Tick Bite: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 11/14/2020

Bites caused by ticks, which are small arachnids, are primarily of concern due to the concern that the tick may be a disease carrier. However, most tick bites do not transmit infectious diseases. Risk factors for tick bites include spending time in grassy or wooded areas.

There is a wide range of symptoms and signs that can develop days to weeks after the tick bite, but most people do not develop symptoms. The bite is usually painless, but signs and symptoms can include

  • itching,
  • burning sensation,
  • skin redness, or a
  • red spot on the skin.

Other symptoms can occur in cases in which the tick bite transmits a virus or bacterial infection. These symptoms can include

Rarely, these symptoms may occur as part of an allergic or other reaction to the tick bite itself.

Cause of tick bites

Bloodsucking parasites called ticks cause tick bites.

Other tick bite symptoms and signs

Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.