The treatment of a given tick exposure will depend on the length of attachment, the type of tick, the tick-borne diseases that have been seen in the community, and the symptoms developed by the person. Specific medical treatment depends on the pathogen(s) transmitted in the tick bite. The following is a brief summary of treatments:
- Local cleansing and antibiotic cream may be applied.
- For itching, the doctor may recommend preparations containing diphenhydramine (Benadryl). Benadryl compounds can be applied directly to the skin for itching or administered orally by tablets.
- Oral antibiotics may be
prescribed for some diseases. With more significant symptoms, you may need
antibiotics given through an IV and may need to be hospitalized.
- Other treatments may involve more detailed blood tests, fluids and medications given by IV, and admission to the hospital.
For detailed explanations of treatments, the best approach is to determine the diagnosis of the disease transmitted by the tick bite (for example, Rocky Mountain spotted fever,
Lyme disease) and then examine the specific treatments used for that disease.
Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, Chief Medical Editor
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