Who Is At Risk For Lyme Disease
Anyone can get a tick bite. But people who spend lots of time outdoors in wooded, grassy areas are at a higher risk. This includes campers, hikers, and people who work in gardens and parks.
Most tick bites happen in the summer months when ticks are most active and people spend more time outdoors. But you can get bitten in the warmer months of early fall, or even late winter if temperatures are unusually high. And if there is a mild winter, ticks may come out earlier than usual.
Does Lyme Disease Go Way On Its Own If Untreated
Often one of the first that comes to mind is, “Will Lyme disease go away if left untreated?” The short answer, unfortunately, is a definite, emphatic “no.” Lyme is not the type of infection that can be eradicated off the bodys own steam in fact, instead of curing it, the immune system compounds the symptoms and acts in tandem with the bacteria.
What Is The Best Way To Remove A Tick And What If I Did Not Get The Entire Tick Out
The Centers for Disease Control provides this information about removing a tick: Remove a tick from your skin as soon as you notice it. Use fine-tipped tweezers to firmly grasp the tick very close to your skin. With a steady motion, pull the tick’s body away from your skin. Then clean your skin with soap and warm water. Throw the dead tick away with your household trash. Avoid crushing the tick’s body. Do not be alarmed if the tick’s mouthparts remain in the skin. Once the mouthparts are removed from the rest of the tick, it can no longer transmit the Lyme disease bacteria. If you accidentally crush the tick, clean your skin with soap and warm water or alcohol. Don’t use petroleum jelly, a hot match, nail polish, or other products to remove a tick. View a diagram of how to remove a tick.
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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.
Can Lyme Disease Be Prevented Or Avoided
The best way to prevent Lyme disease is to avoid being bitten by ticks. When you are outdoors, follow these guidelines:
- Avoid areas that are wooded, brushy, or have tall grass.
- Walk in the center of trails.
- Use an insect repellent with at least 20% DEET. It can be put on clothing or sparingly on the skin. Dont apply it to the face or hands of children.
- Treat clothing, tents, or other gear with repellents containing 0.5% permethrin.
- Wear light-colored clothing. This makes it easier to see and remove ticks from your clothes.
- Wear a long-sleeved shirt and long pants. Tuck your pant legs into your socks or boots for added protection.
After you get home, check everything and everyone for ticks.
- Bathe or shower as soon as you can to wash off any ticks that have not attached to you.
- Check your entire body for ticks. Use a mirror for places you cant see. Check your children and your pets. Common tick locations include the back of the knees, groin area, underarms, ears, scalp, and the back of the neck.
- Check any gear you used, including coats, backpacks, or tents.
Tumble dry clothes or blankets on high heat in the dryer for 10 to 15 minutes. This should kill any ticks. If clothes are dirty, wash them in hot water and dry on high heat for 60 minutes.
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What If I Don’t Feel Better After Treatment
If you’re treated for Lyme disease and don’t feel better after youve finished your treatment, talk to your doctor. He or she may recommend a longer course of antibiotics or may be able to prescribe another medication to help with symptoms like joint or muscle pain.
You might also want to seek a second opinion, especially if your Lyme disease diagnosis was not initially confirmed via a two-step blood test. If your body has not responded to antibiotics, its possible that something else besides the bacteria that causes Lyme disease is making you sick. In 2017, for example, the CDC reported on a woman who was given antibiotics and herbal remedies to treat her chronic Lyme disease, when she actually hadand eventually died fromamyotrophic lateral sclerosis .
Even if you do recover completely from a Lyme disease diagnosis, your immune system may continue making antibodies to fight Lyme disease bacteria for months or even years after the infection is gone. Those antibodies wont protect you from getting a second Lyme disease infection, however, so be sure to take steps to protect yourself from ticks in the future.
How To Avoid Tick Bites
To reduce the chance of being bitten:
- cover your skin while walking outdoors and tuck your trousers into your socks
- use insect repellent on your clothes and skin products containing DEET are best
- stay on clear paths whenever possible
- wear light-coloured clothing so ticks are easier to see and brush off
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Lyme Prevention Is Possible
There is no Lyme disease vaccine, but there are methods of prevention. Wearing long sleeves and pants when hiking, camping, or working will offer personal tick protection. Wearing clothes treated with permethrin can also help keep ticks away.
At home Lyme prevention is available through reputable tick control companies. Professional Central Mass tick control companies will offer a choice between repellents and insecticides. Repellents will keep ticks away from your yard. EPA-registered pesticides will eliminate ticks. Repellents and insecticides are available in time-released formulas. Time released tick control will give you about two or three weeks of protection at home.
Dont forget to protect your home year-round. Tick tubes offer extended tick control through the fall and winter. Employing this kind of tick control will result in less ticks on your property in the springtime.
The Chance Of Getting Lyme Disease
Not all ticks in England carry the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.
But it’s still important to be aware of ticks and to safely remove them as soon as possible, just in case.
Ticks that may cause Lyme disease are found all over the UK, but high-risk places include grassy and wooded areas in southern and northern England and the Scottish Highlands.
Ticks are tiny spider-like creatures that live in woods, areas with long grass, and sometimes in urban parks and gardens. They’re found all over the UK.
Ticks do not jump or fly. They attach to the skin of animals or humans that brush past them.
Once a tick bites into the skin, it feeds on blood for a few days before dropping off.
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Can Lyme Disease Completely Be Cured
If treatment with appropriate antibiotics is started in the early stage of Lyme disease, then the patients symptoms should subside within a few days or weeks and lead to a full recovery .
There are cases of chronic Lyme disease with recurrence of symptoms for several months or years. If left untreated, late Lyme disease may no longer be curable and can persist throughout a persons life in its chronic form.
- Lyme carditis
How Can You Find Out If You Have Lyme Disease
If you suspect you have Lyme disease, the best way to get a more accurate diagnosis is to see a Lyme Disease specialist. Dr. Robin Ridinger is a board-certified family physician and integrative holistic medicine provider in Virginia. She has more than 25 years of experience as a family medicine doctor, and she is associated with the International Lyme and Associated Disease Society. She specializes in treating Lyme disease and other common co-infections, including fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, thyroid issues, hormonal imbalances, autoimmune diseases, adrenal fatigue, and more. She uses a holistic approach in addressing these conditions and creates customized, evidence-based plans for her patients which aim to attack the root cause of their symptoms, rather than just eliminating the symptoms themselves.
She can help figure out if Lyme disease is contributing to your fibromyalgia by conducting a thorough evaluation. This likely starts with, but does not end with, the typical lab tests used to diagnose early Lyme disease. A spinal tap or MRI can also help detect signs of Borrelia burgdorferi.
Dr. Ridinger will also deep dive into your symptoms and medical history. Some common symptoms of the infection include:
· Fever or chills
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Once You Have Lyme Disease Do You Always Have It Or Will It Go Away Fully With Antibiotics
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Symptoms Of Early Stage Lyme Disease
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , early-stage Lyme disease symptoms crop up within 3 to 30 days after exposure and can include but are not limited to:
- Joint pain and swelling
- Swelling of the lymph nodes
- Erythema migrans , a bulls-eye-shaped rash that appears at the site of the tick bite
Early Lyme disease does not always appear the same in all patients. For example, up to 30% of patients dont remember experiencing a bulls eye rash.
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History Of Lyme Disease
The history of the disease can be traced back to 1975 in United States, where the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis started being seen in large number of cases in Lyme, Connecticut area. This gave it the name for which it is well known today. Owing to the uncurbed deer population, the number of deer ticks in the region started to increase. More and more cases of tick bites became prevalent in these parts. The lone star or deer tick causing the disease came closer to human residences where people were apparently bitten while mowing their lawns, hiking in wooded, grassy regions or through their family pets.
How Do You Get Lyme Disease
Deer ticks are the common carriers and are primarily found in woodland areas. Because the bite is painless, it is typical that you will not know that you have a deer tick bite unless you see it.
Apart from deer ticks, you can get Lyme disease from other animals and insects. Mosquitoes, mice, and birds can transmit the bacteria either by being infected or by carrying ticks that are infected.
- This tick-borne disease can affect all ages.
- Park rangers may be prone due to the nature of their work.
- Hikers in woodland areas are also more prone.
- Cases of Lyme disease typically rise during the late spring or early summer.
- Individuals living in states along the northeastern coast are the most at risk.
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How To Remove A Tick
A tick must remain attached to the skin for at least 36 hours to spread Lyme disease. The best way of preventing Lyme disease is to remove a tick as soon as possible.
The blacklegged tick that spreads disease-causing bacteria resembles a tiny spider. Young ticks are around the size of a poppy seed, while adult ticks are around the size of a sesame seed. Ticks of all ages are reddish-brown.
Below are some steps for tick removal.
- Step 1: Use fine-tipped tweezers to gently grasp the tick near its head or mouth. Avoid squeezing the tick.
- Step 2: Using the tweezers, pull the tick carefully and steadily away from the skin. Avoid yanking or twisting the tick, as this could cause its mouthparts to remain in the skin.
- Step 3: After removing the tick, dispose of it by putting it in some alcohol or flushing it down the toilet.
- Step 4: Apply antiseptic to the tick bite.
Stage : Late Disseminated Lyme Disease
Stage 3 or late disseminated Lyme disease is the final stage of the disease. A person may enter this stage if they did not receive treatment for Lyme disease in the early stages, or if their symptoms persisted despite treatment. As such, doctors sometimes refer to this stage as chronic or post-treatment Lyme disease .
Stage 3 Lyme disease can occur after an infected tick bites a person.
A person with stage 3 Lyme disease may experience additional symptoms, including:
- severe joint pain and swelling, known as chronic Lyme arthritis
- heart palpitations or irregular heartbeat, due to Lyme carditis
- inflammation of the brain and spinal cord
- mental fogginess
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Treatment For Neurologic Lyme Disease
Facial palsy is treated with oral antibiotics and Lyme meningitis/radiculoneuritis can either be treated with oral or intravenous antibiotics, depending on severity . Most patients respond well to antibiotics and fully recover.
Varying degrees of permanent nervous system damage may develop in people who do not receive treatment in the early stages and develop late-stage Lyme disease.
The following regimens may need to be adjusted depending on a patients age, medical history, underlying health conditions, pregnancy status, or allergies. Consult an infectious disease specialist regarding individual patient treatment decisions.
How Is Lyme Disease Treated
With early-stage Lyme disease, youâll take antibiotics for about 10 days to 3 weeks. The most common ones are amoxicillin, cefuroxime, and doxycycline. The antibiotics will almost always cure your infection. If they donât, you might get other antibiotics either by mouth or as a shot.
If you donât treat your Lyme infection, you might need oral antibiotics for symptoms like weakened face muscles and irregular heartbeat. You may need antibiotics if you have meningitis, inflammation in your brain and spinal cord, or more severe heart problems.
If your Lyme is late stage, the doctor might give you antibiotics either by mouth or as a shot. If it causes arthritis, youâll get arthritis treatment.
Thereâs no therapy for post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome.
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Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- I found a tick embedded in my skin, but I cant get it out. What should I do?
- Ive been bitten by a tick. Do I need to be seen?
- Do I need a blood test to confirm Lyme disease?
- Which antibiotic is best for me?
- How long will I have to take the antibiotic?
- What tick or insect repellent should I use for me or my child?
- How long will the symptoms last?
- What should I do if I still dont feel well a long time after I was bitten?
When Should You See A Doctor If You Think You Have Lyme
The rash is a pretty good indication that you may have been bitten. Take a photo of the rash and see your doctor. At this stage, treatment with antibiotics will probably work.
If you don’t have the rash but have symptoms like fatigue, fever, and headache but no respiratory symptoms like a cough, you may want to talk to your doctor.
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Chronic Lyme Disease Vs Ptlds
The terms chronic Lyme disease and Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome are sometimes used interchangeably. However, PTLDS is slightly more restrictive, referring to patients who have received treatment for Lyme disease but go on to experience Lyme disease symptoms. It does not include those who received a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis and have developed chronic symptoms of Lyme disease before receiving any kind of treatment.
The CDC defines PTLDS as generalized and/or recurring pain, fatigue, and cognitive difficulties that last for more than 6 months after treatment. These mirror symptoms associated with chronic Lyme disease, with or without treatment.
Thoughts On Does Lyme Disease Ever Really Go Away
Keep up the posts facinating reading, you may have a hard time doing many things these days Kim but writing your thoughts makes for interesting & enlightening reading
What you have wrote here is just amazing, it really sums up the disease very well, and it very informative for people not totally familar with Lyme Disease.Im on a course of iv antibiotic and yes, you do know when you haved reached a life cycle and are killing off the bacteria, as you feel the effects of the die off, and each month you hope to kill off more and more till have very little spirochetes and then hopefully your immune system can keep it at bay, with the help of supplements and eating well and getting sleep etc, but there is always the threat your immune system could be down and it could reappear. Once again this was a great article, one of the best ive read.
02/14/15 My son was infected May 2014. He had his wisdom teeth extracted a week ago the very next day he had three bulls eyes. Pediatrician is treating him with two weeks of Doxy. Two bulls eyes have faded, one is still faintly there. I am scared two weeks is not enough. This is such a mysterious and individual disease should he be seeing an immunologist? Has your research said much about seeing an immunologist?
I have never seen one. Might be worth a shot, but keep in mind many Drs arent open to Lyme.
It happens unfortunately. I would maybe push for an x-ray. Mycoplasmas are common with those with Lyme .
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