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Question
Posted by: X | 2010/03/02

ticks &  tick bites

Dear Cyberdoc,

I went on a hike in the Dinokeng Game Reserve on Saturday. Probably due to the rains of the last few months the grass was very tall - above our heads-, and the trail was overgrown with grass and other plants.

Although I had on long jeans, hiking boots and a t-shirt with sleeves down to the elbows, I still ended up with what seems to be lots of very tiny ticks / tick larvae (what some people call pepper ticks), all over my body. (At least I think that''s what it is - they are much smaller and lighter in colour than what I am used to seeing). There are these red, itchy bumps with some extremely small (only just visible with the naked eye) light brown " tags"  - which I assume are the tick larvae. Some of the bumps don''t show the " tags"  yet, so if I am right and they are bites by tick larvae, the ticks are not yet big enough to see clearly. The " tags"  / ticks are very difficult to remove as they are so small.

How can I get rid of these things? I tried bathing last night in a variety of aromatic oils and washing with citronella soap, but it didn''t seem to help.

Also what can I do about the itching? Since it is all over my body a took ''n anti-histamine pill (Celestamine) last night, and it seemed to help, but today the itching is back.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberDoc

Hallo X
The best way to get rid of them is taking a fine tweezer and removing them physically as smothering and other methods do not really work.Please watch out for symptoms of tickbite fever and get immediate testing and treatment if you develop any fever, headache or a rash.
You can try antihistamine tablets for a few days with phenergan cream on the most itchy areas. See also http://jhbhiking.org.za/cms/index.php?_qnz
Dr Bets

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

2
Our users say:
Posted by: Henry Spencer | 2010/05/01

This is an inane response and indicates that the person recommending tweezers has never experienced the problem. If you have 200 pepper ticks which you cannot even see what chance will you have with tweezers?

Reply to Henry Spencer
Posted by: cyberdoc | 2010/03/02

Hallo X
The best way to get rid of them is taking a fine tweezer and removing them physically as smothering and other methods do not really work.Please watch out for symptoms of tickbite fever and get immediate testing and treatment if you develop any fever, headache or a rash.
You can try antihistamine tablets for a few days with phenergan cream on the most itchy areas. See also http://jhbhiking.org.za/cms/index.php?_qnz
Dr Bets

Reply to cyberdoc

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