Hello everyone! Spring is here! So are ticks and allergies.

My tomatoes are in the ground and getting bigger. Personally, I am loving the cooler nights and warmer days. Unfortunately, with all the wonderful things that come with warm weather, come a few unwanted ones as well. Specifically, ticks and allergies. I wanted to share a few tips on how to best address both of those.

Ticks

Just to be clear, ticks are not only a warm weather issue. Ticks are active year round in Asheville. It is us who spend more time outdoors when the weather warms up therefore more likely to come across a tick. The most concerning type of tick is the deer tick.

In case of a tick bite:

  • Remove the tick using tweezers. Make sure to get the whole thing head and all.
  • Put the tick in a baggy or pill box.
  • Wipe off the tick bite area with alcohol.
  • Look for a rash around tick bite and keep an eye on the area for the next week or two.

Typically a tick bite will leave a red bump. This is normal. Sometimes there may be a rash, specifically a bulls eye rash of circular red rings, surrounding the bite.

CDC protocol is if there is no rash or fever, the recommendation is for a single dose of antibiotics within 72 hours of a tick bite as a prevention. If there is rash or fever you will most likely be given a longer dose of antibiotics of 10-14 days.

Human tests for Lyme can take weeks or months to get accurate results so do not expect to immediately be given a Lyme test. It can often be hard to get a doctors appointment within 72 hours of the tick bite so urgent care is often the best immediate option.

One of the most important steps to do if you have a tick bite is to save the tick! Put the tick in a zip-lock bag or pill box. DO NOT PUT IT IN ALCOHOL. Then, get online and find a tick lab to send it to. There are many labs that test ticks. I recently used a lab called Tick Check in Pennsylvania. Typically they will have you send them an envelope with your tick inside enclosed in the zip-lock bag or pillbox. You will also print out an invoice to send in that same envelope. The basic service at these labs, which includes tick identification and disease testing for the most common diseases such as Lyme and Rocky Mountain Spotted fever, will cost about $50. Well worth it in my opinion. There are more advanced test options that you can choose if you wish that involve more extended testing but I have found the basic package to be sufficient. These labs will then email you the results quickly, typically within 72 hours of receiving your tick.

The reason why it is so important to send off your tick is that, unlike testing on humans which can take a few weeks or even months to get accurate results (and by that time the Lyme or other disease could have spread throughout your system) testing the tick can be done in just a few hours. It ensures that you know exactly the diseases that your tick may carry as well as what type of tick so you can determine your level of risk and the next best course of action. This is information that your doctors will value and be able to integrate in their treatment plan to prevent disease for you. Sending in the tick to a lab is an essential step after a tick bite.

We have Herbal formulas for allergy season and for colds and flu!!

The above photo highlights some of the Chinese Medicine formulas we most frequently use at the clinic for upper respiratory issues. We have formulas for allergy season such as ones that address congestion, sneezing, post nasal drip etc. We have formulas for very sore throats or viruses such as COVID. Ones for fever, scratchy throats, cough, or phlegm. This time of year can really get bad for allergies and colds. We can help!