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The Lyme Prevention Checklist

As part of our deep dive into some of the complexities of Lyme disease, we turned to Heather Hearst, the founder and now president of Project Lyme, a global advocacy organization focused on prevention and early detection. Hearst outlines their prevention guidelines below—essential for staying as safe as we can in the first place—and we’re also sharing EWG’s tips on choosing an insect repellent, which we learned via their senior scientist, David Andrews, Ph.D.

Heather Hearst on Preventing Lyme Disease

The bacteria that causes Lyme is carried by ticks, specifically black-legged or deer ticks. Ticks transmit Lyme disease by biting you and entering your skin through the bite. If you can avoid tick bites entirely, or remove a tick that has bitten you right away, you can largely protect yourself from this debilitating disease. The sooner you remove the tick, the better off you will be.

Bigger picture: We need more funding to solve this epidemic: most importantly, for a better test and better treatments for patients who do not fully recover from Lyme and other tick-borne diseases. There is still so much we don’t know about ticks and tick borne diseases, and there are also some studies looking at other potential carriers and ways the bacteria is transmitted to humans. (For research donations, I recommend Bay Area Lyme Foundation, and Project Lyme for awareness and education.)

Project Lyme’s Checklist

Prep Yourself First
  • Wear light-colored clothing.
  • Cover wrists and ankles. Tuck pants into socks and opt for long-sleeves.
  • Spray with insect repellant. [See goop tips below.]
While Outside
  • Know your surroundings. Avoid tall grasses and humid, wooded, leaf-littered areas.
  • If hiking, stay on trails.
  • Do not sit on logs.
  • Remember: Ticks aren’t just in the woods, they’re also in backyards and in parks.
When You Get Inside
  • Shower after being outdoors to wash off ticks that have not attached.
  • Put clothing into the dryer on high heat for 10-15 minutes—heat kills ticks.

Continue learning more about Lyme Disease and the prevention methods here.


October 22, 2023

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Media Mentions from Goop is a modern lifestyle publication and e-commerce shop.

goop––where food, shopping, and mindfulness collide. We offer the best experiences, recipes, products, and our most trusted experts in health, wellness, spirituality and beyond to answer some of your questions and make decision-making a bit simpler. Launched by Gwyneth Paltrow (or GP, as we lovingly call her) in her kitchen in the fall of 2008, goop started as a weekly e-mail newsletter as a place for GP to organize her travel recommendations, healthy recipes and shopping discoveries and as a place to get her own questions about health fitness and psyche answered. Today, goop has expanded into a full-on brand with both beauty and clothing lines, goop press books, and a bi-annual wellness summit. We hope to be a resource for where to shop, eat, travel and ask questions that no else is asking. We hope that goop will be your number one, indispensable resource.

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Effective against a wide range of insects: Sawyer Permethrin is known to be effective against mosquitoes, ticks, chiggers, mites, and more than 55 other kinds of insects.

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Sawyer Products SP5432 Picaridin insect repellent spray is also very small and compact. You can easily take this insect repellent anywhere you want. This makes it an ideal option for any traveler and adventurer who wants to have a safe journey.

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Depending on where you travel, you may want to pack bug spray, too. In places like Florida and North Carolina, summers get buggy, and you’ll be happy to have packed a spray on nights when you want to sit on the porch or dine outdoors.

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