How to Remove an Attached Tick
DO NOT use remedies such as “painting” the tick with nail polish or petroleum jelly or using heat to make the tick detach from the skin. Your goal is to remove the tick as quickly as possible–not wait for it to detach. Here’s how to safely and quickly remove a tick:
- Use fine-tipped tweezers or a tick removal tool 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 mouthparts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth parts with tweezers. If you are unable to remove mouth parts easily with clean tweezers, leave the area 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.