Ticks are a danger to humans and should be removed from the body as completely and quickly as possible. Ticks carry germs that can lead to Lyme disease (a dangerous tick-borne illness). For the uninitiated, do-it-yourself tick removal can make the problem worse. If you are removing a tick embedded in your skin on your own, you must be sure to remove the arachnid safely and completely.
Things You'll Need
- Cotton ball
- Rubbing alcohol
- Blunt tweezers
- Scalpel or sterilized razor blade
- Sterilized needle
Rub the tick-embedded area with a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol.
Grab the tick with the tweezers. Be sure to grab the tick as close to its mouth as possible.
Pull the tick up and out of the skin. Avoid squeezing the tick or twisting the tweezers as you do so. Use a slow, steady motion to remove the tick.
Pinch the skin around the tick's head with your fingers. Many times, you can remove the tick's body, but the head remains embedded in the skin. Scrape away the skin containing the head of the tick using a sterilized scalpel or razor blade, or use a sterilized needle to dig beneath the skin and remove the head entirely.
Daub the area with antiseptic when finished.
Tips & Warnings
- Keep the tick in a jar and take it to a local lab for analysis if Lyme disease (a tick-borne illness) is common in your area.
- Do not use a lit match or your fingers to remove the tick. The heat from the match may cause the tick to burrow deeper beneath the skin. Using your fingers may remove the body while leaving the head embedded in your skin.