Stage : Quickly Expanding Rash
After being bitten by a black-legged tick, a quickly growing rash can appear. This is the earliest stage of Lyme disease, known as stage 1.
Most people who develop a rash, get it within days or weeks of being bitten by a tick.
Where you see the rash: If you develop a rash, it appears near the tick bit you. For most people, that means the back, groin, armpit, or a lower leg. However, a tick can bite you anywhere.
What the rash can look like: You may see a spot or bump on the skin, which is the bite mark. Around or near the bite mark, a rash develops. Some people see the bulls-eye rash . You can also have one of the other rashes shown here.
Early rash caused by Lyme disease
Notice the bite mark in the center of this early rash, which will expand quickly.
Bulls-eye rash on womans upper arm
This is another early sign of Lyme disease.
Lyme disease rash with lighter color on the outside
This rash has expanded, but you can still see the bite mark in the center.
Rash from Lyme disease has begun to clear
As the rash begins to clear, the redness fades.
If you develop a rash during this stage, you may notice that it:
Feels smooth and warm to the touch
Causes a burning sensation
Itches or feels painful
Has an outer edge that feels scaly or crusty
When the rash and symptoms begin: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , the rash begins 3 to 30 days after the tick bites you.
About 50% of people who have Lyme disease develop flu-like symptoms , which include:
What Is Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is caused by bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi. This bacterium is carried by certain ticks, and spreads to the host when the tick bites. The bacterium is normally found in small animals such as mice, squirrels, chipmunks, shrews, etc.
Lyme disease in humans can have a range of effects from rashes and flu-like symptoms to more serious symptoms including arthritic, cardiac and neurological effects. It can often be effectively treated, especially if detected in the early stages.
Lyme disease is an occupational concern for people who work outdoors. Any person who spends time outdoors is also at risk.
In the United States, Lyme disease is the most common “vector borne” disease. Vector is the term for any insect or arthropod that carries and transmits a disease pathogen .
When Should I See My Healthcare Provider
See your healthcare provider if you find a tick bite or a tick burrowed into you.
Make sure to see your provider if you start to have signs or symptoms of tick-borne disease weeks or days after youve been in areas with ticks. These signs or symptoms include:
- A rash that gets larger.
- Aches and pains in joints or muscles.
- Extreme tiredness.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Even thinking about ticks may make you feel itchy. The best way to deal with them is to try to prevent them from landing on you or biting you in the first place. Make sure to use protection before you go hiking. Prevent your pets from ticks, too. If you do get bitten, try not to panic. Not every tick bite will lead to further illness, but if you do develop flu-like symptoms, contact your healthcare provider for next steps.
You May Like: How Serious Is Lyme Disease In Humans
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.
My Friend Had A Tick Bite And Her Doctor Prescribed A Dose Of Antibiotics To Prevent Lyme Disease When Are Prophylactic Antibiotics Recommended
Limited data is available on the benefit of using prophylactic antibiotics in children following a tick bite. The only antibiotic used for this prophylaxis is doxycycline.
Its use is only recommended if the following five criteria are met:
Ask your provider for more information if you think you or your child may need a prophylactic dose of doxycycline following a tick bite.
It is important to get outside and play, hike, and explore. The possibility of tick bites should not prevent you and your children from enjoying the outdoors. Being diligent about tick prevention and tick checks will go a long way in avoiding tick-borne illnesses.
Remember that even if a tick bite occurs, the risk of Lyme disease remains low. Please do not hesitate to call Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center at 674-7337 or the Ottauquechee Health Center at 457-3030 if you have any questions or concerns. We are here to help.
Don’t Miss: First Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
When Can I Get Lyme Disease
Lyme disease can occur during any time of the year. The bacteria that cause Lyme disease are spread by infected black-legged ticks. Young ticks are most active during the warm weather months between May and July. Adult ticks are most active during the fall and spring but may also be out searching for a host any time that winter temperatures are above freezing.
American Dog Ticks Won’t Cause Lyme Disease But Beware Of Another Infection
Roshini Raj, MD, is Health magazine’s medical editor and coauthor of What the Yuck?!. Board-certified in gastroenterology and internal medicine, Dr. Raj is a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at New York University Medical Center, a contributor on the Today show, and a co-founder of the Tula skin care line.
Don’t Miss: Can Lyme Disease Be Fatal
What If A Tick Bites My Dog
The more ticks in your region, the likelier it is that your furry pal will bring them home.
Your dog is much more likely to be bitten by a tick than you are. And where Lyme disease is common, up to 25% of dogs have had it at some point.
About 10% of dogs with Lyme disease will get sick. 7-21 days after a tick bite, your dog might seem like theyâre walking on eggshells. They also might have a fever and enlarged lymph nodes. Plus, they might seem tired. Dogs also get antibiotics for Lyme.
What if my dog brings ticks into my home?
Use a tick control product on your pet to prevent Lyme disease. Also, have your dog vaccinated against Lyme.
Check your dogâs whole body each day for bumps. If you notice a swollen area, see if thereâs a tick there. If you find a tick, wear gloves while you use tweezers to separate it from your dog. Then, put it in soapy water or alcohol, or flush it down the toilet.
Use alcohol to clean the spot on your dog where the tick was attached. Keep an eye on that spot, and also on your dog to make sure theyâre behaving normally. If you notice any changes, check with your vet.
John Aucott, MD, assistant professor of medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine director, Johns Hopkins Lyme Disease Clinical Research Center.
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report: âVital Signs: Trends in Reported Vectorborne Disease Cases United States and Territories, 2004-2016.â
American College of Rheumatology.
What Should You Do If You Find A Tick
Don’t touch the tick with your bare hand.
Use a pair of tweezers to remove the tick. Grab the tick firmly by its mouth or head as close to your skin as possible.
Pull up slowly and steadily without twisting until it lets go. Don’t squeeze the tick, and don’t use petroleum jelly, solvents, knives, or a lit match to kill the tick.
Save the tick. Place it in a plastic container or bag so it can be tested for disease, if needed.
Wash the bite area well with soap and water and put an antiseptic lotion or cream on the site.
You May Like: Lyme Old Lyme School Calendar
Where Do Ticks Typically Live
Ticks are typically found on the underside of low lying shrubs and brush, in areas between forests and open grass and especially in areas where there are deer. They tend to also be in higher numbers in old stone walls where mice nest. Ticks in their immature or nymphal form are carried by mice, and by deer as adults. When a human or animal goes past them, ticks latch on to the passerby and search for an area to attach and start feeding.
What Cant I Eat After A Tick Bite
There is a certain kind of tick bite that causes something called alpha-gal syndrome. The condition is also called alpha-gal allergy, red meat allergy or tick bite meat allergy.
Alpha-gal is a type of sugar molecule that is found in meat and other products made from mammals. Alpha-gal isnt found in humans.
Studies in the U.S. and elsewhere indicate that tick bites cause alpha-gal syndrome, which may develop two to six hours after you eat meat, dairy or take medicines that are made with gelatin. Signs and symptoms may include gastrointestinal problems such as:
- Being dizzy or faint.
- Swelling of your lips, throat, tongue or your eyes.
Actually, alpha-gal syndrome can be life-threatening. Lone Star ticks and black-legged ticks may be the ones found in U.S. that cause alpha-gal syndrome.
Read Also: What Dr Treats Lyme Disease
Lyme Disease Could Be Lurking In Your Lawn
Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne illness in the United States and Canada and outdoor construction sites in wooded areas are not the only places where its important to take precautions. While the blacklegged ticks that spread Lyme disease are commonly called deer ticks, there do not need to be any deer around for ticks to thrive.
On the East Coast, the primary carrier of the bacteria that cause Lyme disease is the white-footed mouse. On the West Coast, its the grey squirrel. Both are attracted to grassy locations including suburban yards, city parks and athletic fields. Blacklegged ticks get infected when they feed on these primary carriers and to a lesser degree, certain other small animals and birds. Deer are not carriers of the Lyme disease bacteria and do not get infected when blacklegged ticks feed on them.
In the U.S. alone, more than 300,000 infections of Lyme disease occur every year. Acorns are a favorite food of white-footed mice and grey squirrels. Due to recent bumper crops, experts predict 2017 could be the worst year ever for Lyme disease.
A Hard Threat to Spot
Most instances of Lyme disease are caused by immature ticks or nymphs no bigger than a poppy seed. Ticks at this stage are easy to miss and that is key in the transmission of Lyme disease. In most cases, an infected tick must be attached for 36-48 hours to transmit the disease.
Symptoms of Lyme disease include:
Maintain your yard to reduce your risk for Lyme disease:
How Can I Prevent Lyme Disease
While walking in green spaces, consider wearing clothing that covers your skin to make it more difficult for ticks to access a suitable place to bite.
Use insect repellent such as DEET and consider wearing light coloured clothing so that you can easily spot ticks and brush them off.
After spending time outside, check yourself, your clothing, your pets and others for ticks. Remove any attached tick as soon as you find it using a tick-removal tool or fine-tipped tweezers.
More information can be found on the NHS website.
The idea of being bitten by a tick can be daunting. It is important to know that with the right precautions and by being tick aware you can help to protect yourself and your family from tick bites.
Remember that advice and treatment is readily available through the NHS. So, if you think you have been bitten by a tick and have symptoms, contact your GP and accept the treatment that is offered to you.
Also Check: Do Lyme Disease Symptoms Come And Go
What Precautions Can I Take Against Tick Bites
- Avoid wooded, brushy, and grassy areas, especially in May, June, and July.
- Wear light-colored clothing so that you can see ticks that get on you.
- Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts, and shoes that cover the entire foot.
- Tuck pant legs into socks or shoes, and tuck shirts into pants.
- Wear a hat for extra protection.
- Spray insect repellent containing DEET on clothes and uncovered skin.
- Walk in the center of trails to avoid brush and grass.
- Remove your clothing, and wash and dry them at high temperatures after being outdoors.
- Do a careful body check for ticks after outdoor activities.
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.
You May Like: Herbs That Kill Lyme Disease
How Do I Know If I Have A Tick Bite
Many people who develop the disease do not remember seeing ticks or being bitten. Tick bites commonly occur from May to September in North America, although blacklegged ticks can be active most of the year. Ticks sometimes move around on the body but they usually attach themselves to the skin and stay in one place. Before feeding, ticks look like small, brown scabs or freckles. After feeding, ticks may swell considerably, and could be as big as a raisin or a small grape.
Follow the link for more information about blacklegged ticks from the Government of Canada.
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
Also Check: Dr Mark Hyman Lyme Disease
When To See A Healthcare Provider
Keep in mind that not all people have all of the classic Lyme disease symptoms, which makes it important to see your practitioner if you develop a rash or fever following a tick bite, especially if you live in or visited an area where there are a lot of Lyme disease cases. In the United States, this includes the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, or north-central states.
Lyme Disease Doctor Discussion Guide
Get our printable guide for your next doctors appointment to help you ask the right questions.
Even in hyperendemic areas , the risk of developing Lyme disease is usually estimated to only be 3.5 percent at the most. Its so low because even though up to 50 percent of ticks in endemic areas are infected with the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, most people remove ticks before the bacteria has had enough time to infect them.
Lyme disease is normally easily treated with common antibiotics. The earlier youre treated for Lyme disease, the better, but even later stage cases usually respond well to medication.
Simple blood tests, which sometimes must be repeated to rule out infection, can give you and your family peace of mind.
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.
Recommended Reading: Lyme Disease Leg Pain Treatment
What Are The Symptoms That A Tick Bite Might Cause
Many of the conditions caused by ticks have common symptoms that include:
- Itchiness or irritation, but usually not right away.
- Skin rash.
Some rashes caused by ticks indicate the infection. Small reddish or purplish spots happen in Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
Expanding rashes that may look like a bulls-eye are the erythema migrans signal of Lyme disease. A similar rash happens with southern tick-associated rash illness or STARI. STARIs rash may be known as the Lone Star tick rash.
Some rashes can just look like small red or darker-colored blotches that can be difficult to see.
What Tests Are Available For Lyme Disease
When a person becomes infected, the body creates antibodies to protect itself from the bacteria. Certain blood tests are available to measure these antibodies. However, sometimes a “false negative” test can result if there are not enough antibodies in the blood for the tests to detect accurately. A doctor should also do a complete medical examination and gather information about your recent outdoor activities in order to make a clinical diagnosis for Lyme disease.
Recommended Reading: Lyme Disease Rash All Over Body