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Tick Removal

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About Tick Removal

The Centers for Disease Control recommend the following steps for effective tick removal:

  1. Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible. NOTE: it is important to use sharp, fine tipped tweezers as opposed to dull, thick-edged tweezers. If you accidentally squeeze the body of the tick while attempting to remove it, it is possible to enable disease transmission if the tick is a carrier.
  2. Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers. If you are unable to remove the mouth easily with clean tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal.
  3. After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water.
  4. Dispose of a live tick by submersing it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag/container, wrapping it tightly in tape, or flushing it down the toilet. Never crush a tick with your fingers.

If you are interested in having your tick tested for Lyme Disease and other tick-borne diseases: Go to TickReport.com.

Avoid folklore remedies such as “painting” the tick with nail polish or petroleum jelly, or using heat to make the tick detach from the skin. Your goal is to remove the tick as quickly as possible–not waiting for it to detach.

FOLLOW UP: If you develop a rash or fever within several weeks of removing a tick, see your doctor. Be sure to tell the doctor about your recent tick bite, when the bite occurred, and where you most likely acquired the tick.