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Lyme disease rash

Lyme disease rash is a peculiar skin rash, normally circular in form and is medically called as erythema migrans. Lyme disease rash is one of initial symptoms of a bacterial disease known as Lyme disease, caused b y the “spirochete” bacteria.  In North America, this bacterium is known as Borrelia burgdorferi. In Europe, Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium called Borrelia afzelii, which leads to the peculiar Lyme disease rash.

Lyme disease rash occurs due to the bite of deer ticks which carry the bacteria. The disease is not contagious and besides the symptomatic skin rash, Lyme disease can cause other abnormalities and problems of the skin, joints, heart and the nerve system.

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The signs and the causes of Lyme disease were first discovered and diagnosed in Lyme, Connecticut, among a group of children. All of them were inflicted by rheumatoid arthritis. Later the research studies on this subject revealed that the illness was caused by the bacteria carrying ticks.

Symptoms of Lyme disease rash

The various signs and symptoms of the peculiar Lyme disease rash are given below:

  • Through the bite of ticks, the bacteria enter the body. A tiny, red bump occurs on the skin where the tick-bite has taken place; which then becomes infected. The skin infection expands in circular form and become increasingly red.  Then, flu-like signs follow the initial appearance of Lyme disease rash.
  • The first phase of the Lyme disease includes swelling of the skin and the formation of Lyme disease rash. The rash may vanish on its own within a few weeks or months.  This brings the onset of other phases of Lyme disease that affects other tissues and organs such as the heart, joints and the nervous system.
  • Lyme disease rash begins in a circular shape and expands in the same form. The rash does not have any bumps, lumps or hives. The periphery of the circular ring tends to be a brighter red than the rest of it, with a clear patch in center, giving the Lyme disease rash an appearance of a bull’s-eye. The person affected by the rash may not even remember the tick bite, as the ticks tend to be microscopic in size. Persons may develop multiple rashes because of bacteria multiplying in the blood stream.
  • The Lyme disease rash may lead to other generalized signs such as fatigue, body pain, swollen glands, stiffness of joints and muscles, headaches, fever and shivering.
  • People with minor experience of Lyme disease rash should be careful to get the early correct diagnosis, to avoid the critical consequences in later stages.
  • The advanced stages of Lyme disease, that follow the appearance of Lyme disease rash may cause the swelling of heart muscles leading to increased palpitation and irregular heart beat and even cardiac arrest.
  • Abnormalities of the nervous system can lead to paralysis of the facial muscles, peripheral neuropathy, cognitive defects, impaired memory disorientation and confusion as well as life threatening meningitis.
  • Abnormalities of the joints may lead to joint inflammation or arthritis, joint stiffness, pain and swelling. The condition has a tendency to become chronic and severely inflammatory.
  • In addition, people with Lyme disease rash are at increased risk to develop psychological disorders like anxiety and depression.

Causes of Lyme disease rash

  • In North America, the most common cause of Lyme disease rash is due to bacteria carrying deer ticks.  It is very difficult to spot them because they are as small as a pin head.
  • To infect a person, the tick has to stick to a person’s skin for up to 48 hours in its feeding session. During the feeding session, it can swell several times their size. The ticks may infect the person with its bacteria or it may get infected by the host. The tick needs to stick for up to 48 hours on the skin to pass on the bacteria and infect the person. Lyme disease rash can be prevented by removing the deer tick as and when it attaches itself to the exposed skin
  • Normally the deer tick feed on and suck the blood of deer, mice and small birds. The ticks feed on the blood of humans, dogs, horses, and cats also. The ticks live on grasses, thick shrubs and bushes and are more active during summer.
  • Prolonged outdoor work in grassy, dense forested areas and exposure of skin in neighborhoods infested with mice, place people at greater risk of contacting the bacterial infection and subsequent development of Lyme disease rash.

Lyme disease rash treatment

  • Antibiotics may be used to treat Lyme disease rash
  • Adults and children who are older than eight years can be prescribed oral antibiotics such as doxycycline
  • Oral antibiotics such as amoxicillin or cefuroxime may be prescribed for pregnant or nursing mothers as well as infants and younger children
  • Intravenous administration of antibiotics may be required to treat the advanced stages of Lyme disease rash
  • Pain killers may be prescribed to reduce the pain in the joints.

Lyme disease rash pictures

Here are the pictures of lyme disease rash, check out the bull’s eye rash on the skin.

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