Sometimes a skin rash can be an indicator of a larger problem other than an allergic reaction or dermatitis. The shape and size of the rash can be an indication of an illness or the result of a bite. Both indications may require more extensive treatment from a doctor. A bulls eye rash, named for its shape, can be a symptom of a spider bite or it could be a symptom of something more debilitating, such as Lyme Disease.
As a Lyme Disease Symptom
The bulls eye rash is a common symptom for Lyme Disease. The disease is a bacterial illness that is spread by tick bites, but the rash that often results is not an allergy to the bite. Instead the rash is a skin infection caused by the Lyme bacteria. Approximately 70 to 80% of those infected with the bacteria will develop a bulls eye rash.
The rash begins at the site of the tick bite approximately 3 to 30 days after the initial bite, though on average, it appears about seven days later. The bite may first appear as a small bump, similar to a mosquito bite and go away one to two days later. The rash may be warm to the touch, but it is seldom itches or causes pain. The area of the rash continues to grow for several days and it is possible for the spot to get up to 12 inches across. It may clear as it expands, giving the rash the bull’s eye appearance.
If treatment isn’t sought for the infection, it can spread to other areas of the body and other lesions can start appearing. Since this rash is usually linked to Lyme Disease it is very important that you see your doctor for a diagnosis. Lyme Disease can be very debilitating and spread throughout the body, including the organs and cause meningitis, which is an inflammation of the spinal cord.
Ticks can carry other organisms and they can form different types of rashes as well. A rash similar
to bulls eye rash can be an indication of the Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness, STARI. The Long Star Tick is the culprit that spreads this illness. It is often accompanied by fatigue, fever, headaches, as well as muscle and joint pain.
some further indications that the bulls eye is related to lyme disease are:
The first rash that develops is called erythema migrans. This starts of as a red spot in the centre that is surrounded by a red rash which will expand.
The centre of the red spot will likely have a round circle of clear skin around it hence the name bulls eye rash. The overall size of the rash can grow to around two to seven inches but in some cases can grow even larger.
Generally the rash will develop in the location where you were bitten but in some cases it can develop elsewhere on the body.
Further symptom that the rash is related to lyme is you can start to have flu like symptoms such as aching muscles, high fever and fatigue.
As the disease progresses these symptoms can increase to include sleep issues, headaches and joint swelling.
Its recommended if you are experiencing these issues and also have a rash similar to the mentioned above to visit your doctor as soon as possible to get a detailed examination.
Sometimes the rash is mistaken for ringworm because they have a somewhat similar appearance, but although they can look alike their are distinctions that can help identify narrow down the cause of your rash. The rash that results from ringworm is usually itchy and the skin can look scaly or crusty. Sometimes the lesions associated with ringworm will blister and ooze as well.
The rash associated with Lyme disease is seldom itchy and the skin does not appear to be crusty or scaly. The lesion does not blister or ooze either. With Lyme Disease other symptoms usually exist as well. These symptoms may include muscle and joint pain, headache, fatigue and cognitive dysfunctions. If you experience any of them symptoms, you need to go see your doctor as soon as you can.
A ringworm rash will not have any of the related symptoms associated with lyme disease such as fever or joint aches. The reason a ringworm rash can look similar to bulls eye rash is the centre starts to heal as the rest carries on expanding.
In most cases you will be able to treat ringworm with antifungal creams and after sometime it will start to fade and heal. You should follow the directions on the packaging for best effect.
Indication of a Spider Bite
Although Lyme Disease is the common diagnosis for a bulls eye rash, spider bites can also appear
like this type of rash. The rash caused by a spider bite is usually smaller, but close up, the bulls eye pattern is distinctive. Other bug bites can cause a similar looking bite area.
The most common type of spider bite that gets confused with a rash caused by lyme disease is those caused by Brown Recluse Spiders. Typically these rashes will have a similar bulleyes rash and also cause similar symptoms such as headache fever and chills.
Some other characteristics Brown Recluse Spiders bite include a fluid filled blister that may develop into a ulcer.
While the rash may be the result of a minor spider or bug bite, if it is spreading or if you any symptoms other than the rash, you need to see your doctor for a diagnosis.
If it is a spider, bug bite or if ringworm is diagnosed, you can get that treated and it will quickly clear up. However, Lyme Disease can be serious if left untreated and the sooner it is diagnosed the sooner you can get it treated.
Lyme Disease is usually treated successfully with antibiotics and you can go on to lead a full and productive life. If not treated it can lead to numerous, serious complications. To be on the safe side when you spot a bulls eye rash make an appointment to see your doctor for a thorough check-up.