Lyme Disease Symptoms and Signs

A bull’s eye type rash in the area of the tick bite is usually the most prevalent symptom of Early Localized Lyme Disease. It is possible for the tick bite rash to occur within days, weeks or even up to a month months after the initial tick bite.

In order to be considered early localized lyme disease, the tick bite rash must appear in the area where the bite occurred. Those bitten by ticks should be careful with self diagnosis, as the skin can turn red and inflamed from a tick bite but not be caused by infection. Please see your doctor if you are concerned about an infection from a tick bite.

Symptoms of the rash

The tick bite rash appears as a small round and reddish circle, sometimes raised, about ¼ to ½ inch diameter. The rash can grow outward often leaving normal flesh colored skin around the inner rash circle which gives it the appearance of a bull’s eye. Rash size can vary from the diameter of a quarter to covering one’s whole back.

Disseminated Lyme Disease

Disseminated Lyme Disease symptoms often go unnoticed or are not properly diagnosed as Lyme disease. In general early manifestations disappear as the infection moves to the body’s organs. Please note from the following list that the “General” symptoms do not necessarily indicate lyme disease:

  • General symptoms – extreme fatigue, severe muscle aches and migraine-like headaches.
  • Eyes – Changes in vision which may include retinal damage, red eyes, conjunctivitis, seeing spots, double vision, optic atrophy and blindness.
  • Brain – Similar to general symptoms, severe headaches, stiff neck, droopy or lazy eye, strokes, abnormalities in brain waves, difficulty finding words, confusion, inability to concentrate, difficulty chewing and swallowing, nerve conductions problems (weakness of limbs, reflexes, tingling of the limbs), Bell’s palsy, and behavioral changes (personality changes, and possibly depression).
  • Skin – In relation to the rash in a different location than the bite: often described as looking like a target or bull’s eye, the rash is typically red to purple (like a bruise) colored and can be a combination of both colors. The size varies depending on the individual, but usually has rings which may be hot to touch. The rash takes varying shapes, most often the shape is circular or oval but can also be triangular or in the form of a jagged line.
  • Vascular – Irregular heartbeat, chest pain, vasculitis and myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle).
  • Joints – Idiopathic intermittent, sometimes chronic pain in the joints. Typically the pain is not symmetrical.
  • Other organs – Mild liver abnormalities, nausea, diarrhea, loss of appetite, difficulty breathing and pneumonia have been linked to lyme disease.

Lyme disease has also been linked to a variety of pregnancy related problems.

Blumed laboratory for zbadaj kleszcza was built to help people that are looking to get tested for tick borne diseases. This includes Lyme disease, Babesiosis, Bartonella, Ehrlichia, and TBE virus. There have been many cases of these diseases in our community and this lab can help identify if someone has been infected.