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The Portland Hiking Meetup Group Message Board Odds and Ends › I think a tick head embedded in my thigh

I think a tick head embedded in my thigh

A former member
Post #: 46
Last night I used tweezers to extract a tick from my thigh but may have left part of the head behind. Sorry to gross you out. :-)

Any advice on what to do about this? I'm not sure if I left any tick behind but it seems likely. The place where the tick was is sort of black surrounded by a slightly angry red with bit of swelling. Ugh.

For future reference, what is the best way to extract a tick properly? I grabbed it with tweezers but I probably should have been more careful to grab it as close to its head as possible.

Thanks.

Neil
A former member
Post #: 36
Last night I used tweezers to extract a tick from my thigh but may have left part of the head behind. Sorry to gross you out. :-)

Any advice on what to do about this? I'm not sure if I left any tick behind but it seems likely. The place where the tick was is sort of black surrounded by a slightly angry red with bit of swelling. Ugh.

For future reference, what is the best way to extract a tick properly? I grabbed it with tweezers but I probably should have been more careful to grab it as close to its head as possible.

Thanks.

Neil

I pulled a tick out of me a few years ago and went straight to the doc. Can't remember if he gave me drugs or a shot but it was something to prevent Lyme disease.
A former member
Post #: 3
I have done the match trick and had it work, But usually a very narrow set of tweezers and gently work it back out is best. (holding it as close to skin as possible)
Not sure whats best after head is still in other than carefully dig it out?


Claudio
user 4250936
Beaverton, OR
Post #: 75
The correct way to remove a tick is with tweezers as close as posible to the skin. You just need to grab firmly and pull to get it out in one movement. If you miss or you grab the sucker (pun intended) from the abdomen, it will bite harder into your skin and it will be more likely the head will stay there. An easy way to know you've done it right is when you just get a tiny blod dot that goes away in a day or two. If it get darker or swollen, then you might still have the head.
A former member
Post #: 47
Thanks for the input on the best way to remove a tick. That'll come in handy next time.

This time the tick head might still be there. Not sure. I don't think Lyme's disease is an issue in the Pacific Northwest. That's more East and and mid-West.

However, is there a way to deal with it if the head or part of the head is embedded? Is there any reason I need to see a doctor about this? Thanks.
duane
user 6564426
Portland, OR
Post #: 144
Is there any reason I need to see a doctor about this? Thanks.

Your doctor can answer that better than we can.
Jessica B.
JBB1018
Yacolt, WA
Post #: 65
Neil, does your health plan have a nurse advice line? Might want to consider calling them for official advice:)
A former member
Post #: 3
I don't think this was rude, but rather was very direct. So far no one had given a definite yes or no, so the advice to ask the Dr was good advice. He didn't say don't ask us, just that his Dr could tell him better.
I will give a definite answer though. YES, call your Dr, and ask him. or his Nurse. Or you could try calling OSHU ER and ask for a triage nurse.
My advice is that if you can, you may dig it out with a sterilized razor blade, then rinse with Hydrogen Peroxide and then treat with a triple antibiotic cream. If it continues to look red, swollen, any puss remains or the blackness remains after 18 hours, or if a rash or fever develops you should go directly to a primary care clinic for treatment.
While Lyme is more prevalent in the Rockies and points East, it has been reported here as well, so a Dr Visit for the treatment is always a good idea just to be safe.
A former member
Post #: 49
I've made an appointment with my Doctor but am glad to have a community of hikers to talk with first. I'm a thoughtful consumer of healthcare services so I always do lots of research and seek information from various sorts before I seek any sort of medical help from the healthcare system itself.

The medical establishment is VERY conservative so they're always going to suggest a visit. At least that's been my experience. I'm fine with that but I just like to think about things and research them a bit first (including discussion with the great community here).

Thanks to all who've given constructive suggestions and thoughts. I do appreciate it. I've kind of come to the conclusion that anyone who goes into tick country, including me, should be prepared and have the instruments to properly extract a tick. It's been a learning experience for me that even something as small as a tick can be a real pain and should be dealt with correctly over quickly but as soon as possible. My main mistake was rushing to extract the tick quickly when I saw it. Better to think first what is best way to deal with this problem and then act...

As far as instruments, I've put tick extracting tweezers on the list. Presumably they have them at REI. Any other suggestions on tick *prevention* and tick *extraction*?
A former member
Post #: 4
As far as removal of a whole tick goes, if you use the tweezers method goes try twisting gently as you pull. Heat can sometimes cause them to back out on their own, or you can cover the area with petroleum jelly, making sure that the entire surface of the tick is covered. it will begin to smother and will often back out on it's own to be able to breath. In any case, ticks are blood feeders, like mosquitoes, and can carry and transmit many diseases. Anytime a bite from a blood feeder becomes inflamed or a fever or rash develops a Dr should be seen.
The best defense is of course prevention. Wearing tight cuffs, bloused pant legs, and careful partner examination of the head and neck region at lunch stops and after a hike can often lead to the discovery of ticks before they have a chance to get fully buried in the skin.
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