Scouts-L Mail Archive for June of 1999: Re: FA Kits/Ticks
Re: FA Kits/Ticks
Thu, 10 Jun 1999 15:52:42 -0500
Jim Peterson, in his post of 6-10-99, wrote:
> I hope some of the med types will chime in here.
I'm not a "med type", but I do have far too much experience in removing
ticks and dealing with other biting species.
I wouldn't recommend any
> type of instrument that grabs the tick by the body (not that you did).
> most tweezers aren't designed to do much else. As I have been
> this method of removing the tick virtually makes the tick a syringe,
> emptying the body fluid of the tick into the bite victim. Not good.
> have personally found that one of the best methods of removing ticks
> use your good ol' sharp pocket knife and simply "scrape" the tick off.
> your knife is sharp, this catches the tick right at the point of skin
> and pulls him out, head-first. Other "old tyme" methods such as using
> substances or alcohol to get the tick to release can result in the
> "vomiting" into the victim....again, not good.
This is excellent advice, and in my opinion, works far better for
removal than grabbing the tick and attempting removal. However, if you
discover the tick early, I've found that Campho-Phenique is very hard to
beat (no this is not an advertisement). It has the advantage of:
1. Containing Phenol, one of the most toxic materials available over
the counter. Concentration is 4.75% by volume, safe if used as
2. Killing the tick very very quickly, without a chance to introduce
any further bad stuff into your system.
3. Relieves minor itching and pain (although temporarily).
4. Immediately disinfects any area it contacts. Since Phenol absorbs
into the skin, this effect is more pronounced and effective than other
Because of its toxicity and ability to absorb into the skin,
Campho-Phenique should NEVER be applied to a gauze, bandage, band-aid or
other dressing and fastened to the skin!! There are documented cases of
permanent skin damage (even loss of digits) caused by this technique. A
preferred method is to apply liberally and directly to the tick, wait a
few minutes, then use the method Jim described. A subsequent
application of the liquid on the bite, covered by a DRY band-aid, to
maintain the integrity of the application, works fine.
I've used this method for many years with no adverse effects or
inflammations occurring. Because the medicine absorbs into the skin,
there is less itching and less potential for infection to occur from
ASM, Troop 86
Three Rivers Council