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What Are the Symptoms of a Tick Bite?

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  • Written By: Brandi L. Brown
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 01 September 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
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The symptoms of a tick bite range based on the species of tick doing the biting. Many ticks bite people, and people often don't realize it because the tick bite has no noticeable symptoms or the bite itself appears insignificant. Noticeable symptoms of a tick bite include redness, weakness, nausea and itching, though some symptoms are more troublesome than others.

Redness and itching are the most common symptoms of a tick bite. When someone begins to itch, he or she typically tries to find the cause. The problem with ticks is that they often fall off when people scratch. A tick that has not embedded itself in the skin will fall off easily. Should redness or itching continue, taking an over-the-counter antihistamine may stop the allergic reaction triggered by the bite.

If the site of the tick bite begins to swell, seeing a doctor is necessary. The swelling may be a simple allergic reaction to the bite, but swelling often requires prescription medications to remedy and can be dangerous if left untreated. The redness, itching and swelling should last only a few days.

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Other signs and symptoms of a tick bite are more problematic and necessitate immediate medical attention. If someone begins to complain of limb numbness or being unable to move his arms or legs, that person should be taken to a hospital immediately. Some types of tick bites release neurotoxins into the body that can be extremely dangerous, even fatal, if left untreated. These neurotoxins may lie dormant in the body and cause problems long after the tick is gone. When these symptoms appear, one should let doctors know about any time the person has spent outdoors in the past few weeks, even if a tick bite was never confirmed or even suspected.

Lyme disease is the most common of toxic tick bites, but there are others that are just as dangerous. The symptoms of these tick bites often mimic other problems, making them difficult to diagnose. A person who has any combination of tick bite symptoms should ask his or her doctor whether a tick bite is a possible cause of the symptoms. In addition to numbness and limb paralysis, these tick bites cause headaches, nausea and vomiting, difficulty breathing and heart palpitations.

Some tick bites cause confusion because the toxin released by the bite enters the victim's brain. With these bites, the bitten person may fight against the idea that he or she has anything wrong. If someone shows significant signs of confusion, such as not knowing a familiar person's name or forgetting where he or she is, then a tick bite is a strong possibility and that person should see a doctor immediately.

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Discuss this Article

Sporkasia
Post 3

I agree with Animandel that the fear of tick bites is not in proportion with the actual results of the bites. I don't know the exact figures, but the number of people who actually get sick from a tick bite is not large, and very, very few people die as a result of the bite.

Animandel
Post 2

While I agree that ticks have the potential to be deadly, I think we overly concern ourselves with the pests because of the potential for Lyme disease. Of course when you or someone you love has symptoms of a tick bite there is no such thing as too much concern, but in general most people are not in any great danger of being infected with a disease because of a tick bite.

In the United States, 95 percent of the Lyme disease cases are reported in about a quarter of the 50 states. So if you don't live in one of these 13 states then you have an even lesser chance of getting the disease. Be cautious, but don't let the fear of ticks limit your activities.

mobilian33
Post 1

These tick bite symptoms listed in the article are enough to make you think twice the next time you remove a tick from your body. I don't have an exact count, but in my lifetime I have been bitten by numerous ticks and only once have I had to go to a doctor.

When I remove a tick, I make sure that I get the entire tick. If you miss the head then the area is more likely to get infected. After I get the tick off, I wash the skin around the bite with soap and warm water. Then I apply some type of anti-inch and antibiotic cream just as an extra precaution.

Some people say you should cover the bite with a bandage, but I prefer to leave it uncovered other than the cream, which should protect your skin against bacteria and infection.

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