How to Remove a Tick Properly

By: Chad Zawacki, PA-C

You have been camping, mowing, walking your dog or kids playing outside and you notice later on that there is an embedded tick on you or your loved one.  What now?  How should you go about properly removing it in a safe and most effective way?

You may notice that there are multiple different devices that are advertised this time of year that claim to be the best tick remover around.  In reality all you need is a basic set of fine tipped tweezers.

You then want to take the tweezers and grab ahold of the tick as close to the skin as possible preferably the tick head and then pull up and out in one swift motion.   After the tick is removed you want to inspect the skin for any leftover tick residue and remove it with the tweezers as well.

After all parts of the tick are removed from the skin the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends cleaning the affected area with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.   The CDC also recommends then disposing properly of the tick by placing it in rubbing alcohol, placing it in a sealed container or bag, or flushing in down a toilet.

Lastly and probably the most important thing to note is if you start to develop a fever and or rash near the tick bite following exposure to a tick seek medical attention immediately to rule out lyme disease.

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