Ask Karen - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Ask Karen

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Q: With the onslaught of ticks... I wanted to know if there was a home remedy... a lady said she took minced garlic and mashed it and rubbed it all over her body. I don't want to be smelling like garlic... I like to eat it... but I don't want to smell like it. I was wondering if we took a garlic pill everyday if it would help and or if it would hurt us?

Carilion Clinic Emergency Department physician, Dr. Karen Kuehl explains, "There was a study done in Sweden about thirteen years ago about large supplements of garlic preventing tick bites.  However that has never been re-produced.  Our suggestion is that you use repellents to prevent tick bites.  Wear long pants tucked into your socks and long sleeves preferably light color so you can see ticks.  Use repellents that have DEET in them when you are going into wooded areas."

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends only 10 percent DEET for kids.  Dr. Kuehl says if you are going into thick woods, it is okay to use something stronger with older kids as long as you wash off once you get back home.

Link to more about tick prevention

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