Primeros auxilios ante una picadura de garrapata

Hoy traemos un post sobre la picadura de la garrapata, algo que es muy frecuente en estas fechas, especialmente en zonas de campo.

¿Qué es una garrapata?

La garrapata es un pequeño artrópodo arácnido. Tiene 8 patas. Se alimenta de sangre de grandes animales. Se comportan como parásitos de animales y de personas. Normalmente pasa de los animales domésticos a las personas.

Hay dos grandes grupos de garrapatas, las garrapatas blandas y las duras. Puede actuar como vector de numerosas enfermedades infecciosas. Esto quiere decir, que al picarte puede transmitirte alguna enfermedad.

En la naturaleza, la garrapata puede estar en la vegetación a la espera de un huésped al que agarrarse. Una vez se ha aferrado a un huésped, se dirigirá normalmente a algún lugar húmedo y oscuro de su cuerpo, como la axila o la ingle. Es ahí donde suele morder y empezar a chupar sangre. En muchas ocasiones luego suele abandonar al huésped.


¿Qué notaré si me pica una garrapata?

Normalmente lo único que aparecerá será una zona algo enrojecida alrededor de la picadura.

No obstante, la picadura de la garrapata puede transmitirte alguna enfermedad como la Enfermedad Botonosa o la Enfermedad de Lyme. Por ello, durante al menos 2-4  semanas desde la picadura, ante la aparición de alguno de los siguientes síntomas deberías acudir al médico:

  • Dolores articulares o musculares.
  • Rigidez de cuello.
  • Dolor de cabeza.
  • Dificultad o parada respiratoria.
  • Falta de coordinación de los movimientos.

La saliva de algunas garrapatas puede contener una toxina que afecta al sistema nervioso pudiente provocar una parálisis en una persona que lleva varios días con una garrapata. Este efecto desaparece al quitar la garrapata.

¿Qué debo hacer si me pica una garrapata?

Ante la picadura de una garrapata lo primero que debes hacer es quitarte la garrapata cuanto antes para evitar que te transmita alguna enfermedad.

¿Cómo debo quitarme la garrapata?

Lo ideal es que vayas a un centro médico a que te quiten la garrapata ya que si la quitas mal, puede quedar la cabeza dentro o pueden liberarse los jugos. Esto podría transmitirme una enfermedad o producir una infección.

  • Si no puedes acudir al médico, intenta retirarla en casa de la siguiente manera:
  • Agarra la garrapata lo más cerca de la cabeza o la boca con pinzas. No utilices los dedos porque podrías apretar y aplastarla.
  • Tira de la garrapata hacia afuera con un movimiento lento y constante. Ten cuidado de no dejar la cabeza incrustada en la piel.
  • Limpia bien la zona con agua y jabón. Lávate las manos.
  • Guarda la garrapata en un frasco.
  • Si no logras quitar la garrapata entera, acude a un centro médico.

Lo que nunca debes hacer…

  • No intentes quemar a la garrapata.
  • No retuerzas ni aplastes a la garrapata al quitarla.
  • No intentes matar a la garrapata con aceite, alcohol, vaselina, esmalte de uñas ni ningún otro compuesto mientras la tengas en tu piel

¿Qué ocurre si aparece algún síntoma de alarma de los antes descritos?

Puede ocurrir que la garrapata te haya transmitido una enfermedad. Si así fuera, tu médico te pondrá un tratamiento con antibiótico para que te cures.

¿Qué puedo hacer para evitar la picadura de una garrapata?

  1. Si vas a caminar por zonas con mucha vegetación, usa pantalones y camisas de manga larga.
  2. Mete el pantalón por dentro del calcetín y la camisa por dentro del pantalón.
  3. Es mejor utilizar prendas de vestir de colores claros para ver mejor a la garrapata.
  4. Utiliza repelentes.
  5. Revisa la ropa con cierta frecuencia y antes de quitártela.
  6. Cuando llegues a casa revisa todo tu cuerpo.
  7. Si tienes mascota, desparasítala. Inspecciona su pelaje siempre que vuelvas del paseo, sobre todo las ingles, cuello y orejas.

Marta Cano Pazos

Médico de Familia, C. S. Laguna de Duero, Valladolid.



  • Traub, SJ, Cummins, GA. Tick-borne diseases. In: Auerbach, PS. ed. Auerbach: Wilderness Medicine. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA. Elsevier Mosby; 2012:chap 51.
  • Tick bite prevention and tick removal BMJ2013; 347 doi: (Published 09 December 2013)Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f7123

Revisado: julio 2018

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