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Health Tip: Taking Care of a Tick Bite

Getting it out, getting it clean

(HealthDay News) -- If you or your child has been bitten by a tick, there's probably little risk of disease, but it's still important to remove the tick properly and protect the area from infection.

The Lucile Packard Children's Hospital offers these suggestions for taking care of a tick bite:

  • To remove a wood tick, use a pair of tweezers, pull straight up, and pull the tick out. You can use a needle, some thread, or your fingers if you don't have tweezers.
  • To remove a deer tick, use your fingernail or the edge of a credit card to scrape the tick from the skin.
  • Make sure the tick's head is removed. Wash the skin with rubbing alcohol and uncover the tick's head with a sterile needle. Then use the needle to remove the head.
  • Thoroughly wash the area with soap and water, then apply an antibiotic ointment.
  • Call the doctor if you can't get the tick out, a fever or rash develop, or you notice signs of infection including significant redness or yellow drainage.
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