Stage : Small Oval Rashes Or A Reddish Lump
When a tick that causes Lyme disease bites you, it infects you with bacteria. Without treatment, the bacteria can spread to other areas of your body. Stage 2 begins when the bacteria spread to other parts of your body.
During this stage, you may see small, oval rashes on your skin. Some people develop a bluish-red lump.
Where you see these signs: Because the infection has spread, small rashes can appear anywhere on your skin, except for your palms and soles. Most rashes appear on the arms, legs, and face.
Some people develop a lump, which your doctor may refer to as borrelial lymphocytoma. In children, this lump tends to appear on an earlobe. Adults often see a raised growth form around a nipple.
Borrelial lymphocytoma on a childs ear
This can appear in stage 2 of Lyme disease.
What you may see on your skin: The rashes that appear during stage 2 differ from the rash that can appear in stage 1. In stage 2, the rashes stay the same size rather than grow larger.
When the rashes, lump, and symptoms begin: About 30 to 45 days after the tick bites you, you may notice rashes or a lump. These can also take longer to appear, sometimes six months or more.
Some people develop symptoms, which make them feel ill, including:
Shortness of breath and dizzy spells
Bells palsy, which causes one half of the face to droop
Heart problems, such as chest pains or an irregular heartbeat
Treating Late Stage Lyme Disease
Most cases of Lyme disease involve a rash and flu-like symptoms that resolve within 1 month of antibiotic treatment. However, some people go on to develop late-stage Lyme disease, which includes Lyme arthritis and neurologic Lyme disease.
Untreated, slightly more than half of people infected with B. burgdorferi will develop Lyme arthritis. About 10% to 20 % of people develop neurologic Lyme disease. A very small percentage may develop acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans, a serious type of skin inflammation occurring more frequently in Europe. These conditions are treated for up to 28 days with antibiotic therapy.
If arthritis symptoms persist for several months, a second 2 to 4 week course of antibiotics may be recommended. Oral antibiotics are used for Lyme arthritis and acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans.
In rare cases, people with arthritis may need intravenous antibiotics. A 2 to 4 week course of intravenous ceftriaxone is used for treating severe cases of neurological Lyme disease. For milder cases, 2 to 4 weeks of oral doxycycline is an effective option.
Odds Of Catching Lyme Disease From A Tick Bite
The chance of catching Lyme disease from an individual tick ranges from roughly zero to 50 percent. Risk of contracting Lyme disease from a tick bite depends on three factors: the tick species, where the tick came from, and how long it was biting you. Thats why the sooner you can remove the entire tick, the lower your chances of contracting a tick-borne disease.
Where we live makes a difference in these odds, too. We live in the upper Midwest, and unfortunately for us, a recent study found that up to 50 percent of blacklegged ticks are infected with Lyme disease. The Centers for Disease Control, however, state that it takes a tick 36 to 48 hours attached to the skin to transmit symptoms from tick bites and tick-borne disease.
Whether or not that timeframe is true, I cant say for sure. But I can say that Lyme disease is preventable, and taking a proactive approach to avoiding tick bites can save you a lot of aggravation. If you do spot a tick on yourself or your child, take them to the doctor or Firelands Regional Medical Center QuickCare, where they may be prescribed antibiotics. You can even opt to have the tick tested for Lyme disease.
Most of the time tick bites are harmless and symptoms from tick bites are rare. However general symptoms from tick bites include:
Dr. Mark Schmiedl
- Pain or swelling on the bite site
- Burning sensation on the bite site
- Red spot or rash near the bite site
- Muscle or joint pain or achiness
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How Can I Prevent Tick Bites Altogether
If your yard is on the wild side or youve got plans to go hiking, camping, or walking through the forest or mountains, youre in prime tick territory, per the CDC, and youll find ticks in highly wooded, humid areas like forests and trails. Headed somewhere you know might be tick-heavy? Spray your clothing, shoes, and camping gear with insecticides that contain 0.5 percent permethrin, Thomas Mather, PhD, director of the Center for Vector-Borne Disease at the University of Rhode Island in Kingston, tells Womens Health.
You should also try wearing colorful clothing , long-sleeves, and full-length pants, being sure to tuck your hanging sleeves into your gloves and shoes. Reapply your tick repellent throughout your day, and do careful tick checks after youve been outside for a significant amount of time. You can also keep tabs on local tick activity in your area by contacting your states health department .
Identify The Tick You Were Bitten By
Its important to identify the tick because different kinds of ticks can carry different bacteria, viruses, protozoa and parasites.
There are two families of ticks found in the United States: Ixodidae and Argasidae . Of the 700 species of hard ticks and 200 species of soft ticks found throughout the world, only a few are known to bite and transmit disease to humans. Knowing the type of tick will help you be aware of what possible symptoms to watch for.
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Complications Of Untreated Lyme Disease
If unchecked, the Lyme disease infection can spread to other bodily systems, causing significant damage. Untreated, complications of this condition can be very severe:
- Arthritis:Prolonged infection with Lyme disease leads to chronic joint inflammation and swelling, usually in the knees . These symptoms tend to arise within two years of infection, with periods of flare-ups and remissions. This arthritis is relatively difficult to manage, though antibiotics and steroids may be attempted.
- Lyme carditis:If the bacteria reach the heart tissues, they can cause inflammation and lead to heart block. The electrical signals being sent between the upper and lower chambers of the heart are interrupted, impairing the coordination of the heartbeat. Though disruptive, this is rarely fatal.
- Lyme neuroborreliosis:Inflammation of multiple nerves, including those in the spine and brain, is the chief characteristic of this condition. This can also affect the meningesthe layer of tissue surrounding the brain and spineleading to meningitis, among other conditions. Antibiotic therapy, if applied promptly, tends to be effective as a treatment.
Even in cases where Lyme disease has progressed, antibiotic regimensespecially drugs like doxycyclineare generally successful in resolving problems.
What Causes Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is caused by bacteria that is spread to humans by tick bites. The ticks that carry the spirochete are:
Black-legged deer tick
Western black-legged tick
Ticks prefer to live in wooded areas, low-growing grasslands, and yards. Not all ticks carry the Lyme disease bacteria. Depending on the location, anywhere from less than 1% to more than 50% of the ticks are infected with it.
While most tick bites are harmless, several species can cause life-threatening diseases. Tick-borne diseases include:
Rocky Mountain spotted fever
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How To Safely Remove A Tick
Not all ticks carry Lyme disease, and some ticks carry other diseases. To avoid infecting yourself, never crush a tick with your fingers. For more information on the safe removal, disposal and identification of ticks visit CDC.gov/ticks.
Atypical Lyme Rashes And Less
In some cases, the Lyme disease rash doesnt look like a bulls eye at all. It can be blistered , cause a bluish swelling , be uniform in color instead of banded, be oval or triangular in shape, or just look like a large red area . You can see a picture of atypical Lyme disease on a black man here.
There are also many instances of Lyme rashes which are considered to be bulls-eye shaped, but dont have the white band inside. The message? Dont expect a Lyme rash to look like a perfect bulls eye. If you suspect Lyme, contact your doctor!
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American Dog Ticks And Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Also called the wood tick, the American dog tick feeds on people, dogs, and other animals spreading infectious disease. This tick seeks out different hosts as it grows: mice and other rodents in its early stages, and people and pets in its adulthood. The full-grown ticks are reddish-brown and about one-half inch long. The American dog ticks geographical range extends across the United States.
The bite of this tick can lead to Rocky Mountain spotted fever, caused by the bacteria Rickettsia rickettsii, in both people and pets. These ticks also spread the bacterial diseases tularemia, ehrlichiosis, and tick paralysis. If youre bitten, you may see redness around the bite. Rocky Mountain spotted fever symptoms include fever, headache, and body aches that come on suddenly within 3 to 12 days of the bite. Two or three days after the fever begins, look for a spotty rash that starts on your ankles and wrists and spreads from there. Rocky Mountain spotted fever can be fatal if treatment is delayed, according to the CDC, but timely treatment with the antibioticdoxycycline is usually effective. Be sure to see your doctor early if you have been exposed to ticks and have any of these symptoms.
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Signs Of Lyme Disease That Appear On Your Skin
Signs of Lyme disease
If you see a rash or another sign of Lyme disease on your skin, see your primary doctor right away. When caught early and treated, Lyme disease can be cured with antibiotics and most people recover fully.
Lyme disease is caused by a bite from a black-legged tick. If you are bitten by this tick and develop Lyme disease, you may see a bulls-eye rash. Its a common sign of Lyme disease, but its not the only sign.
Lyme disease occurs in stages. Heres what you may see on your skin during each stage.
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Lyme Disease Signs & Symptoms
If bitten by a tick in a location known for Lyme disease, or if someone has traveled to an area where the disease occurs, the following signs and symptoms may appear. If any of these symptoms occur, or you find a tick on your body, seek medical attention immediately.
Early localized stage
During the early localized stage, individuals may experience chills, fever, headache, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, and pain in the muscles and joints. Also a reddish, expanding rash called erythema migrans may accompany these symptoms.. In some cases, small bumps or redness occurs around the bite site, but it goes way in a day or two. This is not a sign that you have Lyme disease.
Erythema migrans or “bull’s-eye” rash stage
The “bulls-eye” rash appears at the bite site and may last between three and 30 days. About 70 to 80 percent of people developed EM after being bit, and the rash can occur anywhere on the body. In most people, the symptoms last about a week. Rashes spread over the course of several days and may measure to up to a foot across. Sections of the rash just outside of the bite site may clear up and give the appearance of a bulls-eye. Rashes are rarely painful or itchy, but they may feel warm to the touch.
Early disseminated stage
Symptoms may subside in a few weeks or months, even without treatment. However, lack of treatment may result in additional serious complications.
Late disseminated stage
Post-treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome stage
Lyme Disease: What To Do If A Tick Bites You
If you spend a lot of time outdoors, as many of us North Floridians do, youre probably familiar with ticks tiny, blood-sucking bugs that can carry diseases. Deer ticks, also known as black-legged ticks, are particularly infamous, as theyre known to spread Lyme disease, a potentially devastating condition when passed on to humans and other animals.
While spring and summer mark peak tick season, the arachnids thrive in warm, wet conditions, so they can be found in Florida year-round. Most tick bites are relatively harmless when caught early. But if the tick that bites you happens to be carrying Lyme disease, the side effects can be devastating and, in rare cases, even cause death when left untreated.
As a family medicine physician in Tallahassee, Ive cared for many patients who present to my office with what are or appear to be tick bites, some of whom have contracted Lyme disease.
Heres what families need to know to treat Lyme disease quickly and to prevent infection in the first place.
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How Can I Avoid Getting Bitten By A Tick Or Contracting Lyme
Ticks can thrive in a variety of environments. Ticks are found in thickets and coastal areas, or in low grasses and herbaceous vegetation, Ostfeld says. But theyre predominantly forest creatures. Grassy, bushy, and especially heavily wooded areas are all prime real estate for ticks. Staying away from those environments is your best defense, he says.
But if you do venture into such areas, wear long pants and boots, and take them off as soon as you get home. Ostfeld recommends throwing any clothing you were wearing into the dryer turned to high heat as soon as possible. Ticks love humidity, and theyve been shown to survive washing and drying. But toss your clothes in the dryer without wetting them, and the dry, hot conditions should kill them off, he says.
You can also use DEET and other bug repellents to effectively keep ticks away, he says. A chemical called permethrin is available as a spray, and when applied to your boots or hiking pants, it can kill ticks on contact.
Lyme Disease: What Does A Tick Bite Look Like
Lyme disease, a bacterial infection which is spread to humans through bites from infected ticks, is increasing rapidly in the UK, with the number of people whove been diagnosed with the disease rising tenfold from 2001 to 2012.
Signs and symptoms of Lyme disease include a circular red rash, flu-like symptoms and if the infection is not treated swiftly with antibiotics it can cause nerve and heart problems, pain and swelling in the joints, and trouble concentrating for years.
Therefore its important for people to be able to recognise what tick bites look like, and the tell-tale red rash that can be the first sign that a person has Lyme disease.
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What Do I Do If I Find A Tick On My Skin
Dont panic. Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skins surface as possible. Pull up with steady, even pressure. Be careful not to squeeze or twist the tick body. Sometimes parts of the tick remain in the skin. You can leave them alone or carefully remove them the same way you would a splinter. Do not use heat , petroleum jelly, or other methods to try to make the tick back out on its own. These methods are not effective.
Wash the area where the tick was attached thoroughly with soap and water. Keep an eye on the area for a few weeks and note any changes. Call your doctor if you develop a rash around the area where the tick was attached. Be sure to tell your doctor that you were bitten by a tick and when it happened.
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What Types Of Ticks Transmit Lyme Disease
In the northeast, Mid-Atlantic and north-central states, deer ticks or black-legged ticks are the only ticks known to transmit Lyme disease. On the Pacific coast, the ticks that transmit Lyme disease are the western black-legged tick . Dog ticks and other kinds of ticks are not known to cause Lyme disease.
The most visible sign of Lyme disease is the characteristic rash called erythema migrans or ‘bull’s eye.’ This rash usually develops within one month of the tick bite. It typically occurs at the site of the bite, starting as a red area and then expanding in size over days and weeks.
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How Is Lyme Disease Diagnosed
Lyme disease is difficult to diagnose because symptoms are not consistent and may mimic other conditions. The primary symptom is a rash, but it may not be present in up to 20% of cases.
Diagnosis for Lyme disease must be made by a healthcare provider experienced in recognizing Lyme disease. Diagnosis is usually based on symptoms and a history of a tick bite. Testing is generally done to confirm the diagnosis and rule out other conditions. This may need blood and other lab tests.
Research is underway to develop and improve methods for diagnosing Lyme disease.
The symptoms of Lyme disease may look like other medical conditions or problems. Always talk with your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.