Overview of Tick Bites
Ticks are small, biting arachnids that feed on blood, including the blood of humans. They burrow into the skin, bite, and then draw the blood out of the born. They will drop off once they become enlarged with blood. The feeding parts are the only parts that burrow into the skin, their bodies can be seen on the surface. They are round, dark in color and can range in sizes, depending upon how much blood they have ingested.
Symptoms of a Tick Bite
Most people do not have symptoms of a tick bite. But, they can develop issues in relation to the secretions of the tick. These issues include:
- Muscle pain
- Joint pain
- Muscle weakness
They can also have skin reactions such as:
- Bumps that are pus filled
- Hardened skin elevation
- Nodules that can get large enough to require surgery to remove.
It is rare for a person to develop tick paralysis. However, it can happen, but once the tick is removed, a person returns back to normal. If the tick is never removed, the person can die as their breathing can become paralyzed.
Tick Bite Diagnosis
When you see a doctor, they are going to ask you several questions, as well as examine you. Some of the protocol that they will follow include:
- They will want to know the size of the tick, how long it was there and where it was attached at
- The doctor will look at the skin and look at your other symptoms to determine if you have an infection from the tick
Unless you have other symptoms, the doctor will most likely not order a blood test.
Treating a Tick Bite
If you discover a tick has attached to you, you need to remove this immediately. You will want to ensure that you get all parts of the tick to avoid contracting any type of illness from the tick. To do this:
- Grip the head of the tick with tweezers. Do not squeeze the tick.
- Pull this tick away without twisting
- Clean the bite with soap and water
When to see a Doctor
In most cases, a doctor will not need to be seen. However, you should call a doctor if:
- There is a threat of Lyme disease in your area
- You cannot fully remove the tick from the skin
- You develop a fever or flu-like symptom
- If you develop a skin rash or have other symptoms
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