Tick -removal -on -skinAccording to the CDC (Center of Disease Control), if a tick is attached, you will want to remove it immediately. For tick removal, use clean, pointy or fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible. You will want to try to avoid breaking off the head or mouth parts when you remove it, so try not to twist or jerk the tick. Pull up slowly and steady with even pressure. If the mouth breaks off, and you are unable to remove it with tweezers, leave it alone and allow the skin to heal. After removing the tick, clean the area with rubbing alcohol, iodine scrub or soap and water.

Do not attempt tick removal with petroleum jelly, hot objects such as matches or cigarettes, or by other methods. After handling ticks, be sure to wash hands thoroughly with soap and water.

After removing the tick, it can be disposed by submerging it in alcohol, sealing it in a container, flushing it down the toilet, or wrapping it in tape. You should not crush a tick with your fingers. You can also contact your local health department about testing it for disease. However, the CDC claims this may not be useful for the following reasons:

  • The test may show the tick contained disease-causing organisms, but it may not mean you have been infected.
  • You may develop symptoms of disease before the test results are available. It is important to get treatment at the first signs of infection which may include rash or fever within several weeks of removing the tick.
  • If the results are negative, you may have false assurance. You may have a tick bite from a different tick than the one tested, and not realized it.

If you have concerns about a tick bite, contact your doctor.