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    Private GP Services & Occupational Healthcare in Edinburgh, UK.

    Ticks, Lyme disease and the great outdoors

    Ticks, Lyme disease and the great outdoors

    Posted on April 27th, 2023

    The health benefits of hiking in the great outdoors are numerous. It’s a fantastic form of physical exercise, a dose of vitamin D from the sun is great for bones, teeth and muscles, and immersing yourself in nature can do wonders for your mental wellbeing too. However, there are of course certain dangers to be aware of, one of which is tiny yet can cause huge problems – a Lyme tick. Read on as the health experts at YourGP reveal the risks of Lyme disease and explain how best to protect yourself.

    What are ticks?

    Ticks are parasitic arachnids that feed on the blood of mammals and birds. They are usually around 5mm in length and are commonly found in grassy and wooded areas. Some ticks carry a bacteria that can be spread to humans through bites causing Lyme disease.

    Everything you need to know about Lyme disease

    Lyme disease usually presents as a circular ‘bullseye’ rash which can appear anytime from 1 week to 3 months after a bite. Some people also experience flu-like symptoms such as a high temperature, feeling hot or shivery, headache, muscle and joint pain, tiredness and loss of energy.

    If you have been bitten by a tick and you experience any of these symptoms, it is important that you see your GP immediately so they can prescribe a course of antibiotics. The condition is easier to treat when caught early, so it pays to act fast.

    Reduce your risk

    • When enjoying the countryside, wear clothing that covers your skin and tuck your trousers into your socks
    • Use an insect repellent
    • Always check yourself after you have spent time outside

    How to safely remove a tick

    • Use fine-tipped tweezers or a specialist tick-removal tool to remove a tick as soon as you spot one on the skin
    • Grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible and slowly pull it out, taking care not to squeeze or crush the tick
    • Thoroughly clean the bite with antiseptic or soap and water

    Should you begin to feel unwell or you develop a rash, contact your GP immediately.

    Got a rash you need checked out?

    If you have a suspicious looking rash that you would like a health professional to take a look at, you can book an appointment using our online booking form, or you can email or call us on 0131 225 5656 and we’ll be happy to arrange an appointment at a time that suits you.


    Received injections from Lynn at the surgery. Hadn’t had an injection in 12 years, so was terrified walking through the front door at first. My mind was put at ease instantly. Very nice people, was given lots of great advice, and the injections were a piece of cake. Couldn’t be happier. Recommended!

    Lee S

    YourGP is regulated by Healthcare Improvement Scotland – the regulator for independent healthcare services across Scotland. Healthcare Improvement Scotland accepts complaints at any time. Contact them at:

    Independent Healthcare Team
    Gyle Square | 1 South Gyle Crescent | Edinburgh | EH12 9EB
    0131 623 4342 |

    YourGP is registered with the Joint Council of Cosmetic Practitioners (JCCP) Registered Office: Station Road, North Street, Havant PO9 1QU.