Apr 5, 2014 at 8:27 am #1315298
I have had more tick bites than I care to mention here. Last year one of the tiny deer ticks stayed in possibly close to 24 hours so it was recommended that I start on antibiotics immediately; I had a large rash at the bite site. This last month I have had a half a dozen tick bites ( not counting the larger dog ticks that just walk about or grab a flake of skin) and I have reacted to the bites almost immediately, faster each time. Two days ago one possibly stayed in three or four hours before I started feeling pain and in such a short period of time I had a rash and swelling and considerable ache. Last night I felt pain in my neck half an hour after my walk and sure enough a tiny tick was barely in me. Could not have been for longer than 45 minutes. I got it out without problems because , like I said, it was barely in me. I got a big rash, welt, pain throughout the night.
None othese ticks were in me very long at all, and I kept each one with the date, just in case. The rashes are getting better but I had a night of pain up to a 4 in the little smiley to desperate pain chart, which is more than just an ache.
I don't think that this has anything to do with Lyme disease, which I have been reading about for years, but rather an allergic reaction to the tick's saliva.
Why am I developing this now and does it make sense that every time I react faster and "harder" ? I reacted most to the third bite in 36 hours, from a tick that was barely in and for a very short period of time. Is this because right now my immune system is up in arms and ready to go at it full fledge? Is it likely that this will continue getting worse and should I worry, not about current bites, but how strongly I will react to future ones?
ThanksApr 5, 2014 at 8:34 am #2089935
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
That happens to some people with poison oak or bee stings.
Bee-sting sensitive people can have to take a shot of (epinepherine?). Have to carry the pen around with them all the time.
It gets worse with each incidentApr 5, 2014 at 8:37 am #2089940
Hmm. It's pretty well understood that one can develop a bee allergy over a lifetime. Additional exposures to stings can cause the body to react allergically when it never did before. Never heard of this with ticks though.
KellyApr 5, 2014 at 8:40 am #2089943
Jerry and I crossed in the airwaves. Yes, I carry antihistamine for that reason. Used it last fall too, when the crazy bees got me twice. Might be worth asking your dr it would be useful.
KellyApr 5, 2014 at 8:42 am #2089944
Interesting article: http://www.allergycapital.com.au/allergycapital/Tick_allergy.htmlApr 5, 2014 at 8:55 am #2089945
Thanks Jerry and Kelly….bummer news.
Doug, I was just reading another article from down under about this, and they recommended freezing it with ether to prevent the release of saliva.
The irony …it's the ticks that got me not the mountain lions..Apr 5, 2014 at 9:22 am #2089954
@rexLocale: Central California Coast
Thanks for posting that. As others have said, you might have developed an allergy to tick bites, especially since the symptoms are getting worse. Good idea to consult a doctor, you don't want to go into anaphylactic shock far from medical care. But tick bites can cause a wide range of symptoms in a few hours, similar to your description.
The good news is you won't overlook tick bites for 24 hours any more. Small consolation.
— RexApr 5, 2014 at 10:38 am #2089966
Well I never have overlooked them. I take a shower every night and check for ticks religiously. The one that was in the longest probably did not come close to 24 hours, but I could not say exactly and by the reaction the docs thought it must have been in for a while. In retrospect it was probably just a few hours….Apr 5, 2014 at 11:15 am #2089972
@fluffinreach-comLocale: no. california
however it's supposed to be spelled …. the stuff is now at amazon for dead cheaper than it was beforeApr 5, 2014 at 12:32 pm #2089990
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
I'm married to a specialized MD (and she is adjunct facility for a medical school) and reasonably familiar about allergic / anaphylactic issues myself from my own and my family's history.
The increasing severity combined with the need to figure out if this is only an increased local reaction or if there is a developing anaphylactic component to (if there is, there may be epi-pens, etc in your future) makes me think you should seek an expert and not just your regular practitioner. When I ingest arsenic, I get basal-cell skin cancers (I know, STOP ingesting arsenic) so I see one of the very top guys in the country every once in a while. He's got his own strain of basal-cell-prone mice, keeps up on the literature (so I don't have to) and has a very practiced eye for suspicious lesions. And an appointment is only $110. Well worth the peace of mind to seek out when I pass through his city.
So I wouldn't just ask your GP for a referral. I'd ask your GP to call the best derm/allergist locally and ASK THEM (on your behalf) for a national expert on Lyme disease / ticks / anaphylaxis. And/or repeat that process but at a medical-school associated clinic. They have better-established networks of connecting to sub-specialists than community-based docs.Apr 5, 2014 at 2:16 pm #2090023
@hknewmanLocale: Western US
A little overkill and not meaning to get the conversation away from ticks but last I read there were some similarities in the human immune response to all venom. Last time I read anything on allergic reactions, it seemed every exposure to bites, stings, or other exposures (like pollen) could bring a person closer to anaphylactic shock but I'm not a medical authority on this – rather a victim.
Did some reading after being stung by scorpions about 3 times while handling a tent door (once north of Austin TX and twice in Arizona's Chiricuahuas – before they burned down). In general, the reading at the time made it seem the more stings, bites, or other exposures one has, the more likely it is the next exposure will result in a more severe allergic reaction.
The scorpion venom swelled my finger and was very painful for about 15 minutes .. but then went away. The doc at one of the stings (my near Austin one was when I pulled back the door of a large military tent … a medical tent lol), said that about 25% of stings result in anaphylactic shock but more stings were a problem, which matched my later readings on the subject. My references are kind of old, so maybe has some new info?
Add: I've noticed some ticks in the high mountains as well, so I could use some general info and/or some on tick bites also.Apr 6, 2014 at 1:06 pm #2090342
@David, thanks I will try and get to see someone that knows more about this than my GP..
@HK Newman…yikes. I sure hope not. I would have to change my life drastically and that would be depressing.
I had another tick barely in me a couple of hours ago. I sprayed in with Ether ( ouch) and it came off right away. So far I only have a small red spot.Apr 6, 2014 at 1:27 pm #2090348
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
I don't know where you get your ether, but the cheap source would be an auto parts store selling it as "cold weather starting fluid". Maybe keep one of those at home.
Radio Shack has smaller containers of ether as "circuit cooler" and/or circuit cleaner. Spendier, but convenient if you wanted some with you on the trail.
Be VERY careful about any ignition sources. I play with a lot of flammable stuff but am REALLY cautious around hydrogen and ether – they have such a wide explosive range, it is far easier to accidentally ignite them.Apr 6, 2014 at 1:53 pm #2090359
I will look into the smaller containers from Radio Shack. I am familiar with the explosive nature of the stuff….saw a tractor tire that had come unseated in the mud be reseated by inserting a piece of tissue in it, a bit of ether and "bang!!" the tire was back on. Like magic but a good example of how sketchy it could get..
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