6 Steps to Remove a Tick and Treat the Bite
Fast detection is recommended when you suspect a tick has attached to your skin. Take careful precaution to remove the tick and notify your physician if you suspect the tick was not fully removed or if you experience health problems immediately following the bite.
Step 1: Identify the Tick
Carefully span the body and head for small bumps that resemble the hard structure of a tick. The tick may not always be visible, but you may be able to feel a bump that is as small as a freckle or larger if the tick has been feeding on blood found within the skin.
Step 2: Tweeze Out the Tick
Locate the tick and attach a pair of tweezers to the mouth or head of the tick that is next to the skin. Grasp the tick firmly with the tweezers and pull steadily until the tick detaches itself from the skin. Avoid twisting the tick or rocking the mite back and forth so the entire tick is removed. You may notice part of the tick remains in the skin, but it eventually dislodges itself on its own.
Step 3: Dispose of the Tick
Ticks do not technically die when removed from your skin or scalp. It is important to put the tick in a zip-locked bag or jar and release it outdoors. You may also want to save the tick in a secured bag or jar to show a physician if you experience health concerns as a result of the tick.
Step 4: Disinfect the Bite Area
Ticks can carry infections or diseases, so it is important to wash the site of the bite and your hands with water and soap. Wipe the bite site with alcohol to remove any bacteria remaining after the tick is removed.
Step 5: Avoid Harmful Removal Techniques
Myths for tick removal may stray you in the wrong direction. Some people advocate for lighting a match to remove and kill the tick or by applying petroleum jelly to the bite site. These strategies do not remove ticks from the skin and may even cause the mite to release saliva and burrow deeper into the skin. Saliva released from a tick increases the risk of disease.
Step 6: Prevent Future Bites
It may be inevitable for ticks to attach to your skin when you go camping or hiking or if you reside in a highly populated area of ticks. Prevent the risk of a tick attaching to your skin by wearing hats, long-sleeved clothing and long pants.
A day spent in the sun or hiking through the woods can quickly turn sour when you detect a tick on your head or body. Ticks are mites that latch on to human or animal skin and bury their mouthparts into the skin to acquire blood and produce eggs. However, do not panic; ticks can be removed easily at home by following these six steps.