A registered nurse has warned against removing ticks with your fingers, amid a particularly bad tick season in the US.
Not removing a tick correctly risks regurgitating its stomach contents into your body, Jennifer Quante, a Texas–based nurse who makes health-related videos, said in a recent TikTok. This could increase the risk of infection, according to Harvard Medical School.
The proper way to remove a tick is by using fine-tipped tweezers to grasp it as close to the skin’s surface as possible, the CDC advises. Then, you should steadily pull upwards and avoid twisting, which could cause the tick’s mouth to break off and remain in your skin.
If any parts of the tick can’t be removed easily, leave the area and let the skin heal. Once you have removed the tick, thoroughly wash the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.