When Does Lyme Rash Appear
There are three distinct stages of Lyme disease, all of which present with various symptoms and signs. During stage 1 of the disease, the bacteria has been most recently contracted and the initial symptoms begin to appear. The typical Lyme disease rash usually appears in stage 1, between a few days or weeks of the initial infection.
There are several different types of Lyme disease rashes that can appear during stage 1 of the infection. The first, a bulls-eye rash, appears circular around the tick bite. It has a central clear ring that expands as well. Other types of rash that could appear include a red lesion that expands and has a crusty center a red and circular-shaped rash that has a clear center and a red lesion that is oval-shaped.
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The early stages of the rash are typically easiest to see, and people may also notice that there is a small spot or lump that pops up in the center. The rash may also be associated with certain other characteristics, such as being warm to the touch or smooth on the skin. Scaly and crusty edges may also develop. In some rare cases, the Lyme disease rash could also be painful, itchy, and feel as though it is burning. Typically, Lyme rashes are small, but they can gradually grow to up to 12 or more inches.
What Is Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is an infection that is transmitted through the bite of a tick infected with a bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi. Ticks typically get the bacterium by biting infected animals, like deer and mice. The chance of contracting the disease increases the longer the tick is attached to the body. But most people who get tick bites do not get Lyme disease, and not all ticks are infected.
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 also found in other parts of the U.S., Europe, and Asia.
Other things that might increase a person’s risk include:
- spending a lot of time outdoors in tall grass, brush, shrubs, or wooded areas
- having pets that may carry ticks indoors
- activities such as yardwork, hiking, camping, fishing, or hunting in tick-infested areas
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What Are The Risk Factors For Tick Bites
People who go through grassy areas and woods are at higher risk for tick bites, especially during the months from April through September. People who travel through such areas out of necessity or for recreation are at higher risk than those that protect themselves with appropriate clothing like long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and DEET-containing repellents . In addition, people who have pets treated with flea and tick repellents decrease their risk of tick bites. People who live in areas surrounded by tall grassy areas or woods have a higher risk for tick bites, but the prevention section below describes ways to reduce risks.
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Can Lyme Disease Be Cured
Most Lyme disease cases can be cured with a two- to four-week course of antibiotics, says Dr. Kaufman. This is especially true if youre treated in the early stages of infection, which is why its so important to be aware of any potential exposure and symptoms.
In rare cases, however, some patients will continue experiencing symptoms such as pain, fatigue and numbness, and will be diagnosed with post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome.
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Stage 2 And 3 Lyme Rashes
During stages 2 and 3 of Lyme disease, rashes may also be present. During stage 2, the rash will take roughly one to six months to appear. It will be markedly different from stage 1 and appear as small oval-shaped rashes, typically appearing on various parts of the body such as the face, legs, and arms. The center of a stage 2 Lyme disease rash may also be darker in the center or appear bluish with a clear center. In contrast with stage 1 rashes, stage 2 skin lesions are not likely to grow as the disease progresses.
Stage 3 Lyme disease does not often encompass rashes however, if skin changes do occur, they will typically appear on the hands and feet. Symptoms of skin changes in stage 3 Lyme disease can include pain, redness, and swelling. If the infection is severe, stage 3 will present with some skin symptoms such as:
- Hardening, thinning, or tearing of the skin
- Hair loss around the affected area
- Sweat gland loss
In very rare cases, lymphoma tumors may form on the skin.
When To Call Your Doctor
If youve been bitten by a tick and have developed symptoms of Lyme disease, its important to call your doctor ASAP, Dr. Russo says. That should also be the case if you develop symptoms of Lyme disease but arent sure if you were recently bitten by a tick, he says.
And, if you happen to spot a tick on you and youre not sure how long its been attached, Dr. Zimring recommends calling your doctor as well. They can give you a prophylactic dose of antibiotics to try to lower your risk of developing Lyme disease if you act quickly, he says.
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Treatment For Lyme Disease
Lyme disease can be easily cured with antibiotics. The particular type of antibiotic used depends on certain stages of the disease.
Early illness is usually treated with medications taken by mouth, for example, doxycycline , amoxicillin , or cefuroxime axetil . The medicine suits the particular area affected, resulting in a rapid cure for Lyme disease.
If the lyme disease is chronic or persistent then it can be treated with the help of intravenous antibiotics for at least 14 to 20 days. The symptoms would start to improve slowly and this way of treatment would eliminate the infection. However, there is still no known reason as to why some people suffer from joint pain even when the bacteria has been destroyed from the body.
What Are Ticks What Do Ticks Look Like
Ticks are small arachnids. Ticks require blood meals to complete their complex life cycles. Ticks are scientifically classified as Arachnida . The fossil record suggests ticks have been around at least 90 million years. There are over 800 species of ticks throughout the world, but only two families of ticks, Ixodidae and Argasidae , are known to transmit diseases or illness to humans. Hard ticks have a scutum, or hard plate, on their back while soft ticks do not. Tickborne diseases occur worldwide.
Ticks are transmitters of diseases for humans and animals. Ticks can transmit disease to many hosts some cause economic harm such as Texas fever in cattle that can kill up to 90% of yearling cows. Ticks act as vectors when microbes in their saliva and mouth secretions get into the hosts skin and blood. Ticks were understood to be vectors of disease in the mid-1800s, and as investigative methods improved , more information showed the wide variety of diseases that could be transmitted by ticks.
There are many common names for various ticks , and these names appear in the scientific literature, too. Most common names represent a genus of ticks. However, the common name red may be used by people to describe almost any tick that has had a blood meal .
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Stage : Late Disseminated Lyme Disease
Late disseminated Lyme disease occurs when the infection hasnt been treated in stages 1 and 2. Stage 3 can occur months or years after the tick bite.
This stage is characterized by:
- arthritis of one or more large joints
- brain disorders, such as encephalopathy, which can cause short-term memory loss, difficulty concentrating, mental fogginess, problems with following conversations, and sleep disturbance
- numbness in the arms, legs, hands, or feet
- park or wildlife management
The majority of tick bites happen in the summer when ticks are the most active and people spend more time outside. However, its also possible to get Lyme disease from tick bites in early fall, and even in late winter if the weather is unseasonably warm.
Lyme disease prevention mostly involves decreasing your risk of experiencing a tick bite.
Take the following steps to prevent tick bites:
Contact a doctor if and whenever a tick bites you or your loved ones.
The Three Stages Of Lyme Disease
The disease is medically defined in three different phases:
In the early phase of the illness , the skin around the bite develops an increasing ring of upraised redness. The rash appears on the skin in the form of a bulls-eye, where the outer ring looks bright red, with or without a central area.
The classic rash is called “erythema migrans,” which is also called erythema chronicum migrans. Most patients can’t recall the tick bitethe ticks can be very small in size, as small as the periods in this paragraph. Also, they may not have the identifying rash to signal the doctor. The rash can be very light on the skin, and most of the time, it does not itch at all.
Many patients do not develop a rash. The redness of the skin looks general, but may develop muscle pain and joint stiffness, along with swollen lymph nodes or swollen glands. It also causes mild headache and fever. The symptoms of the disease are similar to a viral fever. The infection grows more painful in two to three days and the rash on skin becomes clearly visible.
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Unexplained Pain And Other Sensations
Some people with Lyme may have sharp rib and chest pains that send them to the emergency room, suspecting a heart problem 00090-7/abstract%20″ rel=”nofollow”> 27).
When no problem is found, after the usual testing, the ER diagnosis is noted as an unidentified musculoskeletal cause.
You can also have strange sensations like skin tingling or crawling, or numbness or itchiness 00090-7/abstract%20″ rel=”nofollow”> 27).
Other symptoms have to do with cranial nerves.
- Ear-ringing . Tinnitus can be a nuisance, especially at bedtime when it seems to get louder as youre trying to fall asleep. About 10 percent of people with Lyme experience this (
- Hearing loss. One study reported that 15 percent of Lyme patients experienced loss of hearing .
- Jaw pain or toothaches that are not related to actual tooth decay or infection.
How Can You Tell If You Have Lyme Disease Or Something Else
Lyme disease can be tricky to diagnose, given that the symptoms can mimic those of other illnesses, says Thomas Russo, M.D., professor and chief of infectious disease at the University at Buffalo in New York. If you have the classic rash, you can probably assume you have Lyme disease, Dr. Russo says. But not all symptoms are classic and Lyme disease can mimic a variety of other things.
Still, your doctor can order blood tests, including an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay test to look for antibodies to B. burgdorferi in your blood, the Mayo Clinic says. Another blood test, called a Western blot test, is usually given to confirm the diagnosis, per the Mayo Clinic.
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Can Lyme Disease Rash Itch
If you develop a Lyme disease rash, you probably wont be scratching your skin until its raw. Still, Lyme disease rashes can be slightly itchy, even mildly painful, says Dr. Aucott, but they dont itch like a case of poison ivy.
Lyme rashes often feel warm to the touch as well. Your doctor may perform whats called a crossover test to gauge whether the area feels warmer than the rest of your skin, says Dr. Johnson. Heres what that involves: Lets say the rash is behind one knee. You place one hand on the rash and your other hand in the same area of the unaffected knee, wait a few seconds, and then switch hands. If theres a difference in temperature, youll notice it.
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Do All Ticks Transmit Lyme Disease
No. In the northeastern and north-central U.S., the black-legged tick carries Lyme disease. In the Pacific coastal U.S., the western black-legged tick spreads the disease.
Other major tick species in the U.S., like the lone star tick and the dog tick, do NOT transmit the Lyme disease bacterium. But beware: All 50 states have reported Lyme disease, as well as Canada, Europe, Asia, Australia, and South America.
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What Does A Lyme Tick Bite Look Like
What does a lyme tick bite look likeRingworm is a common skin infection that is caused by a fungus. Its called ringworm because it can cause a ring-shaped rash that is usually red and itchy with raised edges. A rash without a known cause that can be a round or oval, pink, and scaly with a raised border. It can sometimes itch.
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How To Spot And Remove Ticks
Once youve come in from outside, one of the best ways to check yourself for ticks is to take a shower and bath.
Other than that, do your best to check your clothes, especially the folds of your clothes, knowing that ticks can be very small and hard to spot. Running your hands through your hair is also a good idea.
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Lyme Disease Pictures & Tick Photos
The Lyme Disease Association offers this page to provide the general public and professionals with an array of tick images, rash images, and disease organisms to help in the determination of what is Lyme disease and what are other tick-borne diseases.
Many professionals have provided pictures to the Lyme Disease Association that show what some of the rash signs look like, tick images of various ticks that transmit a number of tick-borne diseases in the US, and infectious organisms seen under the microscope that are transmitted by ticks in the US.
This category of medical photos includes pictures of Lyme disease related rashes, ticks and organisms under the microscope.
There are 3 photo albums below: Lyme disease rashes, ticks and under the scope . To view each album click on pictures below.
The images are intended for education purposes only, and a medical professional should be consulted to determine if someone has a tick-borne disease. The LDA does maintain an online referral where someone can search for a Lyme disease doctor.
Latin Name : Diseases they can transmit
Ixodes scapularis :Lyme , Borrelia miyamotoi, babesiosis, anaplasmosis, Powassan encephalitis, tick paralysis, bartonellosis, ehrlichiosis .Ixodes scapularis have been shown to carry Ehrlichiosis , but to date, transmission is still in question
Amblyomma americanum : Human monocytic ehrlichiosis, STARI, tularemia, tick paralysis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever
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How Is Lyme Disease Diagnosed
It can be hard for doctors to diagnose Lyme disease because:
- The tick bites and rash might not be noticed.
- Many early symptoms seem like the flu or other illnesses.
- Blood tests can only help diagnose Lyme disease later in the illness, several weeks after it started.
Doctors can diagnose early Lyme disease if they see a tick bite or the telltale rash, especially if the person lives in an area where Lyme disease is common.
To diagnose late Lyme disease, doctors:
- Ask about symptoms.
- Do blood tests that look for signs of Lyme disease.
Depending on the symptoms, doctors might order other tests, such as a spinal tap, which looks at the fluid around the brain and spinal cord.
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What Diseases Do Ticks Transmit To Humans
Although most tick bites do not transmit pathogens, some bites do. It is not possible to determine if a tick is carrying pathogens visually. The following is a list of all of the major tick-borne diseases, the usual tick vector or common ticks, and the pathogen the tick species that, if known, transmits them in the United States.
This list shows that some ticks can transmit more than one type of pathogenic microbe . It is possible to transmit more than one pathogen in a single tick bite, although this rarely occurs. Outbreaks of tick-related illnesses follow seasonal patterns as ticks evolve from larvae to adults.
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What Does A Lyme Disease Rash Look Like
Many people assume that a Bulls-eye or erythema migrans rash is a common manifestation of Lyme disease. And that the lack of a rash confirms a person does not have the disease. This is far from the truth. The EM rash can be absent in at least 50% of Lyme disease cases. In fact, a LymeDisease.org survey of 3,000 patients with chronic Lyme disease found that only 40% reported a rash of any kind. Additionally, if present, an EM rash does not always appear as a classic target lesion with a central clearing, according to new study findings.
If patients are expecting a Lyme disease rash to look like the typical Bulls-eye lesion they may miss receiving an accurate diagnosis. The assumption that all EM look like the classic target lesion can lead to diagnostic errors, warns Burlina and colleagues in their article AI-based detection of erythema migrans and disambiguation against other skin lesions.¹
EM rash identification remains a challenge because it often takes on a variety of appearances, Burlina points out.
The authors found only 20% of patients with an EM in the United States present with lesions that have the central clearing of a classic target lesion .
Instead, the majority of EM lesions appear uniformly red or bluish-red in color and lack central clearing.
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