Lyme disease rash also called as Lyme infection is transmitted to humans through deer tick bites.
Lyme disease is one of the most common illnesses caused by ticks. The disease is common in Europe and North America. It is causes by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. The bacteria can be found on deer ticks. The ticks feed on human and animal blood, which then spreads the bacteria when feeding.
People who spend most of their time or lives in heavily wooded and grassy areas, where the ticks live are most likely to develop Lyme disease rash. When living in these areas, it is essential for one to take precautionary measures to prevent the ticks from biting and acquiring the disease. Furthermore, learning the symptoms of the disease is essential. This is because tick bites are often overlooked.
Lyme disease treatment often involves antibiotic therapy. The disease is most treatable in its early stages. However, if delayed, it may result to slow response. In most cases, individuals affected by the disease recover completely through the use of appropriate treatment.
Lyme Disease Rash Causes
The bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi is carried by deer ticks. The ticks are smaller than pin heads and brown. They are very hard to spot. They live in wooded areas with tall grasses or low bushes, and are active during summer. The ticks often feed on human and animal blood. The bacteria can be transmitted to humans when the ticks feed.
The bacteria make their way into the bloodstream upon entering the body through the skin. The bacteria can only be transmitted when the deer tick already made a blood meal, which takes at least 48 hours of feeding. An indication that the tick has completed a blood meal is that if the tick has become swollen. It is essential to remove the tick as soon as possible to prevent the transmission of bacteria.
Lyme Disease Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of the disease may vary from one person to another. This is because it may affect different body parts. In most cases, individuals with the disease will not manifest all signs and symptoms. Common symptoms are lyme disease rash, flu-like symptoms, migratory joint pain, neurological problems, and many more.
The most common symptom is the Lyme disease rash. The rash is usually a red, small bump that appears a few days to a month from the bite. Common areas are behind the knee, belt are, and groin area. The bump is mildly tender and warm to touch. As time goes by, the redness may expand from a small rash to a big rash as large as 30 centimeters or 12 inches across. The rash often resembles a bull’s-eye, which gives it its name – bull’s-eye rash. Otherwise known as erythema migrans, the Lyme disease rash is the hallmark of the disease.
Flu-like symptoms often accompany the rash. These includes: headaches, body aches, fatigue, chills, and fever. If treatment is delayed, the individual may develop severe joint swelling and pain that may last for several weeks to months. The most common site of pain is the knees.
In some cases, meningitis or inflammation of the surrounding membrane of the brain may occur. Other neurologic problems such as: impaired muscle movement, limb weakness or numbness, or Bell’s palsy or temporary paralysis of the face may happen if the infection is untreated. The affected individual may also experience problems such as: severe fatigue, hepatitis, eye inflammation, and heart problems. However, this rarely occurs.
Lyme Disease Rash Treatment
In most cases, Lyme disease can be cured through antibiotic therapy. The prognosis of the disease depends on the stage of the disease when Lyme disease treatment has started as well as the body areas affected. In the early stages of the disease, antibiotics are taken by mouth. Examples of antibiotics include: cefuroxime axetil (Ceftin), amoxicillin (Amoxil), or doxycycline (Vibramycin). Doxycycline is contraindication for children under eight years of age and for pregnant women.
Upon the appearance of the bull’s-eye rash, it is important to seek a physician as soon as possible. In most cases, the rash disappears with one to two weeks of antibiotic therapy without complications. However, in severe cases or when neurologic problems exist, the use of intravenous drugs may be required. Examples of these drugs include penicillin G. and ceftriaxone (Rocephin).
To relieve the symptoms of Lyme disease rash, the use of pain medications for pain may be used. Inflammation of the joints can be reduced through certain procedures such as arthrocentesis or the removal of fluid from the joints. Arthrocentesis is done by using a sterile syringe and needle. The procedure may be done in the out-patient department or at the doctor’s office. Rarely, joint inflammation may persist even after the course of the disease. Inflammation may also be reduced through the use of medications such as ibuprofen.
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