Walking blush after tick bite: Quick to the doctor
If you are outside in the warm season, you should beware of ticks, because the little bloodsuckers can transmit dangerous diseases. If you get bitten and there is redness around the bite site, you should definitely see a doctor. Because the so-called blush is an indication of a Lyme infection.
Carrier of dangerous diseases
Ticks can transmit dangerous infectious diseases such as early summer meningoencephalitis (TBE) or Lyme disease. While the former only occurs in certain risk areas, the latter is widespread nationwide. Not every tick bite causes Lyme disease, but if you notice a blush on your skin after a stay in the countryside, you should definitely see a doctor - even if you haven't noticed any of the creepy crawlies.
Only a small number of those bitten get infected
"The occurrence of borrelia in ticks fluctuates very strongly both regionally and in small areas and can be up to 30%," writes the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) on its website.
According to the experts, scientific studies have shown that around five percent of people bitten by a tick become infected with Borrelia.
"Only a very small proportion of those infected, around one percent, develop symptoms of the disease," says the RKI.
Signs of the disease include general symptoms such as fatigue, night sweats, fever and non-specific joint and muscle pain.
The so-called "rash" - a red ring that forms around the tick bite - is a 100 percent symptom, but only occurs in half of the patients.
Redness gets bigger every day
"The blush looks like a target," explains Hans Michael Mühlenfeld from the General Practitioners Association in a message from the dpa news agency.
The skin around the puncture site is pale and the redness spreads around this small, bright field. "It occurs about three to four days after the bite and remains for about two to three weeks," says the doctor. During this period, the redness gets a little bigger every day.
If you notice such redness, you should go to the family doctor. Regardless of whether the patient remembers a tick bite, he will prescribe an antibiotic. "If this is taken according to the instructions, it effectively fights the infection," explains Mühlenfeld.
Compare skin redness with pictures from the Internet if necessary
If a Lyme infection remains untreated, it can lead to long-term consequences such as inflammation of the joints, heart muscle or nerves.
As Mühlenfeld emphasizes in the dpa report, it is therefore absolutely necessary to treat an infection with antibiotics in good time.
If you are not sure of redness after an insect bite or bite, you can compare it with pictures of the so-called Erythema migrans on the Internet.
"You can tell from it yourself whether you could be affected," says Mühlenfeld.
Protect from ticks
It is best to protect yourself from ticks to avoid infections. Ideally, you should stay on the trails for walks.
When hiking, you should always remember to wear long pants and, if necessary, put your legs in your socks. Special sprays, so-called repellents, can also keep the crawling animals away.
In addition, one should search thoroughly for stays in nature and, if necessary, react quickly.
Hurry after a tick bite. The animal should be removed as soon as possible, because: "The tick has to suck for a long time before the pathogen is transmitted," writes the RKI.
“The risk of infection increases after a suction period of more than 12 hours. If you remove the tick early, the risk of transmission is therefore very low. "(Ad)