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J Am Acad Dermatol. 2003 Sep;49(3):363-92; quiz 393-6.

Dermatoses from ticks.

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  • 1Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire, USA.


Ticks are ectoparasites that cause dermatologic disease directly by their bite and indirectly as vectors of bacterial, rickettsial, protozoal, and viral diseases. In North America, where ticks are the leading cause of vector-borne infection, dermatologists should recognize several tick species. Basic tick biology and identification will be reviewed. Tick bites cause a variety of acute and chronic skin lesions. The tick-borne diseases include Lyme disease, tick-borne relapsing fever, tularemia, babesiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, other spotted fevers, ehrlichiosis, Colorado tick fever, and others. The epidemiology, clinical features, diagnosis, and treatment of these diseases are reviewed with an emphasis on cutaneous manifestations. Finally, the prevention of diseases caused by ticks is reviewed.

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