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.