Since a lot of us spend so much time outside enjoying the rural community we call home, it can be inevitable that we come into contact with a tick. If a tick latches on and becomes attached to your skin, DON’T PANIC. Here are the tick removal instructions from the CDC:
- Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.
- Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers. If you are unable to remove the mouth easily with clean tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal.
- After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
- Never crush a tick with your fingers. Dispose of a live tick by putting it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag/container, wrapping it tightly in tape, or flushing it down the toilet.
Once the tick is removed, you will want to keep an eye on the area. If a bullseye shaped rash develops or you feel feverish, certainly see your doctor. These could be the early stages of Lyme disease.
Side note… AVOID these folklore remedies:
painting the tick with nail polish
putting petroleum jelly on the attached tick
using heat to detach from the skin