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.
Questions To Ask The Doctor About Lyme Disease
If you have an identifiable tick bite but no symptoms have begun, there is a question as to whether preventive treatment should be started. If the symptoms of Lyme disease have started, the question is what antibiotic treatment will be used, by which route it will be administered, and how long it should be taken.
Early Signs Of Lyme Disease
The signs and symptoms of Lyme disease vary and usually appear in stages.
Early signs and symptoms
A small, red bump often appears at the site of a tick bite or tickremoval and resolves over a few days. This is normal after a tick bite and doesnot indicate Lyme disease. However, these signs and symptoms may occur within amonth after you’ve been infected:
- Rash. From3 to 30 days after an infected tick bite, an expanding red area might appearthat sometimes clears in the center, forming a bulls-eye pattern. The rash expands slowly over days and can spread to 12 inches across. It is typically not itchy or painful. Erythema migrans isone of the hallmarks of Lyme disease. Some people develop this rash at morethan one place on their bodies.
- Flu-likesymptoms. Fever, chills, fatigue, body aches and a headache may accompany therash.
Later signs and symptoms
If untreated, new signs and symptoms of Lyme infection might appear inthe following weeks to months. These include:
- Erythemamigrans appearing in other areas of your body.
- Jointpain. Bouts of severe joint pain and swelling are especially likely to affectyour knees, but the pain can shift from one joint to another.
- Neurologicalproblems. Weeks, months or even years after infection, you might developinflammation of the membranes surrounding your brain , temporaryparalysis of one side of your face , numbness or weakness in yourlimbs, and impaired muscle movement.
- Nausea andvomiting
Less common signs and symptoms
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How Common Is Lyme Disease After Tick Bite
How common is lyme disease after tick biteLyme disease, also known as Lyme borreliosis, is a vector-borne disease caused by the Borrelia bacterium which is spread by ticks in the genus Ixodes. The most common sign of infection is an expanding red rash, known as erythema migrans, that appears at the site of the tick bite about a week after it occurred. The rash is typically neither itchy nor painful.
When To Be Concerned About Tick Bites
When to see a doctor. Seek medical assistance if you cannot remove all of the tick. The longer a tick stays attached, the greater the risk becomes that a disease will develop. Seek treatment if flu-like symptoms or rashes develop after a tick bite. Rapid treatment greatly improves the chance of a full recovery.
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What Are The Stages Of Lyme Infection
There are three stages:
- Early localized Lyme: Flu-like symptoms like fever, chills, headache, swollen lymph nodes, sore throat, and a rash that looks like a bull’s-eye or is round and red and at least 2 inches long
- Early disseminated Lyme: Flu-like symptoms like pain, weakness, or numbness in your arms and legs, changes in your vision, heart palpitations and chest pain, a rash , and a type of facial paralysis known as Bellâs palsy
- Late disseminated Lyme: This can happen weeks, months, or years after the tick bite. Symptoms might include arthritis, severe fatigue and headaches, dizziness, trouble sleeping, and confusion.
About 10% of people treated for Lyme infection donât shake the disease. They may go on to have three core symptoms: joint or muscle pain, fatigue, and short-term memory loss or confusion. This is called post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome. It can be hard to diagnose because it has the same symptoms as other diseases. Plus, there isn’t a blood test to confirm it.
Experts arenât sure why Lyme symptoms donât always go away. One theory is that your body keeps fighting the infection even after the bacteria are gone, like an autoimmune disorder.
What Should I Do If I Am Bitten By A Tick
If you experience a tick bite, 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 the skin.
- Avoid crushing the tick’s body or handling the tick with bare fingers as you could exposure yourself to the bacteria in the tick.
- Wash the bite area thoroughly with soap and water.
- DO NOT use kerosene, petroleum jelly , or hot cigarette butts to remove the tick.
- DO NOT squeeze the tick’s body with your fingers or tweezers.
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How Do I Remove The Tick
The simplest and quickest way to remove a tick is to pull it off. Use tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible . Pull gently and steadily upward until the tick releases its grip. Do not twist the tick or jerk it suddenly. Such maneuvers can break off the tick’s head or mouth parts. Do not squeeze the tweezers to the point of crushing the tick because the secretions released may spread disease.
If you don’t have tweezers, pull the tick off in the same way using your fingers, a loop of thread around the tick’s jaws, or a needle. Some tiny ticks need to be scraped off with a knife blade or the edge of a credit card.
Sometimes the tick’s body comes off but the head stays in the skin. You must remove the head also. Use a sterile needle to remove the head just as you would to remove a sliver.
Dispose of the tick by returning it to nature or flushing it down the toilet. You don’t need to save the tick for positive identification. Don’t crush ticks with your fingers because crushing increases your chance of getting a disease.
Wash the area of the tick bite and your hands with soap and water after you remove the tick.
Do not use petroleum jelly, fingernail polish, or rubbing alcohol to try to remove ticks. Attached ticks do not back out when covered with these products. Touching the tick with a hot match does not make the tick detach. In fact the hot match could make the tick vomit infected secretions into the wound.
How Do You Acquire This Borrelia Infection
Humans and animals are infected with the bacteria through hard-tick bites. The borrelia survive in the midgut of the ticks. The immature nymphs are most likely to transmit the infection. The ticks feed on infected animals and then on humans.
Ticks occur in high grass, brush, woodland and leafy forest. The main hosts for the ticks and borrelia are small to medium-sized animals in Europe and deer in North America.
- In North America, the tick vectors are Ixodes scapularis, I. pacificus, and 4 other tick species
- In Europe and Asia, the tick vectors are I. ricinus, I. hexagonus, and I. persulcatus
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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?
How Is Lyme Disease Diagnosed
Your doctor will diagnose you based on your symptoms and whether youâve been exposed to a tick. They might also run a blood test. In the first few weeks of infection, the test may be negative because antibodies take a few weeks to show up.
Hopefully soon, there will be tests that can diagnose Lyme disease in the first few weeks after youâre exposed. The earlier you get treated, the less likely itâll get worse.
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Skin Rash From Tick Bite
A rash is a change of the human skin which affects its color, appearance, or texture, A rash may be localized in one part of the body, or affect all the skin. Rashes may cause the skin to change color, itch, become warm, bumpy, chapped, dry, cracked or blistered, swell, and may be painful.The causes, and therefore treatments for rashes, vary widely.
Signs Of Lyme Disease Tick
Lyme disease may spread to any part of the body and affect any body system. Typically, it affects more than one body system. In our survey, which drew over 5,000 responses, patients with chronic Lyme disease reported an average of three severe or very severe symptoms, with 74% reporting at least one symptom as severe or very severe, An extensive list of symptoms of chronic Lyme disease was .
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Symptoms Of Tickborne Illness
Many tickborne diseases can have similar signs and symptoms. If you get a tick bite and develop the symptoms below within a few weeks, see your healthcare provider.
The most common symptoms of tick-related illnesses include:
- Fever/chills. All tickborne diseases can cause fever.
- Aches and pains. Tickborne diseases can cause headache, fatigue, and muscle aches. People with Lyme disease may also have joint pain.
Your healthcare provider should evaluate the following before deciding on a plan for treatment:
- Your symptoms,
- the geographic region where you were bitten, and
- lab tests, depending on the symptoms and the geographic region where you were bitten.
Tick paralysis is thought to be caused by a toxin in the saliva of an attached tick. People with tick paralysis can experience weakness or paralysis that gradually moves up the body. These symptoms can sometimes resemble other neurologic conditions . Patients typically regain movement within 24 hours of removing the tick. Learn more at Tick paralysis: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopediaexternal icon.
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What Specialists Treat Lyme Disease
A primary-care provider such as a family practitioner, internist, or child’s pediatrician may initially diagnose Lyme disease. In areas where Lyme disease is common, these physicians often treat the illness, as well. However, you may be referred to a specialist for treatment. Rheumatologists specialize in diseases that affect the joints and muscles, including infectious diseases such as Lyme disease. You may also see a neurologist if you experience nerve problems or an infectious disease specialist who can help treat Lyme disease in the later stages.
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What Can I Expect Long Term If My Child Has Lyme Disease
If Lyme disease is caught and treated early, most children will make a full recovery. Some children with Lyme disease go on to experience what’s called a post-infectious syndrome with symptoms that may include feeling fatigue, joint aches and pains, headaches, difficulty sleeping, and problems concentrating. Since the infection itself is gone by this time, doctors generally don’t prescribe antibiotics. Each child is different, but it’s not uncommon for symptoms of post-infectious syndrome to linger for months, or even years, and they can be made worse by stress or other illness. But most children do make a full recovery.
Blacklegged, or deer, ticks are very small, so it helps to know what to look for when doing a tick check. Adults are about the size of sesame seeds and in the nymph or larva stage, they can be as tiny as a poppy seeds.
What Is The Outlook For Someone With Lyme Disease
Most of the people who get Lyme disease and treated early will be fine.
Even after proper treatment, some patients may experience lingering fatigue, achiness or headaches. This does not signify ongoing infection and will not respond to additional antibiotics. The majority of people in this group will have symptoms resolve over the next 1-6 months.
Chronic Lyme Syndrome
Chronic Lyme syndrome is a term used by some that includes the symptoms of Post-Lyme syndrome outlined above. This is a controversial topic with no accepted etiology and no proven cause or association.
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Lyme Sci: Help Ive Gotten A Tick Bite Now What
Tick season is in full-swing. How do I know that? I wake up practically every day to another text or email from a friend or relative telling me they had a tick bite.
Last week, I got a desperate call from a relative whose son had found a tick embedded in his skin after a camping trip. Both my cousin and her son are well aware of my daughters missed diagnosis and years long battle with Lyme and co-infections. Needless to say, they were in a panic. More about this later
Of course the best thing is to prevent tick bites in the first place, but life happens and thats probably why youre reading this.
What Causes Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is caused by bacteria. In the United States, this is usually a bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi. It spreads to humans through the bite of an infected tick. The ticks that spread it are blacklegged ticks . They are usually found in the:
- Upper Midwest
- Pacific coast, especially northern California
These ticks can attach to any part your body. But they are often found in hard-to-see areas such as your groin, armpits, and scalp. Usually the tick must be attached to you for 36 to 48 hours or more to spread the bacterium to you.
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Tick Bite Rash Without Lyme Disease
Tick bite reactions are often confused with the rash of Lyme disease. Tick bite reactions: Are small red bumps, less than 1-2 in size. Appear at the site of the bite, often in the groin, belt area, arm pits, or behind the knee. Do not expand in size when observed over 24-48 hrs. May feel warm and tender to.
Deer Tick Bite Lyme Disease
A bite from a deer tick can potentially cause a harmful bacterial infection known as Lyme disease.While not all ticks carry the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, its important to be careful, especially in the summer months as deer ticks become more prevalent, The percentage of deer ticks carrying the Lyme disease bacteria varies per region, and it.
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What Does A Tick Bite Look Like
1. Rashes The signature rash of a Lyme tick bite looks like a solid red oval or a bulls-eye. It can appear anywhere on your body. The bulls-eye has a central red spot, surrounded by a clear circle with a wide red circle on the outside. The rash is flat and usually doesnt itch.
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Disclaimer: The above material is provided for information purposes only. The material is not nor should be considered, or used as a substitute for, medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, nor does it necessarily represent endorsement by or an official position of Global Lyme Alliance, Inc. or any of its directors, officers, advisors or volunteers. Advice on the testing, treatment or care of an individual patient should be obtained through consultation with a physician who has examined that patient or is familiar with that patients medical history. Global Lyme Alliance, Inc. makes no warranties of any kind regarding this Website, including as to the accuracy, completeness, currency or reliability of any information contained herein, and all such warranties are expressly disclaimed.
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Seek Medical Care Early To Prevent Lyme Disease From Progressing
Its easy to get bit by a tick and not know it. Most people dont feel a tick on their skin or the bite. Checking your skin for ticks after spending time outdoors can help you find a tick and remove it.
Removing a tick can prevent Lyme disease. A tick must be attached to your skin for at least 36 hours to infect you with the bacteria that cause Lyme disease.
Its not always possible to find a tick, so its important to pay close attention to your skin. If you notice any signs of Lyme disease or develop a rash, get medical care right away. Ticks can cause other serious diseases, such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
Related AAD resources
ImagesImage 1: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Public Health Image Library, Last accessed May 11, 2017.
Images 2, 3, and 7: Used with permission of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2011 64:619-36.
Image 6: Used with permission of the American Academy of Dermatology National Library of Dermatologic Teaching Slides.
ReferencesBhate C and Schwartz RA.
Lyme disease: Part I. Advances and perspectives. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2011 64:619-36.
Lyme disease: Part II. Management and prevention. J Am Acad Dermatol 2011 64:639-53.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
Signs and symptoms of untreated Lyme disease. Page last updated October 26, 2016. Last accessed May 2, 2018.
Lyme disease: transmission. Page lasted updated March 4, 2015. Last accessed May 2, 2018.