Lyme Disease Rash: Reddish Bulls Eye

It is tick transferred disease i.e. some ticks found on deer harbor the bacterium in their stomachs. Lyme disease is spread, when these ticks bite the skin, which permits the bacterium to infect the body. Lyme disease is not contagious, that is it doesn’t transfer from an affected person to someone else. Lyme disease can be fatal as it can cause abnormalities in the skin, joints, heart, and nervous system.

Basically it so happens, in most of the cases that has been diagnosed that ticks tend to live in long grass and shrubs, and when the person comes in contact with such vegetation, ticks attach themselves to the hosts. And then they bite human flesh for blood and thus infecting the individual and spreading the bacterium and giving Lyme disease and after that the Lyme disease rash can develop. Approximately 80 to 85 percent of people, affected with Lyme disease also get the skin rash.

The Lyme disease rash: known as Erythema Migrans

Erythema migrans is a rash, characteristic symptom of the early stage of Lyme disease.  Lyme Disease Rash develops in response to infection by Borrelia spirochetes after a tick bite. This symptom is declared as the primary symptom required by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) surveillance criteria to diagnose and report a case of Lyme disease.

Appearance of the Lyme disease Rash

The Lyme disease rash usually develops about 7 to 14 days after the tick bite, although it may begin as early as 3 days or as late as 32 days later. The most common presentation of Lyme disease rash is as a round or oval rash, which is initially small but becomes larger over several days. The Lyme disease rash initially develops an inner clear area which is surrounding a reddish center: the bull’s-eye rash. Lyme disease rash/ Erythema Migrans pattern or the Bulls-eye pattern rash is like:

  • looks like a target or bull’s eye, which has a central red spot, then an area of clear skin, and a red border

The Lyme disease rashes usual characteristics are:

  • Typically, the rash is between two inches (5 cm) and five inches (25 cm) in diameter.
  • may be as small as a quarter or cover the greater part of a leg or the torso
  • Rashes may vary in size and the infected person may even have multiple rashes.
  • being itchy, warm, and sometimes painful
  • gradually expanding to a size of 7 to 14 inches
  • lingering for about 2 weeks

Though about half the patients, however, the rash is either absent or even presents a different appearance like:

  • The entire rash is fiery red with a raised or eroded center.
  • Bruise like rash where many people have a dark blue and red rash which resembles a recent bruise.

According to the Canadian Lyme Disease Association (CanLyme), they give the prognosis of Lyme disease rash of being approximately 10% of rashes which are atypical forms which is not like Bulls-eyes rash. Thus when a patient with an atypical rash, complains of even removing a tick one to four weeks earlier, some doctors may not associate the rash with the tick bite and they will rule out Lyme disease because the rash does not fit the Lyme disease Erythema Migrans pattern.