After spending hours weeding and planting I went inside to wash up. Looking in the mirror there appeared to be a black spot on my side that I hadn’t noticed before. After close examination it became clear that I didn’t have a new mole or a dreaded new disease. What I did have was a tick. I quickly removed it, and then panicked. Had I removed it the right way? Is there a right way? Was I at risk for a tick borne virus?
According to the CDC follow this procedure if you find a tick:
How to remove a tick
- Use fine-tipped tweezers and protect your fingers with a tissue, paper towel, or latex gloves. Avoid removing ticks with your bare hands.
- Grasp the tick as close to the skin surface as possible and pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain 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 disinfect the bite and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water.
Avoid folklore remedies such as “painting” the tick with nail polish or petroleum jelly, or using heat to make the tick detach from the skin. Your goal is to remove the tick as quickly as possible–not waiting for it to detach.
The CDC has compiled information regarding how to avoid ticks on people and pets, All About Ticks, Removing a Tick and Symptoms and Tickborne Illness.
You can find more information from MedlinePlus regarding protecting yourself and your family, Tickborne Diseases, Prevention, Overview, Organizations and much more.
You can also find articles, videos and other information regarding Ticks from databases available from the Syosset Public Library at http://www.syossetlibrary.org/. Follow the links to Reference Services and you will find databases on Health/Medicine topics. You can access these resources 24 hours a day using your SPL library card. Databases are not the same as Internet websites. They are based on well-respected references and contain full-text articles that you cannot get free on the internet.