Summary: Tick removal is a fairly easy procedure that, to the chagrin of many, does not involve matches or petroleum jelly. Our system of tick removal is fast, safe and easy.
How many times have you heard people advise removing ticks by lighting a match, blowing it out, then touching the hot, dying ember to the back of the tick? And, how many times have people been burned by this method? There is a much easier and safer way to remove ticks, plus you can save the tick for later identification to make sure it is not one responsible for Lyme disease.
Here is the method we recommend for tick removal. Take a needle nosed tweezers and grasp the tick at its head. Get as close to the skin as possible without actually pinching the skin. Once you have hold of the tick pull up firmly until the tick lets go of its hold on the skin. Our suggestion is to put the tick into a small bottle with some alcohol to kill and preserve it. Don't put the tick on a piece of tape or wrap it in tissue or cotton. The alcohol will do the work alone.
Once the tick is removed you should clean the bite with alcohol or other bacteria killing agent. Be sure to wash your hands to remove any infected tick fluids.
If the tick's mouthparts are somehow left in the skin it is best to leave them in place rather than dig around in the skin. Most doctors recommend this approach pointing out that the mouthparts will come out on their own as the skin casts off skin cells naturally. However, some people feel the mouthparts should be removed like removing a splinter.
There are many other suggestions for removing ticks such as covering it with petroleum jelly, wood glue, candle wax or nail polish in an attempt to smother the tick. Problem with this is that the tick generally has enough oxygen to finish feeding. Globs of butter will provide the same result. A mess! Scraping the tick off with the edge of a credit card or touching it with a lit cigarette are also methods that belong in the home remedy file.