prevent a detected infection, the analysis for which turned out to be positive, the necessary medications are drunk (Iodantipirin for encephalitis and Doxycycline + Ceftriaxone for borreliosis). For the second infection, the analysis for which turned out to be negative, they re-test one month after the first. Accordingly, with a negative analysis, you can completely relax and forget about the tick bite. And with a positive analysis - undergo a course of preventive treatment with the necessary drugs.

How and what medicines to take after a tick bite to prevent the development of tick-borne encephalitis and borreliosis?

To prevent the development of borreliosis after a tick bite, a person of any age and gender must take two antibiotics:

  • Doxycycline - 100 mg once a day for 5 days,
  • Ceftriaxone - 1000 mg once a day for three days.

Taking these two antibiotics can prevent the development of borreliosis (even if the tick has infected a person) in 80 - 95% of cases.

To prevent the development of encephalitis people of any age and gender after a tick bite have two main methods:

  • The introduction of serum - is done in a clinic or hospital, and only in the first 72 hours after a bite. The introduction of serum at a later date is useless.
  • Reception of Iodantipirin by people over 14 years old and Anaferon children under the age of 14 years.

Serum administration is an ineffective and dangerous method, as people often develop severe allergic reactions up to anaphylactic shock. Therefore, this method of tick-borne encephalitis prevention is currently not used in Europe and the USA, and it is also gradually being abandoned in the countries of the former USSR.

Today, a fairly effective and safe method for the prevention of tick-borne encephalitis after a tick bite is to take Iodantipirin or Anaferon children, depending on the age of the victim. Iodantipyrine after a tick bite, it should be taken by adults and adolescents over 14 years old according to the following scheme: in the first two days, 3 tablets 3 times a day, in the next two days 2 tablets 3 times a day, and then for 5 days 1 tablet 3 times a day.

Children's Anaferon give to all children and adolescents under 14 years old after a tick bite in order to prevent tick-borne encephalitis. Children under 12 years old are given 1 tablet 3 times a day, and adolescents 12-14 years old - 2 tablets 3 times a day. Anaferon for children in the indicated dosages should be given to children within 21 days after a tick bite.

What to do if a child is bitten by a tick?

If the tick bit a child, then the algorithm of actions is exactly the same as with respect to an adult. That is, first of all, you need to remove the tick from the skin and treat the suction site with iodine or alcohol. Then, at the appropriate time, take tests for the presence of infections in his body. Accordingly, if the test result is positive, conduct a course of preventive treatment of the child with the necessary medications (Doxycycline + Ceftriaxone for borreliosis and Anaferon children for tick-borne encephalitis). If the test result is negative, then a month later to pass them again. Accordingly, if the second analysis turns out to be negative, then you can forget about the tick bite, and if positive, then conduct a course of treatment.

In the case when it is impossible to take tests, it is recommended that as soon as possible after a tick bite start giving the child both antibiotics (Doxycycline + Ceftriaxone) and Anaferon for children in order to prevent the development of encephalitis and borreliosis. Antibiotics are given in age-related dosages, with Doxycycline for 5 days, and Ceftriaxone for 3 days. Anaferon for children is given for 21 days, 1 tablet 3 times a day to children under 12 years of age, and 2 tablets 3 times a day to adolescents 12-14 years old.

What to do if a pregnant woman is bitten by a tick?

If the tick bit a pregnant woman, then it should be removed from the skin and treat the wound with iodine or alcohol. Then, at the required time, it is recommended to take tests for the presence of tick-borne encephalitis and borreliosis. Further, if borreliosis is detected, then during pregnancy 16 to 20 weeks, Amoxiclav should be drunk for 21 days, taking 625 mg 3 times a day.

For the prevention of tick-borne encephalitis, pregnant women should not take any medications, but can only wait and observe their own condition. If there are signs of encephalitis (temperature, headache, etc.) or feeling unwell within a month after a tick bite, you should immediately consult a doctor, be hospitalized in a hospital and receive the necessary treatment. No further action is necessary after a tick bite of a pregnant woman.

What to do if an encephalitis tick has bitten?

Если укусил энцефалитный клещ, то оптимально для предотвращения развития инфекции, уже попавшей в организм, пропить курс Йодантипирина (взрослым и подросткам старше 14 лет) или детского Анаферона (детям младше 14 лет).

Йодантипирин следует принимать всем людям старше 14 лет по следующей схеме:

  • По 3 таблетки по 3 раза в сутки в первые 2 дня,
  • По 2 таблетки по 3 раза в сутки в следующие 2 дня,
  • По 1 таблетке по 3 раза в сутки в следующие 5 дней.

Детям и подросткам младше 14 лет Йодантипирин противопоказан. Для профилактики клещевого энцефалита у них используют детский Анаферон.

Детский Анаферон дают всем подросткам и детям младше 14 лет в течение 21 дня. Moreover, children under 12 years old are given 1 tablet 3 times a day, and adolescents 12-14 years old - 2 tablets 3 times a day.