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Lyme Disease Rash

According to the American Lyme Disease Association, Lyme disease is classified as "a multisystem inflammatory disease that affects the skin it its early, localized stage, and spreads to the joints, nervous system and, to a lesser extent, other organ systems in its later, disseminated states." This early-localized stage is most often recognized when a rash forms in a local spot on the body.

First Symptoms of Lyme Disease
Typically the first sign of Lyme disease infection is a circular rash called erythema migrans or EM. This Lyme diesease rash occurs in about 70-80% of patients infected with Lyme disease. The rash will show up at the area of a tick bite about three to thirty days after the bite has occurred.

Bulls-Eye Shaped Lyme Disease Rash
One way to recognize the Lyme disease rash is to look for a bull's eye appearange. The rash will usually gradually expand over a pareiod of several days. Lyme disease rashes have been known to reach up to 12 inches across. The bull’s eye appearance develops as the rash enlarges. The center of the rash will typically clear, causing a red ring bull’s eye around the bite location.

The rash may feel warm to the touch but usually is not associated with any pain. Some people with a Lyme disease infection may develop additional rashes in other areas after several days of the disease without antibiotic treatment. A distinctive feature of the rash is that it gradually expands over a period of several days, reaching up to 12 inches (30 cm) across. The center of the rash may clear as it enlarges, resulting in a bull's-eye appearance. It may be warm but is not usually painful. Some patients develop additional EM lesions in other areas of the body after several days. In addition to the rash, some patients may experience symptoms of fatigue, chills, fever, headache, and muscle and joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes. In some cases, these may be the only symptoms of infection.

If a patient develops the Lyme disease rash erythema migrans, a typical treatment would be a two to three week dosage of antibiotics. Common antibiotics used in the treatment of Lyme disease related EM are Oral amoxicillin or doxycycline.


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