Tick bites can cause skin lesions, allergic reactions, tick paralysis, and tick-borne diseases.


Causes

Tick can be divided into hard tick and soft tick. Adult hard tick is with a scute on the back while soft tick is without scute. Ticks are temporary parasites on some kinds of vertebrates, and are the vectors and reservoir hosts of some zoonotic diseases. Ticks are eggs, larvae, nymphs, and adults during their different life stages. Larvae, nymphs, and adults have the propensity of sucking blood.

Figure 1 ticks


Signs and Symptoms

Local reactions

When a tick comes into contact with human skin, the tick’s head enters the human skin, which looks like a black mole. The wound area is often red and swollen, and there may be small amounts of blood. The local skin of the wound can be indurated. Anaphylactic shock may occur in few patients.

Figure 2 tick sucking blood

Tick paralysis

Patients initially present with anorexia, lethargy, and aphonia, followed by ataxia, ascending flaccid paralysis, excessive salivation, nystagmus, pupil asymmetry, and vomiting, and patients generally die of respiratory failure.

Mammalian meat allergy

Severe allergic reactions caused by IgE antibodies in individuals who have been bitten by a tick may occur 3 - 6 hours after eating red meat (mammal meat) and are usually manifested by rapid onset, vomiting, and diarrhea. In severe cases, urticaria, angioedema, respiratory distress, hypotension, and anaphylactic shock may be present.

Tick-borne diseases

Ticks carrying pathogens transmit pathogens to humans through bites and cause diseases. Ticks can transmit tick-borne encephalitis virus, tick-borne encephalitis virus, severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus, Borrelia persica, Borrelia latyshevyi, Borrelia burgdorferi, Coxiella burneti, Rickettsia sibirica, Anaplasma phagocyto-philum, Yersinia pestis, Brucella, and Bacillus thermos.


Diagnosis

If there are a history of tick contacts and tick bites, and clinical manifestations, the disease can be diagnosed.


Treatment

Local anesthetic block with 2% lidocaine hydrochloride or 0.5% procaine can be used around the wound. After anesthesia takes effect, the tick can be removed with a pair of tweezers. The barbs in the mouthpart should be remove completely from the skin. Iodophor can be used to disinfect the wound.

If the mouthpart of the tick has been left in the skin, it should be removed surgically.

If there are local bacterial infections, necessary anti-infective treatment should be given.

Mild allergy can be treated with oral loratadine, cetirizine, or intramuscular diphenhydramine.

Tick-borne diseases should be treated promptly in the qualified medical institutions.