Is the Bullseye Rash Not Lyme

Q. Hi. I am Susan from Millersville, Maryland. USA. I am 40 year old working housewife.  I went up hiking yesterday. On my way home, I felt a foreign body sensation of what appeared to be a tick. I removed and killed the nasty bug. I have sent its picture to you. There was no bleeding at the site where it was attached. When will I see the symptoms of Lyme disease and will it be necessary that I get the Bullseye target store rash ? Is the Bullseye Rash Not Lyme Any information would be highly appreciated.

Ans.

Hello and Welcome to AskHealthMD

I appreciate your concern

After removal of the tick, wash the area thoroughly with lukewarm soap water. Clean your hands after doing so. Look for any additional ticks and take a bath with water which has diluted antiseptic like Dettol or povidone.

Your physician may chose to prescribe prophylactic antibiotics in a single dose. This wont treat the Lyme disease but can prevent it. After taking these preventive measure, all you have to do next is wait for 1 to 2 weeks to see for the onset of either a summer rash type illness or a flu like illness.

The poplar bulls eye rash associated with Lyme occurs only in a minority of patients and is not very common. The common appearance is that of a plethoric flushed generalized rash. Some people may keep on waiting for the classical bulls eye rash which may not appear at all. In fact no rash may occur. Only slight flu , headache, generalized body aches and pains, sore throat and cough with asthenia may be there. In the presence and onset of such a presentation, contact your physician immediately and book an appointment as this signifies early Lyme disease and is a stage at which it can be easily treated with the appropriate antibiotics without any complications.

Saving the tick is OK. One can just be more sure that it was the tick indeed from which you got bitten. But other than that there is no testing utility for the tick. It would be too cumbersome to get the tick to be tested and the facility may not be present everywhere. It would also not affect or alter the management of the case. However, if the facility is there then it should be availed.

Wishing you best of health

Thanks

Let me know if you have any query

Please consult your doctor before deciding on any further course of action.

Dr. Muhammad Sareer Khalil