Ticks are the small biting arachnids that infest on the warm blooded animals including humans, as well as feed on their blood. In the United States the most common type of tick bites is hard ticks known as Ixodidae and have been increasing in number since the middle era of 1900s.
Their body parts which are dark in color remains outside the skin and varies in size from poppy seed to pencil eraser. They have stinks which are used for the feeding purpose and they burrow these stinks painlessly into the skin and sucks the blood in the form of drops.After this blood intake they swell and turn into bluish gray color. With this blood intake they get engorged and eventually drop off the extra blood on the skin.
Tick bite can raise many medical complications in the host depending upon the nature of bite. As the secretions from the feeding parts of the ticks may cause some skin reactions including inflammation of the specific area, lumps and growths which are collectively named as granulomas. This condition can also be caused due to the retention of the feeding part of the tick in the skin. While in some cases the ticks can be infected with some bacteria, viruses or protozoa which transmit to the blood of the host through the bite and may cause some other related infections in the host body.
Tick Bite Granuloma Symptoms
The most common site for the ticks to attack is the scalp. While the major symptoms which appear after the tick bite granuloma may involve;
- Inflammation at the site of attachment of the tick.
- Lumps formation or growths.
- Abdominal pain.
- In some cases the manifestations of tick bites may become chronic and lasts for days to months. In this condition the lesions turn into large granulomas varying in size from 0.5 to 2 cm nodule which are filled with the large number of mixed inflammatory cells.
- Alopecia (hair loss) is also observed in some patients which may last for 1 to 3 months or in some cases may become permanent.
- A persistent and firm papulonodular lesion is also observed in some cases.
- Pruritus along the excoriation is observed as a secondary infection.
However paralysis is very rare among patients but tick bite fever is very common systemic reaction and associated with the headache, vomiting, and abdominal pain.
Tick Bite Granuloma Causes
The main cause for tick bite granuloma is the tick itself which infest on the body and inject its stink or mouth part to suck the blood from the host. Other than the bite there are many reasons which may cause the condition such as; secretions from the feeding parts of the ticks, retention of these parts in the body of the host, and transmission of the infections from the ticks to the host through the blood.
Some secondary infections such as pruritus and chronic retention of the tick’s feeding parts in the host body can also cause the granulomas which are observed to be larger in size than the regular granulomas.
But there are some other infectious diseases which may appear as a result of these granulomas which are needed to be brought in the spot light in order to improve the understanding with these specific conditions. Such as;
- Chronic or persistent tick bite may result in the development of histopathological granuloma.
- Lyme disease.
- Spotted fever along related illnesses.
Tick Bite Granuloma Treatment
In the past, use of oral and injectable corticosteroids were considered the best choice of drugs to treat this condition. But with the passage of time this treatment through both routes of administration got rejected by the patients and professionals due to certain drawbacks. As the topical injectable were thought to be effective but it was temporary only in the condition when the retention of the tick’s parts was absent. While oral administration showed a lot of systemic side effects especially in children.
By keeping these conditions in mind, professionals suggested the only treatment option which could provide the best outcomes and named as complete resection. It is helpful regardless the presence of tick’s leftovers in the host body.
Prevention is mandatory measure in this case which requires the followings;
- Walk on the clear tracks in the woods by avoiding tall grass and low brushes.
- Wear clothes in light colors covering the full body.
- Pant legs should be tucked into the socks in order to avoid the entry of ticks.
- Tick repellents such as diethyltoluamide (DEET) or pesticide permethrin should be used.
- Regular check for the ticks should be exercised especially in children after visiting any tick-infested area.
- If one tick is found in any person then keep looking for any other on the host body in order to avoid the disease.