Disease carrying ticks can be found in more places than ever before, and disease cases from ticks have doubled, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Ticks should be removed as soon as possible when found attached to the skin, using fine-tipped tweezers, grasping the tick as close to the skin as possible. Then, pull upward with steady, even pressure until it is removed. However, if a tick is squeezed during removal, bacteria and germs may squirt into the body and cause infection.
“Many people want to squeeze them and kill the little creatures first, and that’s exactly the wrong thing to do. What you should also not do is try to touch the tick with a hot match or any other kind of a hot object, some people will use a burning cigarette, because all this does is cause the tick to regurgitate its potential infection into your body,” said Alan Taege, MD, Cleveland Clinic.
After removing a tick, wash the area with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.