Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Should I bring the ticks that bit me to show the doctor or send them off to the lab?"
I have the 2 adult black ticks that bit me in a plastic container. I've read on the internet that the doctor may want to see them or do I go ahead and send off to the testing lab to verify if they have Lyme or other diseases right away.
You are right that the main thing that we worry about with tick bites is the possibility of contracting Lyme disease. Lyme disease is a serious infection caused by a bacteria that is transmitted in the saliva of the tick when it bites. Not all types of ticks transmit Lyme disease, however. If you are bitten by a tick, the most important thing is to remove it carefully so that the mouth parts do not remain embedded in the skin (this could cause infection). After removing the tick, you can clean the area carefully and apply an antibacterial ointment to keep it from getting infected. It is not usually necessary to identify the type of tick that bit you, and most doctors actually do not have much experience doing this. More important is to watch the area where you had the bite closely. If you develop a rash there you will need to tell your doctor immediately. Also, if you feel sick, such as with swollen glands, fevers, or muscles aches and pain you should also tell your doctor immediately. If you do not get sick after the tick bite, then there is no need to worry or do anything else.
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