Be Careful in Removing Lyme Disease Ticks
40% of people who contract Lyme Disease experience no rash at all. The most common rash takes the form of a "bulls-eye", but there are many different types of rashes associated with Lyme Disease.
- Prompt removal of ticks decreases the chances of getting Lyme disease. The proper and easiest method is to grasp the tick with fine tweezers, as near the skin as you can, and gently pull it straight out. Be careful not to squeeze the tick when removing it which could result in more bacteria being injected. Do not try to remove the tick with your fingers or attempt to remove with lighted cigarettes, matches, nail polish, or Vaseline. Doing this causes the tick to regurgitate its stomach contents into your bloodstream.
- Once removed save the tick for identification. Accurate identification becomes very important if you or your animals develop disease symptoms. Proof of tick bite and the kind of tick doing the biting is especially important to document in areas where Lyme disease is not considered prevalent and doctor suspicion is low.
- In most areas, ticks can be submitted for identification through local or state health department offices. See U Mass Extension Testing
Many physicians and veterinarians will also submit ticks. Put the tick in a tightly closed container with a small amount of alcohol (rubbing alcohol will do). Mark it with your name, address and phone number, date collected, host collected from (animal or man) and recent travel history.
- See your doctor and educate yourself about tick-borne illnesses!