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Ticks Treatment

1. Remove Tick

If the tick is attached to the person's skin, remove it immediately:

  • Wearing gloves, grasp the tick with clean tweezers as close to the skin as possible to remove the head and mouthparts.
  • Pull the tick straight out gently and steadily. Do not twist.
  • Do not try to remove tick with a hot match or petroleum jelly. This could cause the tick to regurgitate infected fluids into the wound.
  • Save the tick in a container of alcohol to show the doctor.

2. Cleanse and Protect the Area

  • Wash hands and clean the bite area with warm water and gentle soap.
  • Apply alcohol to the bite wound to prevent infection.

3. See a Health Care Provider

See a health care provider immediately if the tick has burrowed into skin or if the head, mouthparts, or other tick remains cannot be removed.

Otherwise, see a health care provider if:

  • The person develops flu-like symptoms, fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, muscle aches, or a rash within one month after the bite. Take the tick to the health care provider's office or the hospital if possible.
  • The bite area develops a lesion within 30 days.
  • There are signs of infection such as redness, warmth, or inflammation.
  • You think it might be a deer tick. Your doctor may prescribe a single dose of an antibiotic to help prevent Lyme disease.

4. Follow Up

  • The health care provider may prescribe antibiotics if the person has symptoms of Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, or another tick-borne disease.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on November 19, 2013

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