Lyme Disease Rash

Lyme disease is a condition that was first discovered in 1975, and was found to be spread by a tick. The name was derived from the name of the town that was targeted by scientists, after a high incidence of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis in children. Two other connected towns were included in the research. The first indicator was the fact that the children who were affected lived near forests, and they also realized that the tick season brought about an increase in the disease. The children said that they developed a rash in the area where ticks had bitten them. The tick, which is the deer tick, injects a spirochete, later called Borrelia burgdorferi, which was the reason why the children were getting the joint problems associated with this disease.

The number of people who get the disease has increased significantly given that most people have a knack for taking long walks in the wild. Similarly urban towns have been coming up in wooded areas where the deer are bound to be. The disease has spread to most of the United States. The disease is also manifested in Europe and Asia, and recently, cases were reported in South America.

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Lyme disease is very dangerous since it affects the brain, heart and nerves, in addition to the joints.

What are the symptoms of Lyme disease?

Lyme disease is a progressive disease and one may take a long time to realize that he or she has been affected by the disease. The disease starts off at the site of the bite and moves on to other organs of the body as it progresses. When the tick injects the spirochetes, they start going through the skin, and form the characteristic Lyme disease rash. The rash is odd in the fact that it leaves a red mark around a ring, forming a ‘Bulls Eye” around the site of the bite. This rash also comes with flu-like symptoms. The rash is scientifically called “erythema migrans” although in the past it was called erythema chronicum migrans. However, the rash is not unique to all cases of Lyme disease. In some patients the rash does not form, and therefore the doctor will not have a way of telling if you are suffering from Lyme disease. One will feel a lot of fatigue, stiffness in the muscles and joints, and the lymph nodes will swell greatly. The patient will also have a headache and these symptoms may be mistaken for a viral or flu infection.

After a few weeks the patient will be feeling well and the rash will have disappeared. Once the spirochetes have spread through the body, then other organs and the joints begin to be affected. The later part of Lyme disease can be fatal since the heart and nervous system are greatly damaged. The patient can have paralysis of the face, meningitis, abnormal sensations, among other complications. The patient will also suffer from Lyme arthritis which can be chronic.

What is the treatment for Lyme disease?

The best way to treat this disease is to use antibiotic regimes. It is important that the treatment starts early so the patient does not undergo serious harm to body organs caused by the spirochete. The antibiotics can be administered in two ways.

1)      They may be administered orally. This will happen if the patient goes to the doctor in the early phases of the disease. Children are usually given doxycycline and amoxicillin or cefuroxime for people above the age of 8. These are also given to breastfeeding mothers and those who are pregnant. It is recommended that the patient takes the drugs for up to 21 days, but some have recovered fully after 14 days.

2)      They may also be administered intravenously especially if the spirochete has started attacking the patients CNS. This is administered for a period of up to 28 days. This method is usually a drastic one and it has several side effects such as low white blood cell count, diarrhea, bacterial colonization and infection.

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Sometimes the symptoms may flare up even after the patient has been treated. People do not know why the symptoms flare up. Sometimes doctors say that patients get an autoimmune system which causes the antibodies to attack healthy tissue, leading to the manifestation of the symptoms.

There is another product that is prescribed by other doctors for Lyme disease but the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned against its use. The drug is called Bismacine, or Chromacine. The drug has a high concentration of the metal bismuth. The drug is supposed to be used for the treatment of ulcers and is to be taken orally. The FDA has not approved any injectable bismuth compound. The drug can cause bismuth poisoning, a condition that will lead to heart or kidney failure.

Lyme Disease Rash – Pictures

 

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