Lyme Disease Information

How to Remove a Tick

If you find a tick attached to your skin, there's no need to panic. There are several tick removal devices on the market, but a plain set of fine-tipped tweezers will remove a tick quite effectively.

1. Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin's surface as possible.

2. Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don't twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers. If you are unable to remove the mouth easily with clean tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal.

3. After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water.

4. Dispose of a live tick by submersing it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag/container, wrapping it tightly in tape, or flushing it down the toilet. Never crush a tick with your fingers.

tick removal


Testing

The health department does not test ticks or other insects for disease. Contact the Maryland Extension office at 301-600-1594 to inquire about testing availability.

According to Lyme Disease Laboratory Test Required Notice Bill 39477096:

“Your health care provider has ordered a laboratory test for the presence of Lyme disease for you. Current laboratory testing for Lyme disease can be problematic and standard laboratory tests often result in false negative and false positive results and, if done too early, you may not have produced enough antibodies to be considered positive because your immune response requires time to develop antibodies.

If you are tested for Lyme disease and the results are negative, this does not necessarily mean you do not have Lyme disease. If you continue to experience unexplained symptoms, you should contact your health care provider and inquire about the appropriateness of retesting or initial or additional treatment.”

Resources

CDC: Ticks
CDC: Lyme Disease