Have a Tick Bite? Get Your TICK tested!
I'll be the first to admit, when I get a tick bite I can be a bit of a hypochondriac. Anyone with me on this? We do a quick online search for a tick bite and find nearly every result linked to lyme disease. Then we obsess about the bite and anxiously wait for the infamous skin rash to appear. Am I right?
I recently flew from Norfolk, VA to Salt Lake City, UT to go on a 'national parks' vacation. We got into Salt Lake City late and went straight to bed at a hotel. The next morning, I spotted an engorged tick happily sucking my blood in the area on the back of my knee. I hadn't even gone outside in the wilderness yet! Did I get the tick in the hotel...on the plane...or worse, did I fly with it and bring it with me to Utah from Virginia?? Argh, how long had it been attached to my skin?
Knowing that something as small as a tick could cause big problems in the human body, I didn't waste a moment. The tick was quickly pulled out of my skin, intact (learn how to safely remove a tick at the bottom of this page). I searched photos of ticks to try to find a match, but I couldn't come up with any answers. I wondered... does this type of tick carry lyme disease? Does it carry other diseases? I've had family members and friends with lyme disease, so I know how debilitating this disease can be. I didn't want to worry about this for the upcoming weeks and months, so I did what I did the last time I had a tick bite. I mailed the tick to TickReport.com. I am in no way affiliated with TickReport.com, but after using their service once, I became their #1 fan. TickReport.com is affiliated with The University of Massachusetts - Amherst's Laboratory of Medical Zoology. Here, they will identify your tick and will actually test your tick for lyme and a variety of other diseases! The basic test is $50.00, yet I wanted more tests and paid $100 for an upgraded package. In my opinion, this test is worth every penny for peace of mind!
Here's what my report looked like:
Isn't this amazing?! After seeing all the negative results, I felt so much better! I didn't obsess about the tick bite and the small red bump went away within a couple of weeks.
If you use TickReport.com as a result of reading this post, I'd love to hear about your experience!
- Cheryl Nelson
Social Media: @CherylNelsonTV
HOW TO SAFELY REMOVE A TICK: According to the CDC, "use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible. Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers. If you are unable to remove the mouth easily with clean tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal.
After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol or soap and water."