Lyme Disease and What it Looks Like

If you have a bulls-eye rash and possibly a fever, headache, or muscle pain, you may have Lyme Disease. Believe it or not, it’s said to be caused by a mouse, but not like you would think.

The mouse has Borrelia burgdorferi (boar-ELL-ee-uh burg-dorf-ERR-eye) and is bitten by a tick that then bites you. These ticks are very small and very hard to see.

What is Lyme disease?

The Bull’s eye rash that appears around 7 to 14 days doesn’t always happen, and some people can still have the flu like symptoms that can come with Lyme disease.

It is important to get medical attention. Without it, the bacteria can make its way into the entire body, which could cause rashes that appear in areas never bitten by the tic. If not treated, pain, swelling, and mood changes can occur months after being bitten!

Preventing Lyme Disease

  • Avoid entering areas home to ticks in the spring and summer months.
  • If you’re in a tick infested area, wear clothing that is lightly colored, which will help you spot ticks. Also, ensure your entire body is clothed, and your skin is not exposed.
  • Bug spray that contains DEET (n,n-diethyl-m-toluamide) can be applied to clothes and exposed skin.
  • You can use Permethrin on clothes which kills tics dead (and fast) but make sure not to come in contact with skin.

How to Remove the Tick

If you discover a tick embedded into your skin, use teasers and pull it straight out. Be sure not to twist as you pull; part of the tick’s body could end up inside your skin and cause an infection. After you’ve removed the tick, clean the area with antiseptic.

Ticks love foliage such as leaf piles (I know, children love to play in them, but so do ticks!). They can also be found in wood piles, such as those we use for fire.

If you discover a tick embedded in your skin, watch that area and be aware of flu-like symptoms. If you believe you may have Lyme disease, let your doctor know, and they’ll be able to tell you for sure.