Saturday, July 14, 2007

How To Remove Ticks

Do not use any of the "mythical" methods of removing ticks such as petroleum jelly, cleaning fluid, burning matches or cigarettes. These may irritate the skin and kill the tick, making it difficult to remove intact. Ticks are difficult to remove because their mouth parts are barbed. They also secrete a glue that holds the mouth parts in place while feeding, guarding against easy dislocation.

Using tissue or tweezers, gently grasp the body of the tick and pull directly away from the point of attachment. Do not jerk or twist.

If the mouth parts break off in the skin, use a sterilized needle to remove as you would a splinter.

Wash the bite area with soap and water and apply an antiseptic such as alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.

Wash your hands thoroughly.

Mark the date of the tick bite on the calendar. Watch for symptoms of disease in the upcoming weeks.

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