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Emerg Med J. 2007 October; 24(10): 736.
PMCID: PMC2658453

Wood tick

A 46‐year‐old man presented to the emergency department having noticed in the shower that morning an itchy black spot with some surrounding erythema on his genitals. Further enquiry revealed he had been enjoying the summer heat in shorts while walking in Hutt Wood, Southampton, the day before. Examination revealed a 2 mm live tick burrowed in the dorsum of his penis ((figsfigs 1 and 22).). The tick was removed with splinter forceps and the patient was prescribed chloramphenicol ointment for local use. The Microbiology Reference Laboratory identified the insect as a wood tick (Dermacentor variabilis). Vaseline and dressings are thought to be ineffective in removing the mandible; caustic applications can damage surrounding skin.

figure em41814.f1
Figure 1 Live tick burrowed in the dorsum of the patient's penis. Informed consent was obtained for publication of this figure.
figure em41814.f2
Figure 2 Close up of tick. Informed consent was obtained for publication of this figure.

Footnotes

Competing interests: None.

Informed consent was obtained for publication of figs 1 and 2.


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