Lyme Disease, medically referred to as Lyme borreliosis is an infectious disease caused by ‘Borellia’ bacteria. It is transmitted through the bite of infected ticks carrying the bacteria. Though the disease is treatable, it can cause complications if medical intervention is delayed. Its initial stage symptoms are similar to common flu, so the symptoms and signs should be well understood in order to seek timely treatment. One of the key indicators of this disease is the presence of rash that looks like bullseye.
Lyme disease is common in north eastern and upper mid west region of United States; and even parts Europe. Spring and early summer are the seasons when one is most prone to the condition..
Lyme Disease Symptoms – Bullseye Rash and Other Indicators
Sometimes later after the bite of tick, a rash appears on the skin, which looks like a bull’s eye, scientifically named as erythema migrans. The area of the bite will be red in colour and slightly elevated. It spreads in circular motion. In the centre it will be dark red and lighter towards the periphery. But not everyone gets rash. Muscle ache, head ache, fever and fatigue are early symptoms of lyme disease. Symptoms can occur any period between 3 to 30 days after infection.
Joint pains especially in knees are seen. Stiff neck may also occur after one month of infection. Severe headache or immense pains in body, which may not let you sleep at night. Dizziness and changes in heart’s rhythmic rate is also seen in advanced stage of lyme disease. Lyme disease if neglected for several months can lead to serious nervous problems. Bell’s palsy is a serious complication of lyme disease. Inflammation of eyes and liver are very rare, but may appear in very advance stage of lyme disease.
Erythema chronicum migrans – Lyme Disease Rash
It refers to the rash, occurring on the skin due to the bite of tick. It is not an allergic reaction, but the actual skin infection due to tick bacteria named as Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato. This particular kind of bull’s eye rash is only due to tick bacteria, which indicates the probability of Lyme Disease. Further treatment should be immediately carried on, after the confirmation of the disease. An analogous state called southern tick linked rash illness produces similar rash, but is smaller and produced quicker than lyme rash. Rash is caused due to the bite of Ixodes tick, affecting both males and females equally.
Meningitic symptoms also appear in numerous cases. Erythema migrans rash is typically 5 to 6.8 cm in width. It appears as annular homogenous erythema, central erythema, central clearing, or central purpura. Numerous unproblematic EM rashes might crop up indicating disseminated infectivity. Rashes of Lyme Disease can take many forms. The most common is circular red rash without itching or pain and gradually spreads outward, more clearly signified as bull’s eye rash. The rash does not have to be circular always.
The Lyme disease bullseye rash can acquire very large shape, (40 cm across) with diffuse edges. Instead of one, there can be many rashes. It is not so that rash will only be restricted at the site of tick’s bite. It can spread out in a wide area. The rash does not appear immediately after the bite. The area may remain red, but rash appears between 2 to 30 days after bite. But researches have shown that few strains of bacteria, causing Lyme disease, may not be responsible for any kind of rash. Including those causing rash, only 9% will take bull’s eye form.
Antibiotics are the best medicine of Lyme disease. Earlier detected, it will be better for recovery. If detected earlier, people take oral medication, within 2 or 3 weeks. People suffering from severe symptoms, such as neurological dysfunctioning have to take intravenous antibiotics. Treatment for advance stage of Lyme disease may run for several weeks, to months or more than that. Though advanced lyme disease takes a longer time to cure, but people gets completely recovered from this illness. Doctor may suggest, change in diet, and sleep routine and counselling, regarding these issues.
Be aware of insects around, and spot checks should be carried on at a regular basis. Near wooden areas ticks reside, so remain far from wooden areas. Check your skin, after coming out from wooden regions. Wear light coloured clothes, contrasting the dark coloured insect. Wear long pants and application of pesticides at regular intervals be carried on. Ticks can also be removed using tweezers. If tick was full of blood, a single dose of doxycycline is must to prevent development of infections. Research work is going on for new varieties of vaccines to cure lyme disease.