Ticks are quite common all over the world and they thrive outdoors in trees, grass and shrubs. It is sad to note that they are attracted not only to pets, but also to humans. Those who love to spend time outdoors are likely to encounter ticks. Even though tick bites are usually harmless without causing any symptoms, some can be considered dangerous or even deadly.
What you need to know about ticks
Ticks are best described as small-sized, blood-sucking bugs that have eight legs. These bugs range in size being small as a pin head or as large as a pencil eraser. Ticks are considered as arachnids which mean that they are related to spiders. As for the color, ticks can range from brown, reddish brown and even black.
As a tick feeds on blood, they become bigger. A tick can reach it biggest form after feeding on its host for several days or weeks. The tick becomes engorged and will turn into greenish-blue in color.
Always bear in mind that ticks love moist and warm parts of the body. The moment a tick gets on your body, they will go straight to the hair, groin or armpits. Once the tick finds a good spot, it will bite into the skin and start feeding on the blood. Take note that ticks stay attached to the body after the bite. After several days or even weeks of feeding, the engorged tick will detach itself and fall off.
Symptoms of tick bites
The tick bites are relatively harmless and symptoms are not likely to occur. Nevertheless, if the individual is allergic to tick bites, he/she can experience a rash, pain or swelling at the bite site, blisters, burning sensation and breathing difficulty.
There are also some species of ticks that carry diseases that can be passed on once they bite. These tick-borne diseases can cause various symptoms that typically develop within the first week after getting a tick bite.
- Stiffness of the neck
- Red-colored spot or rash at the bite site
- Fever and chills
- Muscle or joint pain
- Lymph nodes are swollen
What are diseases transmitted via a tick bite?
Take note that some ticks can transmit a particular disease to humans. These diseases can be serious and the symptoms typically manifest within the first few weeks. If the individual experiences unusual symptoms, it is best to seek emergency care. The commonly transmitted diseases include Colorado tick fever, Lyme disease, tularemia, ehrlichiosis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
Treatment for tick bites
Once you find a tick, you should remove it right away. You can remove a tick by using a set of tweezers. Simply hold the tick close the surface of the skin and then pull away from the skin, making sure not to twist or bend the tick.
Check the bite site if the head of the tick or mouth pieces are still in the bite site. If they are still there, you have to remove them. Cleanse the bite site using rubbing alcohol or water and soap.
There is no need to take medications or consult a doctor for a tick bite unless symptoms manifest or you are unable to remove the tick.