I have recently been bitten by a tick. Obviously I don't want to catch some disease (or infection). In my search for how to remove it, I discovered this page:
- Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick...
- Pull upward with steady, even pressure...
Here's the UK equivilent:
...remove it by gently gripping it as close to the skin as possible, preferably using fine-toothed tweezers. Pull steadily away from the skin...
They both seem to agree that the best way to remove a tick is to pull it off with tweezers.
But then I came across this science program from Australia. A transcript is available for those unable to view it. The interesting part is here:
Dr Jonica Newby: ...Now this is what most of us will do - we'll either scratch it off or reach for the household tweezers. Now this is precisely the worst thing you can do. As you remove the tick, you squeeze it and all its contents go straight into your bloodstream.
Assoc Professor Sheryl van Nunen: What they need to know is household tweezers are tick squeezers.
Dr Andrew Ratchford: If you squeeze the tick, that causes the allergen to enter the bloodstream, which causes the anaphylactic reaction. If you remove the tick correctly without squeezing it then you don't have those problems.
Dr Jonica Newby: So what should you do? Well, you should go to the chemist and buy a spray containing ether. So something like Wart Off, or Medi Freeze Skin Tag Remover. Place the nozzle conveniently over the tick and spray. Feels cold - freeze the tick, and wait about ten minutes for the tick to die. Once it's dead, you can just brush it off.
Assoc Professor Sheryl van Nunen: 'Freeze it, don't squeeze it', would be our advice.
Basically, don't do what most people tell you to do. Ordinarily I'd go with estabilished scientific opinion. But Sheryl van Nunen is a doctor of immunology, Andrew Ratchford isn't just some guy off the street and Jonica Newby may be a TV presenter but she is also a doctor and veterinarian.
Will removing a tick by pulling with tweezers increase the risk of allergic reaction, Lyme disease, Mammalian Meat Allergy and irritation?