How do you remove a tick's head that was left under the skin?


Quick Answer

To remove a tick, grasp it as close to the mouth as possible with a pair of fine-tipped tweezers, and pull it straight out until the mouth releases the skin, says WebMD. If the head breaks off, take sterilized tweezers and dig it out, or call a doctor for help.

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Full Answer

The body eventually pushes the head and mouthparts of the tick out of the skin as it heals, according to the TickEncounter Resource Center. Ticks cannot embed more of their bodies than their mouths below the skin. However, the area should be monitored closely for signs of skin infection. Once the tick has been removed, the area should be washed with warm water and soap.

When removing a tick, grasping it by the abdomen can cause infectious fluids to rush out and into the body, warns WebMD. Smothering or burning a tick can have the same disastrous effect. The motion of pulling the tick out must be straight, since twisting or turning the tweezers can cause the body to come off and leave the head embedded.

Bare fingers should never come into contact with the tick, minimizing the risk of infection according to WebMD. If tweezers are not available, skin should be protected with gloves or tissue paper.

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