Tick Bite Rash

A tick bite rash refers to skin anomalies caused by the bite of different types of ticks. Ticks are very small bugs.

Nearly 800 kinds of tick species have been found to be living on this planet for about 90 million years. However, only two species of ticks, i.e. the hard ticks and the soft ticks, are known to transfer germs and cause different diseases and ailments in humans through a tick bite rash. A hard plate covering occurs on the backs of the hard ticks, while soft ticks do not come with such a covering.

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A few types of tick species can live for up to a year without consuming a blood meal. However, most ticks are not able to survive without feeding on blood. Hard ticks crawl on the body of a host and stick to the skin. Then they begin their blood feast which can go on for a few hours and even last for days. Once the tick has had its fill and is fully swollen, it falls off the victim’s body and the feeding session ends. A hard tick bite normally causes the formation of a tick bite rash in addition to the spread of microbes to the host. On the other hand, the feeding sessions of soft ticks generally last for an hour and they can spread the germs within a minute of the tick bite rash.

It may also be noted that almost all families of ticks can cause a tick bite rash. However, only the soft and hard ticks are capable of transmitting germs to the blood and body of a victim via the saliva and other secretions.

Symptoms of tick bite rash

A few signs and symptoms accompanying a tick bite rash are as follows:

  • Most cases of tick bite rash do not result in any distress or pain. This is also the case after the blood feast is over and the tick has dropped off the victim’s skin.
  • A tick bite rash may not immediately develop after the occurrence of a tick bite. It may appear after some time has passed. A tick bite rash can lead to intense itchiness, burning sensations and elevated redness of skin. On occasions, it can also result in isolated pain
  • A tick bite rash is seldom accompanied by the development of serious symptoms in the affected person. However, suffers of a tick bite rash can experience weakness, breathing problems, confusion, fever, inflammation, vomiting, rapid rate of heart beats, and headaches.
  • People with elevated sensitivities, aversion, or allergies to tick saliva and other tick emissions may experience extreme cases of a tick bite rash. They may additionally elicit other signs such as swollen or inflamed skin at the affected areas, shortness of breath, numbness, and even coma.


  • Ticks have a complicated life cycle which consists of the eggs, larvae, nymphs and the adult ticks of both the genders. Each of these forms of ticks, excluding the eggs, need to feast on blood for continued survival. The male ticks mostly tend to die after mating. Hence a majority of tick bite rash cases are caused by the female ticks. They are also usually responsible for the transfer of pathogens and illness to humans
  • Ticks do not have wings. Hence, they are unable to fly or even jump. They are able to attach to the bodies of victims by crawling onto them and then causing a tick bite rash. Ticks do not prefer a particular kind of prey and can feast on the blood of humans as well as all animals.
  • Densely and thickly forested areas which also consist of tall grasses and shrubs are the natural habitats of all species of ticks. Hence, a visit to these areas can pose elevated vulnerability to developing a tick bite rash
  • People who do not dress appropriately when outdoors or in wooded areas are also more likely to experience a tick bite rash on the exposed areas of the skin.

Tick bite rash treatment

A tick bite rash may not result in health complications or it can cause the development of severe illnesses. Hence, all instances of a tick bite rash have to be evaluated and treated by a doctor.

Before visiting the doctor, one may follow the below listed first aid steps:

  • Carefully wash the tick bite rash with a cleansing cream or an antiseptic soap
  • Topical or oral medicines containing diphenhydramine can be used to alleviate the itchiness of a tick bite rash

The different diseases caused by a tick bite rash have to be treating as per the doctor’s instructions. Sometimes, a few illnesses will require treatment with intravenous administration of antibiotics in a hospital.

It is possible to prevent the development of a tick bite rash if the tick is carefully removed as soon as it attaches to the skin. A tick bite rash can also be avoided by covering all the parts of the body and limiting the areas of bare skin, when outdoors. Wearing long boots and gloves can be an added advantage.

Tick Bite Rash Pictures

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