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The Recommended Way to Remove a Tick

Synopsis: To remove a tick pull it off your skin as gently as possible leaving the tick and its mouth parts intact to prevent Lyme Disease.1

Author: Disabled World Contact: www.disabled-world.com

Published: 2009-02-16 Updated: 2019-07-01

Key Points:

There are over 200 kinds of ticks in the United States, and they are at their most active in spring and summer.

Ticks that are brown and about the size of a poppy seed or pencil point, are most likely to be deer ticks.

Main Digest

If a tick is removed within 24 hours, the chances of it transmitting Lyme disease or other infections are much less because the risk of contracting Lyme disease and other infections caused by ticks increases between 24 to 72 hours after the tick attaches to the skin.

There are more than 200 kinds of ticks in the United States, and they are at their most active in spring and summer. It is never pleasant to have a tick on you, and they should be removed as soon as possible. The risk of developing these infections depends upon the geographic location, season of the year, type of tick, and for Lyme disease only, how long the tick was attached to the skin.

Picture of an adult Deer Tick with tick removal instructions using tweezers.
Picture of an adult Deer Tick with tick removal instructions using tweezers.

Ticks that are brown and approximately the size of a poppy seed or pencil point, are most likely to be deer ticks. These can transmit Borrelia burgdorferi (the bacterium that causes Lyme disease) and a number of other tick-borne infections.

Deer ticks live primarily in the northeast and mid-Atlantic region (Maine to Virginia) and in the midwest (Minnesota and Wisconsin) region of the United States, and less commonly in the western US (northern California).

The best way to remove a tick from your body is to pull it off as gently as possible, leaving the tick and its mouth parts intact. Some ticks cement their mouth parts into the skin so every effort should be made to remove the cement stuff if it does not come out with the tick.

There is no benefit of blood testing for Lyme disease at the time of the tick bite; even people who become infected will not have a positive blood test until approximately two to six weeks after the infection develops.

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Cite Page:

Journal: Disabled World. Language: English (U.S.). Author: Disabled World. Electronic Publication Date: 2009-02-16. Last Revised Date: 2019-07-01. Reference Title: The Recommended Way to Remove a Tick, Source: <a href=https://www.disabled-world.com/health/neurology/lyme-disease/remove-tick.php>The Recommended Way to Remove a Tick</a>. Abstract: To remove a tick pull it off your skin as gently as possible leaving the tick and its mouth parts intact to prevent Lyme Disease. Retrieved 2021-02-26, from https://www.disabled-world.com/health/neurology/lyme-disease/remove-tick.php - Reference Category Number: DW#169-867.