Warmer temperatures have arrived early this year, and so has tick season. Ticks transmit illnesses such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, but you probably won't notice a tick bite unless the bug is still attached. "Your first sign [of being bitten] may be a flu-like illness or rash anywhere on the body weeks later," says Larry Millikan, M.D., professor and chair emeritus at Tulane University in New Orleans. See your doctor if you develop any sort of rash or a distinctive bull's eye rash, which is typically a sign of Lyme disease, anywhere on the body.
What to do: If the tick is attached, use tweezers to grasp it near the head as close to the skin as possible. Pull slowly away from the skin without twisting (you don't want to leave mouthparts behind). Skip useless home remedies such as a lit match, petroleum jelly or rubbing alcohol. Save the tick in case it's needed for identification later and see your doctor if you develop a rash, fever or other flu-like symptoms.
*While there are "typical" reactions to bites and stings, your reaction can be more or less severe based on your sensitivity level. Always consult a doctor if you have concerns about any insect bite or sting.