Tick Bites are often harmless and cause no symptoms. However, ticks can cause allergic reactions, and some ticks can transmit diseases when they bite humans and pets. These diseases can be dangerous or even fatal if not treated promptly.
Ticks are common in the United States. They live outside:
- The tree
- Pile of leaves
They are attracted to people and their four-legged pets, and can move between the two with ease. If you’ve spent any time outdoors, you’ve likely encountered ticks at some point.In this article, we help you identify ticks and tick bites with the symptoms of tick-borne diseases, and what to do if a tick bites you.
What do ticks look like Tick Bites?
Ticks are small, blood-sucking insects. They range in size from as small as the head of a pin to as large as a pencil eraser. A tick has eight legs. They are arachnids, which means they are related to spiders.
Different types of ticks can range in color from brown to reddish brown and black.
As they draw more blood, the ticks grow. At their largest, ticks can grow to the size of a marble. After the tick has fed on its host for several days, it swells and may turn green-blue.
Where do ticks bite people?
Ticks prefer warm, moist areas of the body. According to reliable sources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), once a tick is on your body, it is likely to move to the following areas:
- Behind your knees
- Inside your belly button
In and around your ears
However, ticks do not always migrate. If you are in a situation where you have had a tick bite, be sure to check your entire body.
When the tick reaches a desired location, it bites into your skin and begins to bleed. Unlike other insects that bite, ticks stay attached to your body after they bite you.If a tick bites you, you’ll likely know because you’ll see a tick on your skin. You probably won’t feel the tick biting you because it’s biting.
After up to 10 days of bleeding from your body, a clot will detach and fall out.
It is important to contact your doctor as soon as possible after a tick bite, even if you have no symptoms.For example, in areas of the country where Lyme disease is common, doctors may under certain conditions recommend that you get treated for Lyme disease after a tick bite before symptoms start.
How can you tell if you’ve been bitten by a tick?
Ticks can remain attached to the skin for up to 10 days after the first bite. Over time they become larger and easier to find.Ticks usually bite once, rather than in clusters or streaks. Most harmless tick bites cause no physical signs or symptoms.
Some cause a red or colorless bump that looks similar to a mosquito bite.
A Lyme disease bullous rash can appear anywhere from 3 to 30 days after you are bitten. You may also see multiple spots. The rash may enlarge over several days, reaching up to 12 inches in width.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction to a tick bite
Tick bites are usually harmless and may not cause any symptoms. But if you are allergic to tick bites, you may experience:
- Pain or swelling at the bite site
- A rash
- Burning sensation at the bite site
- Shortness of breath, if you have severe allergies.
Symptoms of Tick Bites diseases
Ticks can transmit potentially serious diseases to human hosts. Most signs or symptoms of a tick-borne illness will begin within a few days to a few weeks of a tick bite.
Tick Bites diseases
Diseases you can get from a tick bite include:
- Lyme disease
- Colorado tick fever
Possible symptoms of tick-borne diseases include:
A red or discolored area or rash near the bite site
It’s getting cold
Itching all over the body
Muscle aches or pains
Swollen lymph nodes
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever Symptoms
People who suspect they may have Rocky Mountain spotted fever should seek treatment as soon as they suspect it. Symptoms of Rocky Mountain spotted fever include:
Tick Bites vomit
A sudden high fever around 102 or 103°F (38 to 39°C).
Be sure to seek medical attention as soon as possible after a tick bite.
Your doctor can explain your risks, what complications to look for, and when to follow up. Your doctor will also complete a thorough history, exam, and testing to determine if your symptoms are the result of a tick-borne illness.
How are tick bites treated?
When you find a tick, the most important thing is to remove it. This can help prevent tick-borne illness. If you have an allergic reaction, do not remove it, as this may release more allergens and cause a worsening reaction.