How can Lyme disease be prevented?
It is optimal to avoid exposure to tick-endemic areas. If this is not possible, the risk of infection can be reduced by several measures. Individuals should wear long-sleeved shirts tucked into pants, and the pant legs should be tucked into socks. Light-colored clothing allows detection and removal of ticks. Tick repellents that contain 20% or more N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide, picaridin, and IR3535 can be applied to skin and clothing. Furthermore, acaricide permethrin sprayed onto clothing may further act as a repellent against ticks. Clothing that has been commercially impregnated with permethrin may also be purchased. Body checks should be performed on a daily basis, and attached ticks should immediately be removed with forceps. If there are any mouth-parts left in the skin, they should be left alone and be allowed to naturally fall out over time to reduce the chance of infection. After a tick bite, antibiotic prophylaxis may be considered if: the tick bite occurred in an endemic area; the tick is confirmed to be an adult or nymph Ixodes tick that had been attached for at least 36 hours; and prophylaxis is able to be given within 72 hours of tick removal.