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Healing a tick bite

I got bitten by a tick a couple months ago. It swelled up like a mosquito bite and itched like crazy. I left it alone, but it started looking a bit infected, so I put Neosporin on it for a while. Mostly it doesn't itch now, but I still have a bump there, slightly pink, and every now and then it gets a bit redder and starts itching again. Last night I tried tea tree oil, and it looks better today with no itching. Should I keep with the tea tree, or has anyone had any luck with anything else?

There's the "could the head still be in there?" question, but the entire tick was barely bigger than the dot made by a ball-point-pen, so I'd have to have a microscope to see it if it was. Short of scraping the entire bump off with a scalpel... *shudder*

A couple of months feels like a long time for this to still be bothering me, but in researching Lyme Disease, I did find that it's not uncommon. It IS healing, just slowly. I'd just like to help it along. It would also help to know for next time. We've been doing a lot of yard clearing recently, and I suspect this won't be the last one. (A Florida tick could find its way into a hazmat suit...)

Oh, and yes, I had a doc look at it. I have no symptoms of Lyme Disease, no rash, no anything. He just said to keep an eye on it and not to worry unless I start having weird symptoms.


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 22nd, 2009 12:07 am (UTC)
My mom just emailed me something about taping a penny to a bug bite for 15 minutes and it helping clear it up within 24 hours.

I am skeptical, but, hey, it's 15 minutes out of your life, and it's not dangerous unless you're very extremely beyond extremely sensitive to metals.

When working in your yard, be sure to have Brad Paisley around. *nods*
May. 22nd, 2009 12:15 am (UTC)
Heh. Seriously. K always offers to check me for ticks after our yardwork. Thankfully I've never found one anywhere particularly... interesting...

Now that I think about it, that last one I found on me in the shower (when I went running into the garage wearing nothing but a towel, much to the amusement of the housemates) also kept flaring up again for a few weeks. (And I know we got the head that time.) Florida ticks are learning, apparently, and no longer full of fail like they were when you were here. (And lucky me, bug bites take forever to heal anyway. A mosquito bite lasts for at least a week, and I once had something that I can only assume was a spider bite that left a dark purple spot that lasted more than six months.)

I'd tape a penny to it if it would help. (Today's pennies or older ones?) I wonder if this is one of those that they claim can be helped by peeing on it. I've heard that for recluse bites, but couldn't get K to try it when he got bitten. I'd let my worst enemy pee on a recluse bite rather than go through that nightmare!
May. 22nd, 2009 12:36 am (UTC)
According to the email, it's supposed to be the copper in the penny that counteracts the bite. So whichever pennies had more copper (I'm not familiar with what the combinations are these days).
May. 22nd, 2009 01:49 am (UTC)
Yeah, I did a bit of reading on it and found that it was supposed to have to do with the copper. Mostly it seemed recommended for bee stings, though. (And still seems to fall in that "old wives tale" category, unfortunately.) I do have some old pennies I recently got out of one of my childhood piggy banks, though!
May. 22nd, 2009 06:39 am (UTC)
The difference in pre-1982 pennies is only on the inside. They're all the same on the outside.
May. 22nd, 2009 12:13 pm (UTC)
All still zinc-coated?
May. 22nd, 2009 07:57 pm (UTC)
Copper, pretty sure. The zinc would be on the inside.
May. 22nd, 2009 01:32 am (UTC)
I had a Mexican tick bite that lasted a year. Finally had to go to the doctor to have the lump "scooped" out.

Little bastards.
May. 22nd, 2009 01:48 am (UTC)
*blerg* I'm considering whether having a lump on my arm is really such a bad thing. I could name it...
May. 22nd, 2009 02:25 am (UTC)
My husband lumps up from every tick bite. He had a few ticks so far this spring and everyone has puffed up. He ended up having to have a round of doxycycline because he got a rash though his ticks were Lone Star Ticks not deer ticks or dog ticks. I know we've completely removed the ticks and their heads were attached as we inspect them all closely but he still poofs up.

I don't react at all to tick bites (though I did end up with lyme disease). Mosquitos, deer flies and black flies on the other hand react badly.
May. 22nd, 2009 02:04 pm (UTC)
So basically, it's just watch for a rash (or other odd symptoms) and wait for the bump to eventually go away? I'm definitely not running to the doctor for every tick bite. (If everyone around here did that, the docs would continuously have lines out the door. I only ended up showing mine to one because I was already there for something else.)

Not to mention, my husband went to the doc for a brown recluse bite and they started threatening amputation. It wasn't until he went to the health department that they told him, no big deal, keep it clean, put this on it, take these, and here, have a couple of shots. It's amazing how many bug bites we get here, yet you go to the doc with one and they act like they've never seen one before!
May. 22nd, 2009 01:07 pm (UTC)
EW. this made me shudder.
May. 22nd, 2009 06:02 am (UTC)
This isn't for ticks
But I found it helpful for mosquitos! I used to live in the woods of Tallahassee and frequently got bit on the very short walk to my car. A friend told me if I got a mosquito bite to use my fingernail and make a deep x or cross shaped mark to prevent it from swelling and such. I don't know if it was in my head, but it helped a lot!!
May. 22nd, 2009 10:32 am (UTC)
Re: This isn't for ticks
I've done that since I was a child. Make an X with you fingernails, then slap the bite fairly hard. It'll stop the itching.
May. 22nd, 2009 12:11 pm (UTC)
Re: This isn't for ticks
I do know that trick for mosquito bites! I've never noticed it helping the swelling, but it helps with the itching. Putting rubbing alcohol on them also seems to help.

I'm the double-"lucky' one. Bites stay on me forever AND I'm a mosquito magnet.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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