How to Deal With a Tick

Deer ticks are tiny and hard to spot. The longer the tick is attached, the greater the risk of Lyme.


  • 1.

    Get it out.

    Use fine-tipped tweezers pressed into the skin around the head and pull gently straight out. If you pull only on the body, the head will remain inside, where the saliva can cause infection. Don’t use alcohol, Vaseline, nail polish, or a match.

  • 2.

    Save it.

    If the tick comes off, place it in a plastic bag and save it for the doctor. If the head remains, go to your doctor for removal.

  • 3.

    Treat it.

    Ask your doctor about taking a week or more of the preventive antibiotic doxycycline. While there’s no consensus on how long the antibiotic should be taken to avoid the disease, a rising number of experts think it warrants two to four weeks of preventive medicine.

From Beating Lyme, by Constance A. Bean, © 2008, AMACOM Books

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