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November 1940

WOOD TICKS: An Easy Method for Removal from Skin

Arch Derm Syphilol. 1940;42(5):937-938. doi:10.1001/archderm.1940.01490170187019

An article by Friedman1 mentions several chemical methods of removing ticks from the skin. He used ether and stated that Wiener used turpentine. He also stated that tobacco juice and benzine have been recommended.

If such drugs are not available, for instance, during a hike or a hunting or fishing trip, the following method is useful: Strike an ordinary household match. As soon as it flares, a vigorous shake of the hand extinguishes the flame. The hot match head is promptly applied to the caudal end of the tick. A few seconds later the tick has withdrawn his beak and can usually be easily picked off. Sometimes a second application is necessary.

If the match is still flaming when applied the tick is often killed and must be forcibly pulled off.

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