The easiest and simplest way to make a tick back out is to detach it manually with tweezers.

Here is how you should do it

  • Grasp the tick with the tweezers as close to the skin’s surface as possible.
  • Pull the tick upward with steady, even pressure without twisting the tick.
  • If the mouthparts break off from the body and stay in the skin, let them stay there and allow the skin to heal by itself.

After removing the tick

  • Clean the bite area and your hands by washing with soap and water or rubbing with alcohol.
  • Dispose of the live tick by:
  1. Placing it in a sealed bag
  2. Wrapping it in tape
  3. Flushing it down the toilet
  4. Putting it in alcohol
  • In case you want to know if the tick is carrying any disease, you can send the tick to a testing lab. Ask your doctor which lab you should send it to.

Avoid using any of the folklore remedies, such as

  • Applying nail polish to the tick
  • Covering the tick with Vaseline
  • Freezing the tick

These remedies do more harm rather than clearing the tick from your skin.

When should you call your doctor after a tick bite?

You should talk to your doctor if you live in a place where Lyme disease is common.

For Lyme disease to get transmitted to you, a tick needs to be attached to you for at least 36 hours. Other infections can be transferred in a few minutes to a few hours.

Visit your doctor right away if you are not able to separate the tick from your body.

It is fine to feel minor pain, swelling, and redness (that does not grow) near the bitten area for 1 or 2 days. However, you need to call your doctor if you experience any of the following within the next 30 days

The treatment for most tickborne diseases includes a short course of antibiotics.

How can you avoid tick bites?

The only sure way to avoid tick bites is to stay away from places where they are generally known to reside. This means steering away from grassy or wooded areas.

Here are eight tips to stay tick-free

Spray insect repellent on your clothing, boots, and camping gear. Choose products that contain any of these

  • Permethrin
  • DEET
  • Picaridin
  • IR3535
  • Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE)
  • Para-menthane-diol (PMD)
  • 2-undecanone

Stay in the middle of the trail while walking.

Choose an open ground or well-maintained lawn over wooded areas for picnics.

Wear light-colored clothing so that the dark-colored ticks can be spotted easily.

Tuck your pants inside your socks.

Check your as well as your child’s body thoroughly for ticks. Check these areas especially

  • In and around the hair
  • In and around the ears
  • Under the arms
  • Around the waist
  • Inside the belly button
  • Back of the knees
  • Between the legs

Heat dry/damp clothes for 10 to 20 minutes on high heat in a dryer. Wash the dirty ones in hot water.

Shower within 2 hours after being outdoors.

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Medically Reviewed on 10/22/2020
References
Tick Bite: What to Do. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/ticks/pdfs/FS_TickBite-508.pdf

Tick bites: First aid. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/first-aid/first-aid-tick-bites/basics/art-20056671

Matchless strategy for tick removal; 6 steps to avoid tick bites. Available at: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/matchless-strategy-for-tick-removal-6-steps-to-avoid-tick-bites-201306076360