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  • Debbie Gilligan

Tackling Tick bites


As the weather gets warmer and the sunshine’s brighter, isn’t it great to start pealing of the layers and getting out and about into nature again, bush walks, tree climbing (for the kids of course 😊), garden barbecues, and getting stuck into the lawn mowing are what summer is all about. It’s fun for the whole family, Until…. you come inside after a glorious day out only to feel a little itchy… Maybe a little sore….. you reach to this discomfort in the nape of your neck and feel a tender bump! On further investigation the bump is a bit red, and sensitive to touch with the tiniest little black spot in the middle, you grab the torch for a little more light to see what it is…. And, just as you may have guessed it’s a tick!!!!

Immediately you are on your phone, googling trying to work out the best way to remove it, what to do next and further more wondering if you now have the dreaded Lyme’s disease, desperately hoping that the claims that it doesn’t exist in Australia are true – there is so much conflicting advice, but the stress is real, what do you do?

Ticks are commonly found in grass, trees, shrubs and leaf piles as well as on wild and domestic animals. There are various types of ticks and they may or may not carry different types of bacteria.

A bacterium called borrelia burgdorferi is responsible for causing Lyme’s disease and this is rife on the east coast of America and some parts of Europe, the verdict is still out as to whether or not it is found in Australia.

Regardless of bacteria or allergies to ticks, some of the symptoms of a bite can be physically rather unpleasant.

Symptoms may include:

- pain or swelling at the bite site

- a bull’s eye rash (rash may or may not be itchy)

- a burning sensation

- blisters

- and in severe cases they may cause difficulty breathing.

In cases where ticks carry disease causing bacteria which can be passed on when they bite, symptoms may develop over several days or weeks after the bite, these include:

- a red spot or rash near the bite site

- a full body rash

- neck stiffness

- a headache

- Nausea

- Weakness

- muscle or joint pain or aches

- a fever

- or chills

The best way to avoid these symptoms is to prevent being bitten of course by wearing protective clothing in tick prone areas, using appropriate insect repellent, taking a warm shower or bath within 2 hours after being in risk areas and to check skin closely after being in tick prone areas especially under arms, behind ears, between legs, behind knees and in hair.

There are also Homeopathic remedies that you can take prior to being exposed to ticks that may reduce severity of symptoms of bites and may even prevent bites.

If, however you do not manage to prevent the bite, remove the tick as soon as possible, use a special tick removing tool or a thimble filled with vinegar held over the tick will cause it to fall off, avoid squeezing the tick, breaking it or allowing any blood to remain on your skin. It typically takes 24 hours of feeding for a tick carrying disease to infect a person, so the sooner its removed the better. The site can be washed with soapy water and tea tree oil and there are various homeopathic remedies that can be taken immediately to relieve symptoms and prevent progression of any complications.

Tick season is here, and the aim is to prevent getting bitten, however it’s no fun staying inside all summer and missing out on all the fun…. So, don’t worry, if you do get bitten Homeopathy can be effective in reliving your symptoms and preventing further progression of any possible tick-borne illnesses.

Join me on Wednesday the 15th November, 6.30 pm at Optimum Health essentials in Mona Vale for a workshop on how you can use homeopathic remedies at home to prevent and treat symptoms of tick bites this summer, or book an appointment with me, if you have any lingering symptoms, complications or have simply never been well since a past tick bite.

Call 9999 1680 to book an appointment. Bookings essential.


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