Importance of removing a tick

Most ticks do not carry diseases, and most tick bites do not cause serious health problems. But it is important to remove a tick as soon as you discover it. Removing the body of the tick helps you avoid diseases the tick may pass on during feeding; removing the head helps prevent a skin infection at the site of the bite. See the Home Treatment section of the topic Tick Bites for the best way to remove a tick.

If you are unwilling or unable to remove the tick yourself, call your health professional to arrange for the tick to be removed.

Some ticks are so small it is hard to see them. This makes it hard to tell whether you have removed the tick's head. If you do not see any obvious parts of the tick's head in the bite site, assume you have removed the entire tick, but watch for signs of a skin infection.

If you can see parts of the tick's head in the bite site, have the parts removed by your health professional. The sooner the parts are removed, the easier the removal will be.

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