ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Lyme Disease – Rash Pictures, Test, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Updated on January 30, 2014

Lyme disease is a tick-borne condition that is characterized by the development of a peculiar bull’s-eye-like circular rash, and other anomalies of the heart, nervous systems, skin, and joints. Lyme disease is a not a contagious illness. It is caused due to infection by a spirochete bacterium which is referred to as Borrelia burgdorferi in North America, and Borrelia afzelii in Europe.

Deer ticks are primary carriers of the bacteria. The ticks transmit the pathogen into the bloodstream when feeding on human or animal blood. The circular rash characteristic of Lyme disease is medically known as erythema migrans.

In 1975, some children from Connecticut and Lyme regions were diagnosed to be affected by some form of rheumatoid arthritis. Different studies on this anomalous incidence later indicated the cause as Lyme disease, which in turn resulted from infection by the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria.

Most cases of Lyme disease can be fully treated with antibiotics.

Symptoms of Lyme Disease

Some of the signs and symptoms of Lyme disease are listed below:

  • The Lyme disease-causing bacteria get transmitted into the bloodstream after the deer ticks bite and stay attached to the skin for 36 to 48 hours. The resultant bacterial infection of the skin causes the formation of a small reddish bump on the site of the tick bite. Later, the infection tends to spread and eventually results in the development of a peculiar circular rash, wherein a clear area in the center is surrounded by a reddish ring.
  • Deer ticks are extremely small, just about the size of a pinhead. Therefore, most patients generally do not know of the tick bite.
  • Sometimes, the Lyme disease causing bacteria can rapidly multiply and spread to different parts of the body resulting in multiple skin rashes. Lyme diseases rashes always have a ring-like circular appearance and tend to expand without any elevations or bumps. Their borders are brighter and redder than the rest of the affected area. The center of a Lyme disease rash appears healthy and clear, thereby making it resemble a bull’s eye.
  • The rapid expansion of the ring-like Lyme disease rash is often accompanied by flu-like symptoms such as weakness, muscle and joint stiffness, fever, chills, headache, fatigue, lymph nodes inflammation, and body pain.
  • The initial stages of Lyme disease can be identified by the transmission of bacterial infection, inflammation of the skin, development of the characteristic circular rash, and occurrence of flu-like symptoms. The rash may fade away after a few weeks or months. However, this may signal the onset of more severe conditions and anomalies of the joints, the heart, and the nervous system.
  • Later stages of Lyme disease can result in bone joint problems such as stiffness and pain of the joints, joints inflammation and swelling, and arthritis. Joint abnormalities usually tend to become chronic and severely inflammatory.
  • Patients may also be at increased risk to developing anxiety, depression, and other psychological disorders.
  • Problems of the nervous system such as cognitive defects, partial paralysis of the facial muscles, meningitis, and loss of memory may also be noticed.
  • All instances of Lyme disease have to be immediately treated by a doctor. Untreated cases can eventually result in inflammation of the heart muscles, leading to irregular heartbeats, palpitations, and even cardiac failure.

The symptoms of Lyme disease tend to become life-threatening in the later stages of the illness. It is therefore important for patients to seek medical treatment as early as possible, for a complete recovery.

Causes of Lyme Disease

In North America, Lyme disease is primarily caused due to infection by the Borrelia burgdorferi bacterium which get transmitted by the bites of deer ticks. These ticks are nearly microscopic and hence very difficult to spot.

Lyme disease causing bacterial infection can transfer from the deer ticks only after the tick has remained attached to the skin for 36 to 48 hours. During the feeding session, the tick swells up and nearly doubles in size. One of the best ways to prevent the occurrence of Lyme disease is by removing the tick from the skin as soon as possible.

Lyme disease causing ticks generally feed on the blood of deer, as well as birds and other animals like mice, dogs, cats, horses, etc. These ticks can also feed on human blood. They are usually found to inhabit densely wooded and grassy areas with tall bushes and shrubs. They are most prevalent in the Northeast and Midwest regions of America and most active during the summer months.

People with jobs that require prolonged activities in the outdoors and in places infested with mice are also at greater risk to getting bitten by ticks, which in turn can pose elevated threat to developing Lyme disease.

Lyme Disease – Test and Diagnosis

The signs and symptoms of Lyme disease can mimic those elicited by other illnesses. Lyme disease causing ticks can also transmit infections other than Lyme disease. Hence, diagnosis of Lyme disease can be quite difficult.

For patients who do not develop the characteristic Lyme disease rash, a doctor may conduct a thorough physical exam and verify their medical history and records. Patients will also be asked if they have recently visited thickly forested areas. Later, varied lab tests will be conducted to confirm a diagnosis of Lyme disease. The tests include:

  • ELISA or Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay test: It is the most common diagnostic test for Lyme disease. ELISA checks for presence of antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi bacterium. However, as the test can provide false-positive results in some cases, it cannot be used as a sole diagnostic tool.
  • PCR or Polymerase chain reaction:It involves removal of fluid from an infected joint and testing it for presence of bacterial DNA.
  • Western blot test: This test is used to confirm a diagnosis of Lyme disease along with ELISA. It checks for antibodies to varied proteins of the bacterium.

Treatment of Lyme Disease

  • Lyme disease in pregnant women and children younger than eight years is treated with oral antibiotics.
  • Oral antibiotics such as doxycycline may be given to patients older than 8 years old.
  • Severe cases of Lyme disease are treated with intravenous administration of antibiotics
  • Pain killers may be prescribed to alleviate joint pain and other body aches.

Lyme Disease Rash Pictures


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)