What Does a Tick Bite Look Like?

Author: Gabrielle Marks


Unless suffering from a reaction, most tick bites leave no lasting visible markings on the skin.

More Info: The feeding site may have a small scab if the tick removed skin when pulled off.  Visible tick bites are generally due to a reaction to the bite.  Some people are more sensitive to the neurotoxin that the tick will inject.  In this case, the bite victim may experience redness or itchiness around the bite area. 

Lyme Disease Bite Identification

If a person has been infected by a tick carrying Lyme disease, often the bite will be obvious within one to two weeks.  An expanding rash, medically referred to as erythema migrans, begins to grow around the bite site creating a bull-eye like appearance.  Roughly 80-90% of those that have been infected with Lyme disease will have this outward sign of its presence.

A person suffering from Lyme disease may initially experience fatigue, joint pain, chills, and fever.  Advanced symptoms may include sever fatigue, numbness in the extremities or even facial paralysis.

Tick Paralysis Bite Identification

Tick paralysis is not an infection or bacterium like other tick-borne conditions but is a result of a neurotoxin that is injected by the tick after prolonged attachment.  The neurotoxin generally subsides quickly once the tick is removed so tick bite identification in this case is to find the tick itself and remove it.

A person suffering from tick paralysis may first experience headache, nausea, and muscle weakness followed by paralysis of the legs.  If the tick is not removed, the paralysis can move upward to the arms, trunk, and head and could lead to respiratory failure and death.


Works Cited

American Lyme Disease Foundation
Tick Bites

Clemson University Cooperative Extension
Tick-borne Diseases Affecting Humans in the Southeastern United States

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"What Does a Tick Bite Look Like?." Sophisticated Edge. N.p., n.d. Web. . <http://www.sophisticatededge.com/what-does-a-tick-bite-look-like.html>.  

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to treat or diagnose any health problems or illnesses without consulting a physician. It is not meant to take the place of health care or services you may need. Please consult a physician with any questions you may have regarding your health.

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