Lyme disease is a condition acquired following a bite from a tick, and the classic Lyme disease rash follows up to four weeks after the initial bite has occurred.
Lyme disease, less commonly known as ‘Borrelia’, is an infection which can affect the skin and occasionally cause serious illness of the nervous system, joints or heart. The bacteria which cause the disease are transmitted by an infected tick.
The ticks themselves are blood-sucking creatures known to live on deer, mice and other animals that live in wooded and grassy areas. Those who are bitten are commonly walkers and people who work in these environments. Lyme disease can cause symptoms affecting:
Skin – presenting with the initial bite and developing a rash over a period of weeks.
The Heart- including the risk of arrhythmia, inflammation of the heart tissue and heart failure.
Joints – a condition called ‘Lyme Arthritis’ can occur sometimes years after the initial bite. This condition is however rare.
The Nervous System – known as ‘neuro borellia’ a serious condition involving the nervous system is also one of the more serious effects of Lyme disease. This condition occurs between one and five weeks after the initial bite.
It is important not to assume that all tick bites automatically lead to the development of Lyme disease. It is only following the onset of unusual symptoms and medical advice that Lyme disease will be diagnosed or ruled out. Remeber also that if a rash develops even after a tick bite it may be due to a more common cause for a skin rash.