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Tick bite, primary psoriatic arthritis

Created date

August 21st, 2012

Q. Is it true that a tick bite can cause food allergies?

A. For years we ve known about the danger of Lyme disease from deer ticks, but now there may be something else to worry about. Recently, there s been some concern about the so-called lone star tick, which is found mainly in the state of Virginia but may be anywhere in the southeast or south central U.S. Also called the seed tick, it is distinguished by a tiny white dot on its back. Some people who have been bitten by this tick have developed a severe allergy to meat, resulting in hives or even anaphylactic shock. There is some speculation although no absolute proof that a bite from this tick triggers these allergies. Either way, it s important to prevent tick bites, and strategies include using DEET or permethrin-based tick repellants, avoiding dense woods or brushy areas, and wearing long pants and socks when outdoors near tick habitats. Most of all, it is wise to inspect yourself all over for ticks after being outside.

Q. I was recently diagnosed with primary psoriatic arthritis. Sometimes, especially when I lay down at night, I have severe pain. Is there anything that can be done for me?

A. People who have chronic psoriasis tend to have higher rates of arthritis, although the reason behind this is unknown. Psoriatic arthritis may be very mild or it may be severe affecting many joints and the spine. Treatments are available, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and some newer medications that block inflammatory proteins. Joints that are particularly painful may need steroid injections and in some instances may warrant surgical repair or replacement. Many people, however, manage the pain using more conservative means such as physical therapy, hot and cold therapies, and a combination of rest and exercise. Talk to your doctor or rheumatologist to see what treatment options are available to help. 

Eugenio Machado, M.D.

Senior Medical Director, .

Silver Spring, Md.

Dr. Machado earned his bachelor s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Maryland in College Park, Md. He received his medical degree from the University of Maryland Medical School and completed his internship and residency at Maryland General Hospital in Baltimore, Md. Board certified in internal medicine, Machado joined Riderwood in February 2004.