Remove a tick in 4 easy steps
There are more than 90 different types of ticks in the U.S. Ticks can carry disease, so it's a good idea to avoid them entirely. But if one bites you, make sure you remove it correctly.
To remove a tick, grab a pair of fine-tipped tweezers, and follow these four steps.
Grasp the tick right next to your skin—as close to its mouth as you can get.
Pull the tick straight out with a slow, steady motion. Don't twist or crush it.
Save the tick in a jar for identification in case of infection.
Use soap and water to clean your hands and the skin around the bite.
DON'T USE THESE!
These tools aren't effective for removing a tick:
- Petroleum jelly.
- Nail polish.
CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF:
- Part of the tick's head or mouth remains embedded in your skin.
- You notice any signs of infection, such as:
- A rash.
- Fever, headache or other flu-like symptoms.
- Joint pain or redness.
- Swollen lymph nodes.
Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; National Institutes of Health
This information is provided for educational purposes only. Individuals should always consult with their healthcare providers regarding medical care or treatment, as recommendations, services or resources are not a substitute for the advice or recommendation of an individual's physician or healthcare provider. Services or treatment options may not be covered under an individual's particular health plan.