How To Safely Remove A Tick (WATCH THIS SHORT VIDEO)
A few years ago I was planting some flowers and I noticed a spot on my leg. I thought it was dirt but when I went to flick it off, it didn’t move. After taking a closer look I realized it was a tick and it was dug in there. Everything I have read about ticks and Lyme Disease says not to panic if you find a tick. Well, I wish I could have listened to that advice. When I couldn’t pull it off my leg, I got a little panicked.
Fortunately, my husband was able to pull it out slowly with a pair of tweezers, which is the recommended way to remove a tick. No vaseline, no nail polish, no burning with a match. That can make things worse. Just gently pull with tweezers. I never got the red bulls-eye rash. But, after being a health reporter for more than 35 years, I know you could still be infected with Lyme Disease, even if you don’t get the rash. However, it takes at least 24 hours for a tick to transmit Lyme disease, so if you remove a tick immediately, chances are you will be okay. Lyme disease can cause fever, headaches, fatigue, arthritis, and even facial paralysis. Since that time, whenever I am gardening or in the woods, I use a tick repellent that contains DEET and I check myself for ticks. Not all ticks carry Lyme disease, but if you want to get a tick tested, save it in a plastic bag or pill bottle. If diagnosed early, Lyme disease can be treated easily with antibiotics.
- Grab the tick with tweezers and slowly twist and pull the tick out of your skin.
- If the head comes off it's okay, the head doesn't carry the germs that causes diseases in your body.
Here is a short video on how to remove a tick from the Mayo Clinic.
Here's what to do after a tick bite from Hopkins Lyme Disease Research.