If you discover a tick, it is important to act quickly. Because the longer the animal stays in your skin, the greater the risk that the insect transmits dangerous borreliosis bacteria (Borrelia). We tell you how to remove a tick correctly and when a doctor's visit is necessary after a tick bite.
Danger by ticks
Ticks can transmit the diseases Lyme disease and tick-borne encephalitis (TBE). In order to minimize the risk of infection, a tick should always be removed as soon as possible. Although the transmission of TBE viruses starts immediately after the tick bite, until Borreliosis viruses are transmitted, it can take between 12 and 24 hours.
Remove ticks correctly
If you have detected a tick bite, it is important that the tick is removed properly. Otherwise, the risk of transmission of pathogens may increase. Therefore, remove the insect only with a tick card, a tick tweezers or a special tick tweezers.
If necessary, you can also rely on a standard tweezers. You should refrain from other "home remedies" such as rubbing the tick with oil or nail polish.
Incidentally, it is - contrary to the frequently heard recommendation - not advisable to turn the tick out, rather you should pull it out carefully.
Tick card and tick tweezers
Tick cards and tick tweezers are among the common tools used to remove ticks. The tick tweezer is first placed on the right and left of the tick on the skin. Then the insect is packed as close to the skin as possible and slowly pulled out of it. Slight shaking can help make it easier to remove. Under no circumstances should you try to remove the tick with a jerk.
A tick card is a plastic card that has a V-shaped omission on one side. The card is pushed under the body of the tick so that it is fixed in the omission. Subsequently, the tick is removed by a movement forward-up. The advantage of tick cards is that they usually do not affect the body of the insect when removing it. The disadvantage, however, is that the ticks can slip through the slot partially. Tick hooks work on a similar principle.
Remove ticks with tweezers
In addition to a tick card and tick tweezers, ticks can also be easily removed with special tweezers. This front is relatively pointed and slightly curved. If you do not have such tweezers on hand, you can also use a commercially available tweezers. In principle, tweezers are used in a similar way to tick tweezers: use the tweezers to grasp the insect as close to the skin as possible and then slowly and carefully remove it from the skin.
Whether with tick forceps, tick card or tweezers: If you have completely removed the tick, you should disinfect the sting site. It is best to use alcohol or an ointment containing iodine. If small black spots remain in the wound, this is generally no cause for concern: these are usually harmless remnants of biting tools.
Stay away from oil and other home remedies
Often home remedies such as oil, gasoline, alcohol or nail polish are recommended for a tick bite. However, you should refrain from such home remedies better. They usually ensure that the tick dies. It can happen that it breaks down your intestinal contents in the sting site and thus increase the risk of transmission of pathogens.
Therefore, it is better to remove the tick properly with the aid of a tick card or tweezers.
What to do if there are complications?
Not always a tick can be removed without problems. We reveal what you can do then:
- If the tick can not be removed on the first try, stay calm. It is quite normal that several attempts are needed when removing the insect. Do not be frantic and do not try to remove the tick by force.
- If the tick is in a place that is difficult for you to reach, you should ask another person for help.
- If you can not afford to remove the tick yourself, contact a doctor as soon as possible. In general, the extraction of the insect from the tissue should not be a problem.
Tip: If you have found a tick with you, you should also carefully examine the rest of your body. It is quite possible that you have more than one tick.
In case of doubt to the doctor
A visit to a doctor always makes sense after a tick bite, if the sting site is very red, or the redness spreads. Even if the puncture site is swollen and overheated or hurts, you should consult a doctor.
Occurs a few days to a few weeks after the tick bite a circular redness around the puncture site on (so-called Wanderröte), you must also to the doctor. This symptom indicates a Lyme disease.