How to Treat Tick Bites on Humans

Written by camira bailey
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If you go through a wooded area, you are at risk of getting a tick bite. You can lessen the risk by applying insect repellent and dressing with caution, but sometimes you'll get bitten anyway. Ticks carry an array of diseases, so it's important to treat tick bites correctly. Doing so will lessen the chance of complications.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Fine-tipped tweezers
  • Disposable gloves
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Small jar
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Adhesive bandage

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    Remove the Tick

  1. 1

    Put on disposable gloves.

  2. 2

    Grasp the tick's mouth with the tweezers. The mouth is the part stuck to the skin. Try to get as close to the skin as possible before closing the tweezers.

  3. 3

    Pull the mouth part gently upward. Avoid jerky, inconsistent movements and twisting or wriggling the tick. Use steady, pulling pressure until the tick's mouth detaches from your skin.

  4. 4

    Place the tick in an alcohol-filled jar. Save the tick for at least one month.

    Cleaning the Bite

  1. 1

    Wash the bite with soap and water. Dab soap onto a cotton ball and use a circular motion to gently scrub the bite. Rinse with lukewarm water.

  2. 2

    Pat the bite dry with a small towel. Do not rub the bite with the towel as doing so may cause irritation.

  3. 3

    Place a small amount of antibiotic ointment on the bite. It should be just enough to evenly cover the entire bite. Place an adhesive bandage over the bite. Change the bandage as needed, but at least once a day.

  4. 4

    Watch for signs of illness. Note any symptoms such as fever, headache, fatigue, etc. See a physician for symptoms that do not go away, severe symptoms, or if you have multiple symptoms indicative of a tick-borne illness.

  5. 5

    Use an ice pack on the bite for 15 minutes once every hour for up to six hours. This may help relieve itching, swelling and minor pain.

Tips and warnings

  • If the tick's mouth gets stuck in your skin and you cannot get it out, leave it there, wash around it with a soapy cotton swab and do not cover it. It will heal on its own.
  • Do not try to burn, squeeze, or cut the tick off. Doing so may increase the chance of an infection.

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