If you find a tick attached to your skin, do you know how to remove it? Here are 6 steps from the CDC.
May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month.
If you find a tick attached to your skin, there’s no need to panic—the key is to remove the tick as soon as possible.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a plain set of fine-tipped tweezers work very well in removing a tick.
Here are step-by-step instructions:
1. Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.
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 or soap and water.
4. Never crush a tick with your fingers. Dispose of a live tick by putting it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag/container, wrapping it tightly in tape, or flushing it down the toilet.
5. 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. Here are 12 signs and symptoms of untreated Lyme disease.
6. 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 - do not wait for it to detach.