How to properly remove a tick

How To Remove a Tick

Ticks are small insects often found in heavily wooded or grassy areas. Like other insects, a tick goes through the four developmental stages of life; egg, larvae, nymph, and adult. They need blood and a different at every stage to survive.

Tick full of blood

Tick full of blood

All tick species, like black-legged ticks, feed on nearly all animals, including mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians.

Though ticks rarely attack humans, they can attach to your skin when you visit bushy areas. Most tick species rarely cause an infection, but others can cause serious diseases like Lyme disease, Powassan virus, or Rocky Mountain spotted fever if not removed.

Therefore it is important to remove the tick immediately after you notice it. It is also important to note that removing the tick correctly is also critical.


Remove Ticks the Right Way

Here are proper tick-removal tips

Different ticks transmit different diseases and live in different habitats. As much as they are not very harmful when you notice a tick take immediate action to remove it from your body.

Noticing them can be challenging because they are very small. Some are about the size of a poppy seed. Even though this process does not require a health specialist, avoid folklore remedies like using a hot match, painting it with nail polish, or lubricating it with petroleum jelly to make the tick detach from the skin.

In fact, if you employ these methods, they can make the tick burrow deeper. Here is how to properly remove a tick from your skin.


use pointy tweezers to remove the tick

When using tweezers, sterilize the tip with rubbing alcohol and carefully grab the tick as close to the skin surface as possible. You should be very careful during tick removal with tweezers to avoid leaving sores on the tick bite area.


Pull the tick upward carefully

The tick's body is very fragile; therefore, it can burst if you are not careful. Do not twist or squeeze the tick because if it breaks, the tick's head will remain stuck on your skin. If you don't remove a tick properly, there can be problems.

The stuck mouth parts can cause an infection on the bite site. When this happens, try to pull upward the parts using tweezers, but if impossible, visit a dermatologist.


Dispose of the tick

After successful tick removal using fine-tipped tweezers, place it in a sealed plastic bag or submerse it in alcohol to kill it. You can also store it in a plastic container or a sealed bag if you want to do some tick testing for any disease.


Disinfect the bite area with soap and water

After tick removal, the skin's surface can be itchy. The sores left on the spots where the tick attached to the skin can also be infected if not properly cleaned. Disinfect it with soap and water or apply some antibiotic treatment to be safer.


What is a tick bite?

Tick in hand

Tick in hand

A tick bite is a small bump of redness that occurs on the skin surface after a successful tick detaches. Usually, these bites are not painful but can sometimes be very itchy.


How to prevent tick bites

  1. Avoid walking through bushy or grassy areas. When jogging around, wear trousers and long-sleeved shirts to minimize exposing your skin surface.
  1. Apply insect repellent when walking through bushy areas. When doing this, follow the manufactures instructions. When jogging with children, help them with the repellant application. Ensure that eyes and mouth do not come to contact with repellants. 

Are tick bites bad for your health?

Tick bites are painless sores that occur after you remove a tick and can cause minor health complications. Their signs include changes in skin color, swelling, and sores on the skin's surface. Even though they do not pose any major health hazards, some ticks are carriers of bacteria that can cause diseases like Lyme disease, and rocky mountain spotted fever, and other illnesses.


Tick-borne diseases

Most ticks are largely harmless, but sometimes, they are carriers of bacteria, parasites and viruses that can cause tick-borne diseases. Popular tick-borne diseases include;

  • Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness
  • Tick-Borne Relapsing Fever
  • Babesiosis
  • Ehrlichiosis
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever 

Lyme disease

Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne disease in the upper midwest USA. It is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and transmitted to humans through the bite of infected backlogged ticks. Its symptoms include mild fever, headache, body fatigue, and skin rashes.

To avoid contracting this disease, avoid walking through bushy areas. If you must jog around, use insect repellent and wear clothes that properly cover your body to avoid getting ticks attached to your body.

Also, after you remove a tick, use rubbing alcohol to clean the sore and take some antibiotics. Thereafter, disinfect the wound, and apply petroleum jelly to enable the skin to heal. Some of the signs of this disease include fever, joint pain, headaches, and flu.

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