HOW TO: Remove a Tick
1. Get a pair of fine pointed tweezers.
2. Find the head of the tick, which is usually buried just beneath the surface of the skin.
3. Get your tweezers as close to the head of the tick as you possibly can. Do not grasp the tick's body, as this will cause it to inject saliva or blood into your skin, increasing the chance of transmitting a disease.
4. Without jerking, pull firmly and steadily directly outward. It's not uncommon for the skin to pull with it until the tick finally detaches. (this can take 3-4 minutes)
5. Make sure that the tick has been removed entirely from your skin. If part of the tick remains in the skin, you can have a doctor remove it.
6. Treat the wound with antiseptic or wash your hands and the affected area with soap and water. Alcohol can be used to help prevent the spreading of tick-borne disease. This is most effective right after the tick is removed.
7. Note the date of the tick bite on your calendar in case symptoms develop later. You will need this information for your doctor. Note: If you have any concerns, put the tick in a plastic bag and freeze it. If you get sick you can take the dead tick with you when you see your provider.
* Removing a tick shortly after being bitten greatly reduces the chance of disease transmission. It is unlikely that you will contract Lyme disease if the tick has been attached to you for 24 hours or less.
* Learn to recognize Lyme disease symptoms. Lyme disease is generally characterized by a large circular rash that looks like a target, though some may experience other symptoms.
* Do not twist the tick out or apply petroleum jelly, a hot match, alcohol, nail polish or any other irritant to the tick in an attempt to get it to back out. Doing so may cause the tick to release extra saliva or regurgitate, increasing the chances of being infected by any pathogens carried by the tick.
* Do not try to pull it off with your hands. You may leave the head piece, which can lead to infection.