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Tick bite won't heal?

(24 Posts)
motherofallhangovers Sun 01-Nov-15 13:31:58

DS was bitten by a tick in June. He still has a sore there, about the size of a penny. It looks raw and scabby, and as if it's eating into his skin rather than growing on his skin if that makes any sense. DS says it's not sore but it feels weird.

Does anyone know what this is or how it should be treated?

I've taken him to the Dr twice, and I'm about to take him again. I want to arm myself with info out beforehand what it could be so we don't get fobbed off (again).

luciole15 Sun 01-Nov-15 13:34:47

Don't know about it not healing, but look into Lyme's Disease and insist on an appropriate course of antibiotics as it can be very debilitating.

motherofallhangovers Sun 01-Nov-15 13:39:54

Some more info ...

When we found the tick, it was obvious it had been there a while, it was massive! I took the tick out, gently, and looked at it and all its legs seemed to be there.

We cleaned the bite and put anti-bacterial spray on it. We cleaned and checked it for the red ring that is the sign of limes disease a few times after that, but it seemed to be fine.

DS has very thick hair, we didn't notice the sore till the end of August. His head had a raw, sore patch, which had spread to much wider than the original bite and was yellow and flaky as well as red and scabby. The first doctor we was didn't believe it was from the tick bite (he didn't say this outright but I suspected it).

He prescribed a mild steroid cream suitable for treating skin conditions. After washing and applying the cream every day, the wider infection cleared up. The yellow flakiness had gone, and it was just down to the penny-sized circle, which wasn't budging.

The next doctor confirmed the previous doctor didn't believe it was from he tick bite, but it was clear to the new Dr it was the most likely cause. He said the previous cream had been very mild, and he has now prescribed DS "Betnovate Scalp Application". The penny-sized sore still isn't budging.

We're going back this week, but I'd like to find out what it might be beforehand. Maybe a bit of leg is stuck in there afterall, even though they looked intact at the time? (We put the tick in a glass of water so we could have a good look - yuck!)

motherofallhangovers Sun 01-Nov-15 13:41:16

luciole15 thanks for your reply.

I have been concerned about limes disease, but surely he would have had symptoms by now?

PhilPhilConnors Sun 01-Nov-15 13:46:36

Have a look at an image of a tick and see if you can look at your tick with a magnifying glass.
Make sure all its legs are there and its head.
I would either suspect that there is a part of it left in, or that it has caused a localised infection, in which case I would be asking for proper antibiotics.

Was it your son who had problems with his eyes both seeing double?
If not, ignore me, if yes, how' she doing?

luciole15 Sun 01-Nov-15 13:51:59

You can get a blood test apparently. More info here:

I know two outdoorsy types who get antibiotics every time they are bitten. Worryingly, the above article says you won't necessarily get the bullseye rash.

It's weird the bite site is not healing. Maybe see if you can find a Lime's specialist?

OverScentedFanjo Sun 01-Nov-15 13:52:58

It's the head that needs to come out. The legs aren't buried inside.

The ring can appear anywhere on the body or not at all and still have Lymes.

Got to DR and insist to be tested for Lymes.

yeOldeTrout Sun 01-Nov-15 13:58:26

Lymes disease symptoms can be vague or mild.
Bottom line is the wound is still festering.
So I'd want to rule out LD for peace of mind.
Some suggestions here about making sure all the mouth parts are removed (boak creatures).

yeOldeTrout Sun 01-Nov-15 13:58:43

oops, link!!

motherofallhangovers Sun 01-Nov-15 14:21:42

PhilPhilConnors yes that was my DS. Thanks for remembering and also for the reminder - I had intended to go back and update the thread, will do that today.

I think DS's double vision is better. The doctor asked him lots of questions and referred him to the hospital. They did lots of tests on his eyes but couldn't find anything wrong with them. The conclusion was that it was probably something to do with the virus he'd just had (along with the rest of the family) and his previous lazy eye.

(He had a lazy eye because the difference between his eyes was so great his brain "switched off" the signal from one of them.)

The double vision hung around for a while. DS says he doesn't have it right now but it comes back sometimes. (That may or may not be true, he drifts into fantasy sometimes!).

motherofallhangovers Sun 01-Nov-15 14:25:37

For the posters suggesting treating/testing for Lymes Disease, do you think the sore is a symptom of Lymes or do you just think it's prudent because he's been bitten, regardless of the sore?

(Just wondering what tack to take with the Dr.)

PhilPhilConnors Sun 01-Nov-15 14:51:13

I think that because the sore isn't healing it needs more attention than it's getting.
I also think that because a tick was involved, the dr needs to be taking it seriously instead of fobbing you off.
I don't know if the sore could be Lyme disease (I had LD a few years ago and don't have a sore), but if this was my child I would prefer the dr to either refer him to someone to have a poke around and have a look at the sore, to see if there is still a part of the tick left in, or take a small biopsy to see what infection there is and to treat it appropriately.

Pleased his eyes seem better for now.

motherofallhangovers Sun 01-Nov-15 15:42:03

"I think that because the sore isn't healing it needs more attention than it's getting."

I completely agree. I'm really annoyed with the first doctor for disbelieving me when I clearly said he had a tick and I pulled it out. (He asked me how I knew it was a tick. Um ... because it was a tick?! FFS!)

The second Dr was much better. He treated me like a competent human being who is able to accurately report when I've pulled a tick out of my DS's head.

I'll make sure we get an appointment with him if we can, or anyone but the other Dr.

motherofallhangovers Sun 01-Nov-15 15:44:13

"take a small biopsy to see what infection there is and to treat it appropriately."

Thank you, this is the kids of words I need.

So far I am going to ask:

1. if they can take a small biopsy to see what the infection is
2. If it's possible to get a blood test for Lymes disease
3. How can we work out if there's a bit of tick stuck in there or not?

Can anyone else suggest anything I should be asking?

motherofallhangovers Sun 01-Nov-15 15:46:02

Gah! Appalling grammar and spelling in one sentence! ]

That should say

"this is the kind of help with words I need"

RoseDog Sun 01-Nov-15 15:55:31

Sounds awful for your ds, I dont know any questions you should be asking but write everything down before you go to the gp to make sure you dont forget anything!

notapizzaeater Sun 01-Nov-15 16:07:30

Agree write it down just to make sure you remember all the questions.

motherofallhangovers Mon 02-Nov-15 09:03:08

Good an appointment later today with the doctor I like.

motherofallhangovers Mon 02-Nov-15 09:03:34

Got not good!

ItIsHowItIsx Mon 02-Nov-15 09:25:33

Could it be a secondary infection at the site of the tick bite - like impetigo?

zipzap Mon 02-Nov-15 10:09:19

I also find that turning the question around to the doctor can help sometimes too...

So in this case, for example, saying that as there are several factors that indicate it could be lymes disease, especially if you consider that sometimes you don't get the ring, what would be the consequences of leaving it untreated? And are there any other less well known diseases that can be passed on by insect bites that it could be? And could they note down that you are worried about it being lymes disease...

If you have a doc that isn't being helpful asking them to spell out consequences of leaving something untreated and getting them to spell out exactly why it isn't what you're worried about despite some indications that it could be, can sometimes focus their minds and the thoughts of their medical negligence insurance premiums going up!

Hope that makes sense - typing on my phone and have been interrupted a few times !

Hope all goes well at the doctors...

motherofallhangovers Mon 02-Nov-15 14:32:12

We now have anti-biotics and a follow-up appointment in a week.

I'm.glad they're taking it seriously now.

luciole15 Mon 02-Nov-15 16:28:26

Hope your DS is properly on the road to recovery now.

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 02-Nov-15 17:14:37

As a vet who sees tick bites all the time the most common reason for a non-healing lesion at the site of a tick bite is that the ticks head is still embedded in the skin. Sometimes you can see the tiny black dot other times everything is so swollen you have to cut out the whole area.
The fact that the tick had engorged (got big) increases the risk of Lyme disease as the tick will have injected saliva into your DS to access the blood stream this is the transmission method for Lyme disease. Only around 50% of cases get the bulls eye rash. One third of UK ticks carry Lyme disease.
Your son could have a tick head stuck and Lyme disease.

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