How to deal with tick bites

Tick bites are typically harmless and do not trigger any evident symptoms. Nevertheless, ticks can trigger allergic reactions and some even transmit diseases to humans and pets once they bite.

Ticks are small-sized, blood-sucking bugs that range in size from a pinhead to a pencil eraser. As a tick takes in more blood, it starts to grow. At their biggest, ticks can reach the size of a marble. Once it has finished feeding on its host for several days, it becomes engorged and turn into a greenish blue color.

Usual sites of tick bites

tick-bites

Pain or inflammation at the site of the bite is an indication of a tick bite.

It is important to note that ticks prefer moist, warm sites in the body. When a tick attaches on the body, it can move to the groin, armpits or hair. If an ideal site is reached, they bite the skin and start to draw blood.

Ticks usually stay attached to the body after biting. After a period of 10 days of feeding, a distended tick can separate itself and fall off.

What are the signs?

Tick bites are considered harmless and might not cause any signs. Nevertheless, if an individual is allergic to the bites, the following might arise:

  • Rashes
  • Pain or inflammation at the site of the bite
  • Blisters
  • Burning sensation at the bite site
  • Difficulty breathing in severe cases

Take note that some ticks are carriers of diseases that can be transmitted once they bite. These tick-borne ailments can trigger various symptoms and typically arise within several days up to a few weeks after being bit. The usual signs of these ailments include:

  • Stiff neck
  • Full body rash
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Red spot or rash close to the bite site
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Weakness
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Enlarged lymph nodes

Once bitten by a tick, seek medical care as soon as possible to be assessed if there is a need for treatment.

Management

When dealing with tick bites, the tick should be properly removed. You can remove the tick using a set of tweezers. Hold the tick as close as possible to the skin surface. Tug straight up and away from the skin using steady pressure. Check the bite site if the head or mouth part are still present. Cleanse the site using water and soap.

Once the tick has been fully removed, immerse it in rubbing alcohol to ensure that it is dead and store in a sealed container. A doctor should be seen after being bit by a tick to be aware of the risks, possible complications and if there is a need for follow-up care.

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