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Dr. Joe’s Tickitaway

Summer is in full swing and Dr. Joe Licata, Pediatrician, Pet Owner and inventor of Dr. Joe’s Tickitaway talks about the importance of doing a full body check and proper tick removal on your pets.

Full Body Check on Yourself, Kids and Pets

  • Bathe or shower as soon as possible after coming indoors (preferably within 2 hours) to wash off and more easily find ticks that are crawling on you.
  • Conduct a full-body tick check using a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body upon return from tick-infested areas. Parents should check their children for ticks under the arms, in and around the ears, inside the belly button, behind the knees, between the legs, around the waist, and especially in their hair.
  • Examine gear and pets. Ticks can ride into the home on clothing and pets, then attach to a person later, so carefully examine pets, coats, and day packs.
  • Tumble dry clothes in a dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill ticks on dry clothing after you come indoors.

I did my tick check and found a tick. What should I do?

  • First don’t panic. To be safe you want to remove the tick as soon as possible because the risk of infection increases between 24 to 48 hours after the tick attaches to the skin.
  • Never use petroleum jelly or a hot match to kill and remove a tick. These methods don’t get the tick off the skin, but can irritate the tick more (which increases the chances of disease transmission).
  • The idea is to remove them without irritating them. What you want to do is get fine point tweezers grab the head and pull it up. It sounds simple but the difficulty in finding the right pair of tweezers caused me to create my own device to aid in tick removal called Dr. Joe’s Tickitaway. My device uses a prying motion to detach an attached tick away from the skin similar to the action of a crowbar on a nail.

  • Once removed, put the tick into a jar or zip-locked bag with your name and date. Tick identification is of course easier if you keep the tick that bit you (different ticks transmit different diseases).
  • Wash your hands and the site of the tick bite with soap and water.
  • Swab the tick bite with alcohol or an antiseptic and you can put an antibiotic ointment on it.

IMPORTANT: Contact your doctor and if the tick was found on a pet, contact your veterinarian. Antibiotics may be needed. You want to be seen earlier so that you can be treated sooner rather than later. Useful websites are CDC.gov, Tickencounter.org and www.tickitaway.com.

Dr. Joe’s Tickitaway can be found at your local King Kullen store.

Categories: Blog, Pharmacy
Posted at August 7, 2017 - 12:50 PM  |  Comments Off on Dr. Joe’s Tickitaway

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