JUN 28, 2016 10:50 AM PDT

Parasitic Disease Expert Discusses the Best way to Remove a Tick

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

Old standbys for tick removal include household products like matches, nail polish remover and petroleum jelly. But what is really the best way to remove a tick?

The Mayo Clinic Minute has brought in an expert in parasitic diseases, Bobbi S. Pritt, M.D, to tell us more about the proper way to remove a tick. She says that you should never squeeze a tick that's latched onto you, as that causes the tick to regurgitate some of its stomach contents into the abrasion. Burning the tick can cause the same thing, so avoid doing that too.

Instead, use fine tip tweezers and grab the tick closely to where it has bitten the skin. Remove it as quickly as possible in one motion, trying to avoid any damage to the tick. It can be disposed of in a sealed plastic bag or it can be flushed down the toilet. The video has a nice diagram of the proper place to pull on the tick when getting rid of one.
About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on 28 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 60 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
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