The leech survives by sucking the blood of animals. They will attach to you just as quickly as any other animal because of your copious amounts of blood. Knowing how to remove a leech from your skin will help to avoid infection.
Step 1 – Avoid Getting Bitten
In general, the home for leeches is in the water. To avoid being attacked by leeches, you can simply avoid going into waters which might contain leeches. In certain parts of the world, leeches are land based and will still attack you if you stay out of the water. It is important that you wear long sleeves and always keep insect repellant on your skin and on your clothes. This will help you to avoid being bitten in the first place, but is no guarantee you will not be attacked. In order to help the repellant from wearing off, reapply every hour.
Step 2 – Do not Panic
Leech bites are nothing to worry about as leeches generally do not carry disease. The biggest danger you may be in with a leech is if you lose your cool and try to do something like tug them off of your body in a hurry, or try to burn them off with a cigarette. While the leech might detach when pressed with a cigarette, the sudden harsh temperature will cause the leech to regurgitate. This will introduce material into your blood which may poison you and cause you to get sick. The worst you are looking at with a leech bite is a wound which will bleed profusely. This is because the leech uses an anticoagulant in the wound they create in order to be able to feed until they are full and fall off.
Step 3 – Work Quickly
If you feel you need to get the leech off of you, grab it tightly between two fingers near the oral sucker. This is located in the narrow end of the leech. Make sure you do not grab from the middle of the leech as you may burst it. Using your finger, gently pull up to expose the sucker in the wound. Use you other fingernail to remove the sucker by a sideways push. Once the oral sucker is removed, quickly flick sideways at the rear of the leech to prevent it from reattaching. As soon as you get it removed from your skin, toss if as far as you can in order to keep it from getting back to you.
Step 4 – Treat the Wound
Because the wound will bleed a lot, it is a good idea to treat the wound with a blood clotter and cover it with a band aid. You may need to change the band aid often because the wound will continue to bleed even after the leech is gone. Use antibacterial ointment in order to prevent any infection.