Lyme disease is a peculiar skin rash which has a circular appearance. In medical terms it is also called as erythema migrans.Infection by a bacterium known as ‘spirochete’ causes Lyme disease rash. The bacterium that causes this disease is called as Borrelia burgdorferi in North America, and in Europe it is referred to as Borrelia afzelii.
The ticks found in deer are the prime culprits for Lyme disease, which is caused by their bites. The condition is not found to be contagious, but it can lead to other symptoms such as disorder of the nervous system,heart abnormalities, joint problems, and skin conditions.
In the year 1975, the children of Lyme and Connecticut area were found to be suffering from instances of rheumatoid arthritis. The research study conducted on this issue exposed the truth about its causes and accompanying signs of bacterial illness, which is currently known as Lyme disease.
Symptoms of Lyme disease
The following are some of the signs and symptoms of Lyme disease:
- Whenever the bacteria-carrier ticks bite, it causes the transfer of the pathogens into the body. This causes a bacterial infection on the skin around the area of tick bites. A tiny, miniscule, and reddish bump develops on the spot of the bite that spreads the infection rapidly and causes a formation of reddish circular rash. Such a rash is called Lyme disease rash. It keeps on expanding quickly, and is often followed by flu-like symptoms.
- The first phase of Lyme disease is identified by the bacterial infection, formation of a bump on the spot of the tick bite, and inflammation of skin that is accompanied by flu. The Lyme disease rash disappears within few weeks or months. But the bigger problems associated with the heart, joints, and the nervous system commence after the disappearance of the rash.
- The ticks are very tiny and about the size of a pin head. Hence, people do not even remember about the occurrence of the bite. But in some occasions,the infection multiplies quickly and spread all over the skin causing multiple rashes. The Lyme disease rash always has a circular ring like formation and spreads without any bumps or elevations. The periphery of the rash ring tends to be more reddish and brighter than other areas affected by the rash. The center of the abnormal patch appears unaffected, thereby giving the rash an appearance of a bull’s eye
- The flu-like fever is followed by other symptoms like weakness, fatigue, inflammation of lymph nodes, stiffness of muscles and joints, chills, headaches, and body pain.
- If Lyme disease is allowed to advance without immediate medical attention, then it may result in inflammation of cardiac muscles, which may cause palpitations, abnormal heart beats, and ultimately may cause heart failure.
- Problems in of the bone joints can result in signs such as pain and joint stiffness, swelling in joints, and arthritis. Joint anomalies have a tendency to become inflammatory and persistent.
- Lyme disease may also cause abnormalities in the nervous system, which may result in damaged memory, cognitive defects, meningitis,and facial muscle paralysis.
- People afflicted by Lyme disease rash may also be at increased risk to developing psychological disorders, depression and anxiety.
- Lyme disease at its later stages becomes dangerous and deadly, and hence people affected by mild and initial stages of the condition have to go for early diagnosis and proper treatment.
The following are some of the causes of Lyme disease:
- In North America, bacteria carrying deer ticks are the main cause for Lyme disease.The ticks are almost microscopic and therefore very difficult to see.
- A person is infected, only when the bacteria bearing ticks have a continuous feeding session of about 48 hrs, during which it swells many times its size. The best way to prevent Lyme disease is by removing the ticks within 48 hrs from the bite.
- The ticks normally feed on birds and on small animals like mice, deer, and on domesticated animals such as cats, dogs, horses, etc. It can feed on blood of humans also. The bacteria carrying ticks are found in tiny bushes and tall grasses of dense woods and are more active during summer.
- Apart from the woods and grassy lands, people whose job requires them to work for prolonged durations in areas infested with mice, are also at greater risk to tick bites which in turn increases the chances of developing Lyme disease.
Treatment of Lyme disease rash
- Infants as well as children not older than 8 years, and pregnant women are given oral antibiotics such as cefuroxime or amoxicillin.
- Advanced instances of Lyme disease are treated with intravenous antibiotics
- Antibiotics like doxycycline are orally administered for persons more than 8 years old.
- The use of pain killers can reduce joint pains caused by the Lyme disease.