It is a common misconception about ticks that they are insects, which they are actually not. Ticks are blood-sucking creatures, belonging to the arachnids family. They are related to spiders and scorpions, rather than insects. Ticks attach themselves to areas of thin skin, such as groin, armpits, ankles, scalp, etc. Ticks are the carriers of one of the worst diseases called Lyme disease, caused due to the bacteria Borrelia burgdoferi. Symptoms of this disease include ‘bull’s eye’ rash, fever, headache, muscle pain and joint pain. Hence, to prevent this disease and avoid the bacteria from entering the body, it is important to remove the embedded tick at the earliest. In case you are wondering how to remove a tick from human head, read on further for the tick removal procedure.
Image: John Tann@flickr
How To Remove A Tick From Human Head
When Tick Is Not Attached To Your Scalp
- In case the tick is not attached to your head, ask someone to hold a piece of paper next to the tick and guide it onto the paper.
- Transport the tick to an ashtray and burn it using a matchstick.
When Tick Is Attached To The Scalp
- Use tick pliers or a set of tweezers to remove ticks that are attached to the skin.
- Grab the tick as close to the skin as possible with the pliers or tweezers.
- Pull the pliers or tweezers, while squeezing the tick for about 30 seconds, straight up without turning it in any other direction.
- In case the tick does not respond to the pressure, apply a drop of alcohol onto the tick. Do not add too much of alcohol, as it can stick back to the skin.
- Examine the scalp to make sure that the tick has been properly removed. In case the tick’s head is still intact, use pliers or tweezers again to pull the head out.
- Dispose the tick by throwing it into fire. You can also squish it using a tissue and flush it down the toilet. You can wrap the tick in a piece of tape and drown it in a container filled with alcohol and dispose off the contents. Do not simply throw away the tick or smash it with your foot or bare hands.
- Rub an antiseptic ointment over the wound where the tick had attached itself. Use alcohol to make the exposed tissues swell up and flush out the wound.
- Use tick repellants to avoid any future problems of ticks, as they are a source of Lyme disease.
- Do not touch the tick with heat, lighted cigarette, burnt match, nail polish remover or any other chemicals. Doing so will irritate the tick and make it stick back to the wound. Hence, the tick will inject its saliva into the scalp, thereby lubricating its mouth parts to cause Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
- Always remove the tick gently and never pull it out by rotating the body.
- Remove the tick from the head immediately, since the longer the tick remains embedded in the body, the more dangerous situation it creates for the victim.