Written by Dr. Diane Mueller
The Lyme Disease Rash is classically in a bullseye type of pattern. This often times looks like a red dot in the center with concentric rings around it. Lesions can also occasionally have a puss filled center. Common places where people find this rash include the trunk, legs and arms. It is important to realize that the rash can be on the scalp, hidden beneath the hair where it can easily be missed. It can show up in as little as 3-day post an insect bite but may be as many as 30 days. Some reports even show that the rash can show up within 24 hours of infections. (Lyme Disease is basically a bacterial infection caused by the bacteria Borrelia Burgdorferi) Lyme Disease Rash may occasionally look purplish.
There often are multiple rashes present with Lyme Disease. The rash could present in one place or in many. For more information on Lyme Disease and to get help, visit our main page HERE.
The dissemination of multiple rashes throughout the body may be due to Borrelia’s ability to move throughout the body very easily. This microorganism is in the shape of a corkscrew and has a flagella (tail), which allows it to travel easily through body tissue. Occasionally it is not in target lesion formation and may just be a flat red rash. It tends to be fairly large. The rash can be painful, but generally the pain is minor if it is present at all. The rash may be itchy.
At our medical clinic, most of the people that we find positive for Lyme Disease through testing do not remember a tick bit or ever having the classic Lyme Disease Rash.
If you see a target lesion looking type of rash, it is worth getting checked out. However, if you have neurological, cardiac, cognitive or other systemic health problems without a known origin, it is important to consider Lyme Disease as part of the diagnosis.
Murray TS, Shapiro ED. Lyme disease. Clin Lab Med. 2010 Mar;30(1):311-28. doi: 10.1016/j.cll.2010.01.003. PMID: 20513553; PMCID: PMC3652387.
Skar GL, Simonsen KA. Lyme Disease. [Updated 2022 May 6]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK431066/
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