Ticks are small, insect-like creatures that live in woods and fields. They attach to you as you brush past bushes, plants, and grass. Once on you, ticks often move to a warm, moist location, like the armpits, groin, and hair. They typically attach firmly to your skin and begin to draw blood for their meal. This process is painless and most people will not notice the bite.
Ticks can be fairly large -- about the size of a pencil eraser -- or so small that they are almost impossible to see. Ticks can cause a variety of health conditions ranging from harmless to serious.
Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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