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Image Collection:

Childhood Skin Problems

Tick burrowing into human skin

Tick Bites

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© 2007 Interactive Medical Media LLC. All rights reserved.

Ticks are small spiderlike animals (arachnids) that bite to fasten themselves onto the skin and feed on blood. Ticks live in the fur and feathers of many birds and animals. Tick bites occur most often during early spring to late summer and in areas where there are many wild animals and birds.

Most ticks do not carry diseases, and most tick bites do not cause serious health problems. But it is important to remove a tick as soon as you find it. Removing the tick's body helps you avoid diseases the tick may pass on during feeding. Removing the tick's head helps prevent an infection in the skin where it bit you. See the Home Treatment section of this topic for the best way to remove a tick. Read more about tick bites and how to treat them.

Reviewed on September 15, 2009

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