Prompt removal of a tick is crucial. The longer a tick stays attached to someone the more likely they are to become infected with a disease. Experts suggest the following protocol for tick removal:
- Tweezers – Use fine point tweezers to grasp the tick at the place of attachment, as close to the skin as possible.
- Pull – Gently pull the tick straight out. Avoid crushing the tick’s body and do not be alarmed if the tick’s mouthparts remain in the skin. Once the mouth parts are removed from the rest of the tick, it can no longer transmit bacteria. Do NOT use petroleum jelly, a hot match, nail polish, or other products to remove a tick.
- Save – Place the tick in a small vial or sealable bag with a damp paper towel to prevent it from dehydrating and aid in identification.
- Clean – Wash your hands, disinfect the tweezers and cleanse the bite site with soap and warm water or alcohol.
- Bring the tick in for (identification/or prophylactic medication) to your physician.
- Bring this article with you to give to your doctor.