How to Remove a Tick (The Right Way)

ARKANSAS -- Summer outdoor fun like hiking and swimming means an increase chance of tick bites. 182 tick-borne illnesses have already been reported to the Arkansas Department of Health so far this year.

With that in mind, ADH is reminding folks of the correct way to remove a tick:

First, according to a how to, there's no need to panic. There are several tick removal devices on the market, but a plain set of fine-tipped tweezers will remove a tick quite effectively.

Use those tweezers to grab the tick as close to the skin surface of your skin as possible.

Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don't twist or jerk the tick to avoid the mouth-parts breaking off and remaining 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, an iodine scrub, or soap and water.

Dispose of a live tick by submersing it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag/container, wrapping it tightly in tape, or flushing it down the toilet. Never crush a tick with your fingers.

One tips say you may have heard but shouldn't believe? Folklore remedies such as "painting" the tick with nail polish or petroleum jelly, or using heat to make the tick detach from the skin.

These tricks, according to the CDC, are not your best bet because your goal is to remove the tick as quickly as possible, not wait for it to detach.

If you develop a rash or fever within several weeks of removing a tick, see your doctor. Be sure to tell the doctor about your recent tick bite, when the bite occurred, and where you most likely acquired the tick.

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