Things to avoid when removing a tick include waiting for a liquid or heat to convince the tick to let go, or twisting the tick off the skin. These mistakes often leave the tick, or a fragment of the tick, in contact with the skin longer than necessary, notes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The best approach to removing a tick begins with a pair of fine-tipped tweezers. Grasp the tick right next to the surface of the skin, and pull straight up with even, steady pressure to get the best results. Twisting the tick or using a jerking motion often causes the tick's mouth to snap off and stay lodged in the skin. A second attempt with the tweezers should dislodge the mouth if this happens, according to the CDC.
Once the tick is removed, disinfecting the area is necessary. An iodine scrub, rubbing alcohol or soap with hot water should do the job, and it is important to clean the hands and the tweezers thoroughly as well. If the tick is alive, do not crush it with a hand or fingers. The best practice is to drop the tick in alcohol, place it in a sealed plastic bag, wrap tape around it, or flush it down the toilet, as stated by the CDC.