Found a Tick? Tick Removal and Follow-Up Care

Apr 24, 2014 / Health Advice

It’s a good idea to take preventative measures against ticks year-round, especially during the warmer months (April – September) when ticks are most active.  Despite your best effort to avoid ticks altogether, exposure can still happen.  If you should find a tick, bathe or shower as soon as possible after coming indoors (preferably within two hours) to wash off other ticks that may be on you. You should also conduct a full-body tick check using a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body. It is recommended that gear and pets are also examined as ticks can ride into the home on clothing and animals and then attach to a person later.

What to do if a tick bites you:

If you find a tick attached to your skin, there’s no need to panic. A plain set of fine-tipped tweezers will remove a tick quite effectively.

How to remove a tick:

  1. Use tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.
  2. Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers.
  3. If you are unable to remove the mouth easily with clean tweezers, leave it alone and call your doctor. Don’t try any other removal methods.
  4. After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine solution, or soap and water.

Tick bite follow-up:

Early recognition and treatment of tick-borne infections decreases the risk of complications. So contact your doctor immediately if you have been bitten by a tick and experience any of the symptoms described below:

  • Rash
  • Fever
  • Stiff neck
  • Muscle aches
  • Joint pain or swelling
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Flu-like symptoms

Call 911 or your local emergency number if you develop:

  • A severe headache
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Paralysis
  • Chest pain or heart palpitations

It’s important for all of us to take the dangers of ticks seriously. However, with a little common sense you can still enjoy the outdoors.

4 Responses

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  1. Posted by Sandra Smith

    The above article is good but is missing an important element. It does not distinguish between the larger ticks that are fairly easy to find and remove and the much smaller deer ticks. A picture showing the two ticks side by side would be very helpful to persons who are not familiar with the two kinds. While both types can create an infection, the deer tick and Lyme disease is a much more serious illness and they can burrow into the skin completely unnoticed.

    May 1, 2014 8:59 am Reply
  2. Posted by Travis Thomson

    It is funny that reliant gives advice on tick bites when they did not know how to properly treat mine. Nice webpage regarding tick bites… why didn’t Reliant follow there own advice?

    April 29, 2014 12:50 pm Reply
    • Posted by Reliant Medical Group

      Travis, Mike from the marketing department here. Sorry to hear about your experience. Is there anything I can do to help? Would you like me to put you in touch with our customer service team?

      May 6, 2014 2:39 pm Reply

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