Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Arthritis Lyme Tick Removal

A tick must be removed from the skin in order to prevent Lyme disease. Ticks usually require about 36 hours of attachment to the skin, in order to transmit bacteria from their bodies.

A tick can be removed safely by performing the following:

  • Grasp the neck or head of the tick with tweezers. Do not squeeze the body.
  • Pull slowly, and straight out. Do not twist the head.
  • Remove remaining mouth parts by cleaning with alcohol and scraping with a knife or blade or a sterile needle.
  • Clean the wound with soap and water.
  • Apply an antibiotic ointment.
  • See a doctor within 24 hours if you cannot remove a tick.

Continue to Arthritis Lyme Outlook

Last Updated: Nov 6, 2008 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Arthritis Lyme References
  1. Loewen PS, Marra CA, Marra F. Systematic review of the treatment of early Lyme disease. Drugs. 1999 Feb;57(2):157-73. [10188758]
  2. Nagi KS, Joshi R, Thakur RK. Cardiac manifestations of Lyme disease: a review. Can J Cardiol. 1996 May;12(5):503-6. [8640597]
  3. Poland GA. Prevention of Lyme disease: a review of the evidence. Mayo Clin Proc. 2001 Jul;76(7):713-24. [11444404]
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