How to Correctly Remove a Tick
Finding one of these little buggers on your skin doesn’t mean you’re destined for Lyme disease. If the tick is tiny (the size of a poppy seed), it has probably been on your body for fewer than 48 hours and most likely hasn’t had time to transmit the Lyme-causing bacteria, says Durland Fish, PhD, professor of epidemiology at Yale University School of Public Health. Whatever the size, here’s the right way to remove it (don’t use petroleum jelly or nail polish remover):
1. Use pointed tweezers to grasp the tick by its head or mouthparts right where they enter the skin. (View them through a magnifying glass if necessary.)
2. Swiftly and firmly pull the tick out (don’t twist). Clean the area with rubbing alcohol.
3. Place the tick in a jar or sealed bag with rubbing alcohol. Call your doctor and ask if you should save it (some doctors may want to examine it to figure out how long it’s been on your skin, says Dr. Fish).
4. If you develop a rash near the bite (it could take up to 30 days), see your doctor. You may have Lyme disease and need an antibiotic (doxycycline).
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Have you needed to remove a tick before? If so, did you follow these tips to remove it?
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