So, You’ve Got A Tick Bite… Now What?

See Proper Tick Removal for instructions on how to remove the tick.

Keep the tick, if possible. (Click here for What To Do With The Tick)

Go see your doctor immediately.  ILADS (International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society) doctors recommend a minimum of SIX WEEKS of antibiotic treatment or an EM (Erythema migrans) rash (aka Bull’s-Eye Rash) or other early symptoms of Lyme.

Localized Early (Acute) Stage:

  • Solid red or bull’s-eye rash, usually at site of bite
  • Swelling of lymph glands near tick bite
  • Generalized achiness
  • Headache

Click here for a complete list of Lyme Disease symptoms at various stages of the disease

Early Lyme Detection:

  • Some physicians prescribe antibiotics for tick bites; others wait to see if disease symptoms develop.
  • ILADS doctors recommend a minimum of 6 weeks of antibiotic treatment for an EM rash or other early symptoms of Lyme disease
  • Lyme can become chronic and debilitating with shorter treatment courses. See for more information.
  • Lyme blood tests within a few days of a tick bite are not useful, since it usually takes a person several weeks to develop antibodies.
  • Diagnosis is based on signs, symptoms, and exposure to ticks.

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