The Dr. Oz Health Quiz
A) Burn it.
B) Pluck it.
C) Suffocate it in petroleum jelly.
D) Apply nail polish remover, then ice.
The correct answer is B.
Dr. Oz says ticks are one of the leading carriers of diseases in the United States, causing tens of thousands of people to contract Lyme disease each year. The safest way to remove a tick from your body without exposing yourself to diseases, Dr. Oz says, is simply to pull it out.
"It's actually the most common reason that we get bad problems resulting from insect bites," he says. "The tick has in itself viruses and other contaminants that are quite detrimental to our well-being. So if you try to burn it … or put gasoline on it, it actually irritates the tick. So what does the tick do? It regurgitates the fluid back into you."
To avoid the tick releasing its germs into your body, Dr. Oz says to remove it without bothering it. "Get your tweezers, flip the tick upside down, grab the mouth of it and pull hard," he says. "Don't twist it. Just pull it, because the barbs go straight in."
If the tick's head remains in your skin after you remove its body, Dr. Oz says not to worry—the saliva and viruses are contained in the tick's body. "If you want to get [the head] out like a splinter, then get it out," he says. "But I'll give advice for moms out there—if your kid has a little bit of the head left in, the body will push it out by itself. I wouldn't strap the kid down and go after the head of it. That's not where the infection is. The infection was the body that's already gone."