Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Tick Bite Tick Removal

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 Tick Bite Warning Signs

Last Updated: Jan 6, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Tick Bite References
  1. Berger BW, Johnson RC, Kodner C, Coleman L. Cultivation of Borrelia burgdorferi from human tick bite sites: a guide to the risk of infection. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1995 Feb;32(2 Pt 1):184-7. [7829700]
  2. Jensenius M, Fournier PE, Kelly P, Myrvang B, Raoult D. African tick bite fever. Lancet Infect Dis. 2003 Sep;3(9):557-64. Review. [12954562]
  3. Middleton DB. Tick-borne infections. What starts as a tiny bite may have a serious outcome. Postgrad Med. 1994 Apr;95(5):131-9. [8153039]
  4. Smith-Fiola DC, Hallman WK. Tick bite victims and their environment: the risk of Lyme disease. N J Med. 1995 Sep;92(9):601-3. [7566679]
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