Tick bites

Tick bites are not generally dangerous, but some ticks carry infections that can be transmitted to humans.

When a tick bites, one will not feel anything. If there is a tick attached to the skin, the individual has been bitten along with minimal redness around the bite site.

There are certain ticks that can transmit infections. The deer ticks can cause Lyme disease with flu-like symptoms and rash strikingly resembling a “bull’s eye” on the skin. Tick bites from the wood or dog tick can cause Rocky Mountain spotted fever which causes flu-like symptoms with pinkish or reddish spotted rash.

Dealing with tick bites

Tick bites
Flu-like symptoms after tick bites such as headache, fever, joint pain, muscle pain and generalized feeling of being sick

If a tick is found on the body, it should be removed. When removing a tick, the following must be done:

  • With a pair of tweezers, hold the tick as close to the skin as possible.
  • Gently tug the tick straight from the body until it releases its hold. Utilize a slow, gentle pulling motion. If pulled out quickly, it might tear the body from its mouthpiece. If the tick could not be fully removed, a doctor must be seen.
  • Avoid twisting the tick while pulling and do not squeeze its body. Doing so might force the infected fluids from the tick into the bite site.

Once the tick has been removed, wash hands and the bite site thoroughly using water and soap. Apply an antiseptic on the bite site.

If possible, save the tick in case symptoms start to manifest so that it can be identified. Store the tick in a dry clean jar or small plastic bag. The identification of the tick can help the doctor decide on a diagnosis.

When to consult a doctor

When it comes to tick bites, it must be removed immediately. It is important to note that an infected tick does not spread an infection until it has attached and fed on blood for several hours.

A doctor should be consulted if the following are present:

  • Flu-like symptoms after tick bites such as headache, fever, joint pain, muscle pain and generalized feeling of being sick
  • Signs of infection are present
  • A bull’s eye rash or one with small purple or red spots develops

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