Best method to remove a tick according to a recent scientific study

The tick is a hematophagous ectoparasite. This means that it feeds on the blood it sucks from another living being or host through its skin to which it strongly adheres. When the tick is satisfied, it releases itself from the skin until it finds a new host to feed on.

It is therefore logical to understand that ticks are vectors that transmit infections, which in a small percentage of cases can cause serious diseases for humans, such as Lyme disease or hemorrhagic fever.

Although most tick bites are harmless to health, the risk of disease transmission increases with the time the tick is in contact with the skin. For this reason, once a tick is detected on the skin, it should be removed as soon as possible.

According to a study published last August of this year in the American Journal of Dermatology (Revisiting detachment techniques in human-biting ticks, Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology Volume 75(2), August 2016, p 393-397) the best method for removal of a tick is the use of tweezers.

In this study, cases were collected from 160 patients who were divided into four groups to compare different removal techniques: classical tweezers and three other specific commercial devices for tick removal.

The result was quite clear: the most effective technique, with great advantage, for tick removal is the use of tweezers. The best way to remove it is to grasp it with the tweezers at the mouth part and pull the tick without rotating it to prevent it from breaking off.