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Lyme disease rash-Pictures, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Lyme disease rash which is also known as erythema migrans in medical terms is a peculiar rash on the skin that has a circular appearance. Lyme disease rash is caused due an infection by a bacterium termed as ‘spirochete’ and is often the first sign of a bacterial illness known as Lyme disease.

The bacterium that causes Lyme disease rash is known as Borrelia burgdorferi in the North Americas while in Europe, the bacterium called Borrelia afzelii is instrumental in causing Lyme disease rash.

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The bite of ticks that are most often found in deers is the primary cause of Lyme disease. However the disease itself is not contagious. Lyme disease rash can lead to other symptoms of Lyme disease such as problems and irregularities of the nervous system, the heart, joints and the skin.

In 1975, a number of children in a locality near Lyme, Connecticut, were observed to be suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. This prompted research studies which revealed the causes and symptoms of the bacterial illness that is now termed as Lyme disease.

Symptoms of Lyme disease rash

Some of the signs and symptoms that accompany the characteristic Lyme disease rash are as follows:

  • The bite of bacteria-carrying ticks results in the entry of the bacteria into the body. This results in bacterial infection of the skin in the area of the tick bite and leads to the development of a small, miniscule red bump. Subsequently, there is rapid spread of the bacterial infection and results in the formation of a reddish, circular rash that keeps on expanding. Flu0like symptoms often accompany this rash known as the Lyme disease rash.
  • The formation of the Lyme disease rash along with the inflammation of the skin constitutes the first phase of Lyme disease. The Lyme disease rash generally tends to fade away on its own with a few weeks or months. The disappearance of Lyme disease rash is the beginning of other dangerous conditions and problems of the heart, joints and the nervous system.
  • The Lyme disease rash has a circular form and tends to expand as rings. The rash does not have any bumps or elevations. The ring that is on the periphery of the rash is usually brighter and more reddish than the rest of the rash. The center of the Lyme disease rash has a clear unaffected patch, giving it the look of a bull’s-eye. The ticks are tiny like a pin head and hence most people who have been bitten by ticks do not recall it. On occasions the bacteria may multiply and spread rapidly throughout the skin leading to multiple rashes.
  • The flu-like symptoms that accompany Lyme disease rash includes swelling of the lymph nodes or glands, increased weakness and fatigue, fever, muscle and joint stiffness, body aches, headaches and chills
  • The later stages of Lyme disease rash are dangerous and fatal and hence people who have been afflicted with minor cases have to be prompt to get an appropriate diagnosis and early treatment.
  • The advanced stages results in inflammation and swelling of the cardiac muscles. This can lead to abnormalities of heartbeat, increased palpitations and eventually heart failure.
  • Irregularities of the nervous system can result in peripheral neuropathy, damaged or impaired memory, paralysis of the facial muscles, disorientation and confusion, meningitis as well as cognitive defects
  • Irregularities of the joints may result in joint stiffness, pain and swelling and joint inflammation or arthritis. Abnormalities of the joints generally tend to become chronic and extremely inflammatory.
  • Additionally, people who are afflicted with Lyme disease rash have an increased tendency to develop psychological abnormalities and disorders like depression and anxiety.

Causes of Lyme disease rash

Some of the causes of Lyme disease rash are listed below:

  • Deer ticks that carry bacteria are the major cause of Lyme disease rash in North America. They are microscopic and hence difficult to detect.
  • In order for any individual to get infected by the bacteria, the ticks must have feeding sessions of at least 48 hours. During such sessions, the heavy intake of blood by the ticks, make them swell many times their usually size. The ticks may either get infected by the host or infect the individual with the bacteria. Therefore, one of the best ways to prevent Lyme disease rash to remove the tick from the skin, as soon as it attaches itself to the skin or before 48 hours.
  • The ticks generally tend to feed on the blood of tiny birds, mice and deer. However, they can also feed on the blood of humans and other domesticated animals such as cats, dogs and horses. The bacteria carrying ticks are most active during summers and are usually found in low, tiny bushes and tall grasses in woods with dense growth.
  • Sports or other activities for long durations in grassy or densely wooded regions, larger areas of exposed skin, mice infestation of the neighborhood as well as work that involves greater amount of outdoor activity increases the vulnerability of individuals to get bitten by ticks and thereby develop Lyme disease rash

Treatment of Lyme disease rash

  • Antibiotics are used to treat Lyme disease rash. Antibiotics such as doxycycline are orally administered to adults and children older than eight years old.
  • Infants and children younger than eight years, breast-feeding and pregnant women may be given oral antibiotics such as cefuroxime or amoxicillin.
  • Intravenous antibiotics are used to treat the advanced stages of Lyme disease rash.
  • The use of pain killers may reduce and ease the pain in the joints

 Lyme Disease Rash Pictures


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One Response

  1. Laurie Harnois says:

    tick bites can be dangerous too because ticks are cariers of other pathogens. –

    Check out all of the most recent piece of writing on our new blog page

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