If you have been reading my other blog posts on ticks, you will know that Lyme Disease from tick bites is increasing every year! And if these milder seasons continue, then the possibility that you could get Lyme disease from a Tick increase as well!
But, how do you know if you might have it….?
- Have you been bitten by a Tick? You could have, if you have been working outside, with plants, raking leaves… or even if your dog has had exposure. Your dog can bring them in your home to you!!
- Redness where the tick was? Redness that continues to grow in size over the next week? Could be. If it begins to clear in the center, it is what we call a "bulls-eye rash."
- Bulls-eye rash? About ½ of the people with Lyme disease develop a rash, and ½ don’t! If you have a rash, then that helps you figure out your risk. If you don’t have one, it doesn’t mean you don’t have Lyme disease. But if you do have it, we can be more certain that we are looking at Lyme disease.
- Fever, chills, headache, muscle and joint aches, and fatigue… these symptoms can be due to Lyme disease from a tick bite, and can help us decide if you need further testing. If you are concerned, let us know! But these symptoms are tricky, they can be related to many other causes as well. So, it is important to really look at this!
I recently had a patient with Lyme Disease, a great example of a typical case. She had an itch on her arm, looked down and saw an engorged tick on her arm. She didn’t intend to knock it off, but she brushed against it and it fell off. The next day she had an area of redness around the area where the tick was. The next day the area of redness was larger, and the center of it was skin colored again (typical bulls-eye type rash). For the next week she was tired and weak, off and on. She came into the clinic after about 10 days. I tested her for Lyme disease (and other tick-related diseases), and she was positive for Lyme Disease! She was treated with doxycycline and has been fine ever since. The key here is getting evaluated and treated if you think you might have it.
Had she not been treated, long term issues could have been extensive and life changing. There is another patient I know of, who did not get treated, and she has experienced feeling tired and weak, and has intermittent joint and nerve pains – that do rule her life.
Contact us, let us see a picture of your rash, and talk with you more about your symptoms. If we think that it could be Lyme disease then we can talk with you more about it. Perhaps you will have to take antibiotics. Antibiotics that we typically use are doxycycline and amoxicillin. Both of these are fairly common and relatively inexpensive.
Read my other blogs on ticks, Ticks- How to evict them from your skin, and Ticks- How to evict them from your property.