How to Remove a Tick

This summer it was predicted that ticks would be very bad. Not only that, but scientists believed the chances of Lyme disease would also rise due to tick bites. So it is very important to check yourself for ticks when you go inside.  In our area you have a chance of picking up a tick in your own yard.

There are some key things to remember if you do happen to find a tick on you. The most important thing is to not panic. Take a few deep breaths and calm yourself.  Once you are calm, it will be easier to remove the tick.

Tweezers are the best tool to remove the tick. Position the tweezers to go under the head of the tick. You want to pull the mouth of the tick off your skin, but you will need to be gentle. Do not squeeze the tick’s body, this could cause the tick to spew its stomach content into the wound and whatever infection the tick has could transfer to you.

Some people believe that smothering the tick in Vaseline or exposing the tick to heat (i.e. a lit cigarette, match, etc.) will cause the tick to release. Though it may work, it isn’t the best method for removal. Tweezers are your safest tool for removal.

You can search on the CDC’s website for Counties with reported cases of Lyme disease. In some cases you can narrow your search down to your community as well.

If you find a tick on you and you know that your area has reported cases of Lyme disease, it is important to keep the tick. After removal, just place the tick in a plastic bag (don’t worry, if doesn’t have to be alive to be tested).  If you can’t keep the tick, you could also just take a photo of the tick. A doctor will be able to determine the kind of tick you have and whether or not it is a carrier of Lyme.

So when should you see a doctor? If you don’t want to go to a doctor after finding a tick on you, you don’t have to. It is just very important to monitor your health. If you develop a rash or bulls eye rash near the bite, you should see a doctor. You may also develop flu like symptoms.  

To fight Lyme disease, your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic. Detecting and treating Lyme disease early is the best way to fully recovery.

Not all ticks have Lyme disease, but it is important to keep yourself healthy. Next time you are hiking, think about wearing long pants and bug spray to keep the ticks off. If you do find a tick on you, just remember these important suggestions.

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