A CityMD doctor in New York removing a tick from a woman’s arm

The art of tick extraction: expert tips for removing ticks.

Tackling tick removal doesn't have to be a source of stress. Whether you're hiking in the woods or just spending time in your backyard, knowing how to remove ticks safely and when to seek care can keep you protected.

Let's learn when tick bites might be concerning, get tips for removing them, and discuss when to seek medical attention.

When should I worry about a tick bite?

Tick bites are pretty common, but there are a few signs that should prompt you to take action:

  • Signs of infection. Keep an eye on the bite area. If you notice increased redness, swelling or pain, it’s time to consult a healthcare professional.
  • Symptoms develop. Are you feeling feverish or achy after a tick bite? Have you noticed a rash? These could be signs of diseases transmitted by ticks, such as Lyme disease.
  • Type of tick. Certain ticks, like the deer tick, are known for carrying Lyme disease, especially in the United States.


Tick removal tips.

Here's how to safely remove a tick if you find one attached to your skin:

  • Right tools. Grab some fine-tipped tweezers, which are perfect for getting a firm grip on the tick without squeezing it.
  • Steady hand. Gently pull the tick straight out with steady pressure. Avoid twisting or jerking, as this can cause parts of the tick to break off and remain in the skin.
  • Aftercare. Once the tick is out, clean the bite area and your hands with soap and water or rubbing alcohol.


When to see a healthcare professional for safe tick removal.

While you can often remove a tick on your own with fine-tipped tweezers, there are certain situations when it’s best to seek professional help:

  • Incomplete removal. If part of the tick remains embedded in your skin after removal attempts.
  • Allergic reactions. If you experience significant swelling, redness or discomfort around the bite area, it could indicate an allergic reaction.
  • Signs of infection. Red streaks, increasing pain, warmth, pus or other signs of infection are clear indicators to consult a healthcare provider.
  • After exposure to tick-prone areas. If you've been in areas known for Lyme disease or other tickborne illnesses and feel unwell, even if you haven’t found a tick on your body.

Visiting a healthcare professional is a wise step to take in certain situations. It ensures that any remaining parts of the tick are safely removed and reduces the risk of infection or complications from diseases transmitted by ticks.

If in doubt, it’s always safer to consult a professional at CityMD, who are well-equipped to handle tick-related issues.


How soon do you need treatment after a tick bite?

If you’ve removed a tick:

  • Watch the bite area. Keep an eye on it for a few days. If you notice a rash or other symptoms, don't wait.
  • See a doctor. If symptoms develop or if you cannot remove the tick completely, it's essential to seek medical advice at your local CityMD urgent care.

At CityMD, we’re equipped to help with tick bites, from evaluating the bite to providing treatment if necessary. Ticks can be sent off for evaluation to identify if the particular tick carries risk of transmission of Lyme disease. Certain patients may also meet criteria for Lyme disease prophylaxis. If you're unsure about a tick bite or need assistance, just drop by your local CityMD location.

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Visit any CityMD urgent care location in your community today for an evaluation with one of our expert providers.