If you find a tick attached to your skin, there's no need to panic. There are several tick removal devices on the market, but a plain set of fine-tipped tweezers will remove a tick quite effectively.
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.
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Most ticks do not carry diseases, and most tick bites do not cause serious health problems. But it is important to avoid and check for ticks, and to remove a tick as soon as you find it. Removing the tick completely may help you avoid diseases such as Lyme disease that the tick may pass on during feeding, or a skin infection where the tick bit you.
Use fine-tipped tweezers to remove a tick. If you don't have tweezers, put on gloves or cover your hands with tissue paper, then use your fingers. Do not handle the tick with bare hands.
After the tick has been removed, wash the area of the tick bite with a lot of warm, clean water. Be sure to wash your hands well with soap and water also.
NOTE: If you can't remove a tick, call your doctor.
You may cover the wound with a thin layer of petroleum jelly, such as Vaseline, and a nonstick bandage. Apply more petroleum jelly and replace the bandage as needed.
Some ticks are so small it is hard to see them. This makes it hard to tell if you have removed the tick's head. If you do not see any obvious parts of the tick's head where it bit you, assume you have removed the entire tick, but watch for symptoms of a skin infection.
If you have a rash, headache, joint pain, fever, or flu-like symptoms, this could mean you have an illness related to a tick bite. If you have any of these symptoms, or symptoms of a skin infection, call your doctor.
Do not try to:
Smothering or burning a tick could make it release fluid-which could be infected-into your body and increase your chance of infection.
There are some tick-removal devices that you can buy. If you are active outdoors in areas where there are a lot of ticks, you may want to consider buying such a device.
Ticks can transmit deadly diseases to a pet within 24 hours of a bite, so swift removal is key.
Here’s the best way to remove a tick from your dog or cat so you’re prepared to get rid of these dangerous parasites.
Before you start the actual removal process, gather everything that you need to remove the offending tick from your pet first. It's harder to try and manage a squirming animal while looking for your tweezers or rubbing alcohol than it is having everything you need within arm's reach.
Step 1: Put on your gloves.
Ticks carry infectious agents that can seep into a human’s bloodstream through breaks in the skin. It’s better to play it safe and wear protective gear.
Step 2: Steady your pet and keep him calm.
When you’re getting ready to remove the tick you’ve got to keep your pet calm. Any unusual poking or prodding tends to make dogs and cats nervous. If there is another person available, have that person hold your pet and keep him relaxed
Step 3: Position your tweezers.
Take a pair of tweezers—pointy ones work best—and grab hold of the tick as close to your dog’s skin as possible. Be careful not to pinch your dog’s skin.
Step 4: Pull out the tick.
Using steady pressure, pull the tick out using a straight motion. Do not twist or jerk the tick because you want to avoid leaving the tick’s mouthparts behind. Also, make sure not to squeeze or crush the tick, since its fluids may contain infectious material. After removing the tick, examine it to make sure the head and mouth parts were removed. If not, take your pet to veterinarian to remove what's left in the pet's skin.
Step 5: Kill the tick.
Kill the tick by placing it in a container with rubbing alcohol. Once the tick is dead, most veterinarians recommend keeping it in the container with a lid incase your pet begins displaying symptoms of disease.
Step 6: Disinfect the bite site.
Use antiseptic spray or wipes to disinfect the bite site and keep an eye on it for signs of infection. If the bite site remains red or becomes inflamed, make an appointment with your veterinarian.
Step 7: Reward your pet.
After you’ve removed the tick from your dog or cat, praise your pet for being good. Give him or her a treat and add in some extra playtime as a special reward.
Make sure to keep a close eye on your dog or cat over the next few weeks and be on the lookout for any strange symptoms including a reluctance to move, fever, fatigue, loss of appetite and swollen lymph nodes. If your dog displays any of these symptoms, make an appointment with your vet immediately.