Care of tick and mosquito bites
Ticks and mosquitoes are common uninvited guests during outdoor activities. Especially in the summer months, many people get the stings of the bloodsuckers. Health professionals explain how best to deal with such insect bites.
The Mayo Clinic in the USA explains in two recent articles how to treat insect bites from ticks and mosquitoes and which symptoms should be consulted by a doctor.
Mosquito bites - a common summer nuisance
Everyone knows it: You sit comfortably in the evening and enjoy the evening hours and suddenly it pecks somewhere. Mosquito bites are harmless in most cases, but cause itchy bumps on the skin. The itching really drives some people crazy.
Why do mosquito bites itch?
"Mosquito saliva is deposited in the skin where the bite is and causes a reaction to this saliva," reports family doctor Dr. Summer Allen. However, the doctor advises against scratching. This only offers short-term relaxation. The mosquito saliva is distributed even further and deeper in the skin. Scratching also opens the door for invading bacteria, which can ignite the sting.
Instead of scratching, according to Dr. Better use zinc ointments or hydrocortisone creams. Even a cold compress relieves the itching. You can find more tips in the article: Mosquito bite - treatment, prevention and risks.
A tick bite causes little acute discomfort
Tick bites are often contracted during stays in nature. Most tick bites are painless and cause little discomfort, such as reddening of the skin or swelling. The dangerous thing about ticks is not their bite, but their potential as disease carriers. Some ticks carry bacteria that can cause Lyme disease or meningitis in humans.
How to remove a tick
A tick should be removed as soon as possible after it is discovered. The longer the tick adheres to the skin, the greater the risk of subsequent infection. To do this, hold the tick as close to the skin as possible with fine tweezers and gently pull the tick out with a slow and even upward movement. Rotational movements should be avoided, and the body should not be crushed if possible. Tools such as petroleum jelly or similar should also not be used.
Ticks can be stored in the freezer
At best, store the tick in a small container in the freezer. If symptoms develop later, the tick can be analyzed for pathogens.
How to maintain a tick bite
After removal, you should thoroughly clean the bite site with warm water and soap. The sting should then be disinfected with alcohol or iodine.
Watch the bite site
You should keep an eye on the bite site over the next few weeks. If a red circular rash forms around the area, this may be a first sign of Lyme disease. Such a rash usually forms three to 14 days after the stitch. In this case, a doctor should be consulted.
Complaints after a tick bite
If a severe headache, difficulty breathing, paralysis or rapid heartbeat occurs after the tick bite, an ambulance should be called immediately. Medical help should also be sought immediately if you have flu-like symptoms, fever, chills, fatigue, and muscle and joint pain. (vb)
For more information, see the article: Tick Bite - Possible Consequences and Correct Reactions.
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
Graduate editor (FH) Volker Blasek