How Do You Treat a Leech Bite?

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Austin Health states that the first step in leech bite treatment is to force the leech to fall from the skin by applying salt, salt water or vinegar. The area is then cleaned with soap and water, and a cold pack is applied if swelling occurs.

According to Austin Health, pulling the leech from the skin is not recommended; the skin may tear or parts of the jaw can remain in the skin and cause infection. Applying heat is also not recommended to prevent the possibility of burns. Urgent medical attention is required if a rash, swelling or blotches appear on the body along with dizzy sensations and breathing difficulties; this is a possible symptom of an allergic or anaphylactic response to the leech bite.