What Are The Signs And Symptoms In The Three Stages Of Lyme Disease
The stages of Lyme disease can overlap with each other, and patients may not go through all three stages. The symptoms vary depending on the duration and location of the infection.
Early localized Lyme: This stage occurs within one to 30 days of the tick bite and is characterized by a bullseye rash at the site of a tick bite. This rash is the classic first sign of an infection.. During this stage, the infection has not spread throughout the body and is curable.
Prominent additional signs and symptoms at this stage are:
- Multiple rashes
Late disseminated Lyme: If Lyme disease is not treated effectively or left untreated in the first two stages, then it may progress to a chronic stage known as the late disseminated stage. This stage may occur months to years after a tick bite. Bacteria have spread throughout the body and patients develop chronic arthritis of one or a few joints and/or heart or nervous system symptoms. Some of the prominent signs and symptoms include:
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What Are The First Signs And Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
In the first early localized stage of Lyme disease the skin at the site of the tick bite becomes infected with Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria which can cause an expanding round or oval red skin lesion called erythema migrans. This may or may not be associated with flu-like symptoms within days to a month after the tick bite such as achiness, chills, fever, sweats, fatigue, malaise, headache, stiff neck, muscle soreness, joint pain, swollen lymph nodes, and sore throat. The combination of the skin lesion and flu-like symptoms are the primary manifestations of acute stage Lyme disease. Acute Lyme disease is not associated with typical cold-like symptoms of runny nose, prominent cough, or prominent diarrhea.
Pearls And Other Issues
Based on the geographic distribution of the shared vector Ixodes scapularis, co-infections with Lyme disease and human granulocytic anaplasmosis and/or babesiosis can occur. Co-infected patients may be more severely ill at presentation, have a persistent fever longer than 48 hours after initiating antibiotic therapy for Lyme disease, or present with anemia, leukopenia, and/or thrombocytopenia. When co-infection is suspected or confirmed, treatment with an appropriate antimicrobial regimen for each infection is necessary for resolution of illness.
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Early Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
Early symptoms will typically develop 1 to 4 weeks after being bitten, however, they can appear anytime between 3 to 30 days after exposure.
Many people with early-stage Lyme disease develop a distinctive circular red rash usually, but not always, at the site of the tick bite.
The rash is often described as looking like a bulls-eye on a dart board and is known as erythema migrans. The affected area of skin will be red and the edges may feel slightly raised.
The size of the rash can vary significantly and it may expand over several days or weeks. Typically, its around 15cm across but it can be much larger or smaller than this.
Some people may develop several rashes on different parts of their body. However, around one in every 3 people with Lyme disease do not report seeing a rash.
As well as a rash, people with early Lyme disease may experience any of the following:
- flu-like symptoms such as fever and sweats, chills, fatigue, neck pain or stiffness, headaches, joint or muscle pains
- paralysis of the facial muscles, typically only on one side of the face
- nerve pains, which may be shooting, sharp or prickly and which follow the course of the nerve
Posttreatment Lyme Disease Syndromes: Distinct Pathogenesis Caused By Maladaptive Host Responses
Center for Immunology and Inflammatory Diseases, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Address correspondence to: Allen C. Steere, Massachusetts General Hospital, CNY 149/8301, 55 Fruit Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA. Phone: 617.726.1527 Email: .
J Clin Invest.
Lyme disease, which is epidemic in certain communities, primarily in the northeastern United States, is caused by the tick-borne spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi . When untreated, the disease usually occurs in stages with different manifestations at each stage . In the northeastern United States, the infection usually begins with a slowly expanding skin lesion, erythema migrans , often accompanied by nonspecific symptoms, including headache, myalgias, arthralgias, fever, malaise, and fatigue. Within weeks , neurologic or cardiac abnormalities may develop. Months later , usually following a latent period, intermittent or persistent monoarticular or oligoarticular arthritis commonly develops, lasting for several years, accompanied by minimal, if any, systemic symptoms. Rarely, patients have late neurologic involvement, characterized by a subtle encephalopathy or sensory polyneuropathy. Thus, in most patients, the natural history of Lyme disease, without treatment, is one of persistent infection for several years, with latent periods and changing system involvement.
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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.
Stage : Late Disseminated Lyme Disease
Timing: Months to years after a tick bite
The infection can spread to the joints or contribute to altered brain function, a condition known as encephalopathy.
Common symptoms of late disseminated Lyme disease include:
Arthritis with joint pain, warmth, and swelling that may be constant or come and go. Lyme disease-related arthritis typically occurs in one joint, usually the knee or another large joint, though it can also occur in more than one joint.
Concentration issues, brain fog, and memory issues
Nerve pain that feels like tingling, numbness, burning, or stabbing in the hands and feet
Anxiety, depression, mood swings, and other neuropsychiatric issues
Sleep disturbances such as difficulty falling or staying asleep, need for extended sleep, or unrefreshing sleep.
You may also experience a worsening of earlier Lyme disease symptoms.
In some people, Lyme disease can cause debilitating fatigue and sleep disturbances . Lyme disease-related arthritis typically occurs in a large joint like the knee .
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Late Stage Lyme Disease: Symptoms And Treatment
There are three stages of Lyme disease. If you are experiencing the symptoms in the late stage, that means you have already passed through the first two stages of early localized and early disseminated Lyme disease.
During the early localized phase, you may have had a rash associated with the bite given by the infected tick. Symptoms following the bite may have included chills, fever, headaches, fatigue, stiff neck, muscle soreness, and possibly swollen lymph nodes.
If you did not receive the right treatment at the onset, you quickly moved into the next stage. During the early disseminated phase, the Lyme infection started spreading through your body.
Symptoms in the second stage include all of the signs from the early localized stage, only worse. You may also experience vision problems, pain or weakness in your limbs, heart palpitations, and facial paralysis such as bells palsy.
If left untreated, stage two will turn into late stage Lyme disease.
If you are in stage three, or the late disseminated stage, you have been struggling with symptoms for a long while and without treatment specific to Lyme disease.
The symptoms of late stage Lyme disease are genuine and can interfere with daily functioning.
Is Lyme An Autoimmune Disease
Lyme disease is caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, which is transmitted to humans via a “tick bite.” The condition can cause debilitating and persistent symptoms that can affect bones, joints, and muscles.
Depending on the stage of infection, it can also lead to cognitive impairment, facial paralysis, and arthritis. These symptoms are similar to those of many autoimmune disorders.
Because of these similarities, there is a lot of medical speculation regarding the association between autoimmune disorders and Lyme disease. Read on to learn how Lyme disease affects your immune system and/or how its symptoms may resemble those of an autoimmune disorder.
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How You Get Lyme Disease
Lyme disease can be transmitted by the bite of a tick infected with Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria.
Ticks survive in many habitats but prefer moist areas with leaf litter or longer grass, like in woodland, grassland, moorland, heathland and some urban parks and gardens.
Ticks dont jump or fly but climb on to your clothes or skin if you brush past vegetation.
They then bite into the skin and start to feed on your blood. Being bitten doesnt mean youll definitely be infected as not all ticks carry the bacteria that cause Lyme disease.
If bitten by an infected tick, you are more likely to become infected the longer the tick remains attached and feeding.
Ticks are very small and their bites are not painful, so you may not realise you have one attached to your skin. It is important to check yourself for ticks after outdoor activities and remove any ticks promptly and safely.
How Is Lyme Disease Treated
Antibiotics, usually doxycycline or amoxicillin, are effective treatments for Lyme disease. How long your treatment lasts depends on the stage of infection. In general, its true that the sooner youre treated, the quicker and more complete the recovery.
Pregnant people should receive treatment for Lyme disease as well. There is, however, no evidence that a fetus can get the infection from its parent. Theres also no strong evidence that miscarriages are more likely after Lyme disease.
What should I do if a tick bites me?
If a tick bites you, the best way to remove it is by taking the following steps:
- Tug gently but firmly with blunt tweezers near the head of the tick at the level of your skin until it releases its hold on your skin.
- Avoid crushing the ticks body or handling the tick with bare fingers because you could expose yourself to the bacteria in the tick.
- Wash the bite area thoroughly with soap and water.
- Dont use kerosene, petroleum jelly or hot cigarette butts to remove the tick.
- Dont squeeze the ticks body with your fingers or tweezers.
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Can You Have Lyme For Years And Not Know It
Greene is one of many people who dont notice early signs of Lyme disease, brush off the symptoms, or whose medical providers missed the symptoms, which often include fever, headache, fatigue, and a bulls-eye skin rash called erythema migrans, considered the hallmark of the disease.
How Lyme disease is diagnosed?
Diagnosing Lyme Disease Doctors can diagnose the disease through physical findings such as a bulls-eye rash along with a history of symptoms. But not everyone has the rash, and not everyone can recall being bitten. Special blood tests can be taken 3 to 4 weeks after suspected contact to confirm the diagnosis.
What are the symptoms of Lyme disease?
Youre more likely to get Lyme disease if you live or spend time in grassy and heavily wooded areas where ticks carrying Lyme disease thrive. Its important to take common-sense precautions in tick-infested areas. People with Lyme disease might get a characteristic bulls-eye rash.
Central Mass Residents Must Protect Themselves From The Threat Of Infection With Effective Tick Control
Professional Central Mass tick control is our best ally in the fight against tick bites, and it is available all year long. In the spring, summer, and fall, barrier tick spray is an essential part of Lyme disease prevention. In the late fall and through the winter, tick tubes will carry on the fight, decreasing the number of ticks that will emerge in the spring.
Stage : Changing Skin
In stage 3, few signs of Lyme disease appear on the skin. Most problems occur in the heart and nervous system, and these can be serious.
Where you see signs on your skin: If you were in Europe when bit by a tick, you may see changes to your skin in this late stage. These changes usually appear on a hand or foot. Some people develop this change on both of their hands or feet. It can also occur on a knee, elbow, or elsewhere.
What the skin looks like: The skin begins to swell, and you may notice some redness. These signs are caused by having a bacterial infection for a long time. The affected skin may also feel sore.
In time, the skin starts to harden and shrink, causing deep lines to form. If you have hair in the area, it tends to fall out. The sweat glands can die, and the skin often becomes so thin that it tears easily. The medical name for this condition is acrodermatitischronical atrophicans.
In stage 3, you may also see tumors on your skin. It is believed that the long-term infection and swelling in the lymph nodes can lead to a cancer known as cutaneous B-cell lymphoma.
Skin starts to harden and shrink, causing deep lines to form
The medical name for this condition is acrodermatitis chronical atrophicans. Swelling, hardened skin, and deep lines on the foot of someone who has had Lyme disease for years.
When you see signs of changing skin and symptoms: These tend to occur months or years after you are bitten by a tick.
Who Gets Lyme Disease
Anyone bitten by an infected deer tick can get Lyme disease. Most U.S. cases of Lyme disease happen in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin. But Lyme disease is found in other parts of the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Australia too.
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More About The Erythema Migrans Rash
Rashes can be hard to diagnose if you are not a healthcare provider. An EM rash is no different. While it can occur anywhere on the body, it usually begins at the site of the bite and grows until it is approximately ruler-length in diameter. It may have a bulls eye appearance as it grows.
The rash does not always have a classic or distinctive EM appearance, but it is usually warm to the touch but not itchy or painful. In certain patients, there may be no rash at all. This does not mean that the patient doesnt have Lyme disease.
The symptoms of Lyme disease in children are similar to those in adults, and they may also display an EM rash.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
Most people who are diagnosed with Lyme disease do not recall being bitten by a tick, and a tick is also not commonly found at the site of a rash or bite. Its classic diagnostic symptom is a “bullseye rash” that can present at the site of the tick bite within 24-48 hours.
The rash starts as a small circle and gradually spreads around the bite point. The rash is warm to the touch but is not itchy or painful. However, the tricky part is that this rash may not even appear in most cases.
Most patients come down with nonspecific symptoms like fever, chills, malaise, and weakness that mimic flu or viral fever.
Although most symptoms are successfully treated within 2-4 weeks of oral antibiotic therapy, patients can sometimes have symptoms of pain, fatigue, or cognitive impairment that last for more than 6 months after completing treatment.
This is known as post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome .
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What Should I Know About Lyme Disease
- Lyme disease is rarely fatal if treated early and is curable.
- Awareness about Lyme disease is the best way to prevent this disease.
- Using repellants, inspecting ticks and avoiding ticks are some of the effective ways to prevent disease occurrence.
- While going to woody areas, wear fully covered and light-colored clothes to avoid ticks.
- Pets can easily contract this disease, so it is necessary to make them wear a tick collar.
- For more protection, spray the chemical permethrin on clothes and camping sites.
- Some people have complained about lingering symptoms, even after undergoing recommended treatment for Lyme disease, known as post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome . The common complaints, which persist for six months or more are:
Lyme Disease: Signs And Symptoms
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Lyme Disease Is A Growing Problem Where Symptoms Treatments And Prevention
This article is a transcribed edited summary of a video Bob and Brad recorded in August of 2021. For the original video go to
Brad: Today we have a special guest, Chris, and we’re going to cover in detail, the latest research and information on Lyme’s disease. And the title of this video is, “Lyme’s Disease is a Growing Problem. Where, symptoms, treatment, and prevention, we’re going to cover all those sections. You’re going to find out some very interesting, updated information I’m completely unaware of, but I’m glad I know now. We’re covering all the bases.
Chris: All the bases.
Brad: So Lyme’s disease, something that people, I think across the United States for sure, everyone’s heard of it.
Chris: Yep. I think it’s a growing, a spreading problem. And a lot of that comes down to climate change, there’s a lot of it, they like warm and moist. And let’s face it, things have kind of changed over the last 20 years. When you look at some of the maps that are available, it shows the spread pretty dramatically over the last 20 years. Midwest, out east. Out east is particularly bad, but the Minnesota, Wisconsin area is a pretty big hot zone, too.
Brad: And we do have a really nice map showing statistically where the cases are and where they’re intensified. You know, if you want to go to the end you’ll see what those look like.
Chris: We’ll place those maps for you.
Chris: No longer. I’m cured.