Is It Lyme Disease? Check Out This Gallery of Lyme Disease Pictures

Can You Recognize the Symptoms of Lyme Disease?

Deer Ticks

deer tick
The Bad Guys That Carry Lyme Disease. Ed Reschke/Photolibrary/Getty Images

You may not be interested in Lyme disease pictures -- that is, photos of what can happen as a result of Lyme disease -- until you're faced with the possibility of it. Knowing what to be on the lookout for can help you spring to action and see a doctor more quickly should the need arise.

Lyme disease is contracted as the result of the bite of an infected deer tick. Sometimes, a "bullseye" rash will show up at the site of the bite. This might be the only sign of the disease. As the disease progresses, however, several other signs and symptoms may arise (click through the gallery to learn of a few possibilities). If you think you might have the disease, contact your primary care provider right away to get evaluated. There are very good treatments for Lyme disease, but getting them sooner rather than later is best.

Source for gallery information:

Lyme Disease. Centers for Disease Control. June 21, 2009.

These deer ticks are called by many names - blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis or Ixodes pacificus. No matter what you call them, they are bad news.

Deer ticks can carry the bacteria that cause Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi). They are different sizes, depending upon their sex and what part of the life cycle they are in.

Top left: Male adult tick
Top right: Female adult tick
Bottom left: Nymph tick (This life stage is the one in which ticks tend to bite humans the most.)
Bottom right: Larva tick (They are quite small, so it is easy to overlook them.)

Checking your skin very carefully will help you detect any ticks that might still be attached to your skin.

Lyme Disease Bullseye Rash

Photo copyright Christine Kalina
Bullseye rash is common with Lyme disease. Photo copyright Christine Kalina

One of the characteristic signs of Lyme disease is the bullseye rash or erythema migrans.

Erythema migrans is the "bullseye" rash that shows up in 70% to 80% of people who are affected by Lyme disease. From the time of the bite, it can take three to 30 days for the rash to show up.

Typically, the rash starts out small and spreads up to 12 inches in diameter or more. The center may clear, or the rash can take on a bulls eye appearance. Because the rash looks different depending on the person and the stage of the disease, it's a good idea to have your primary care provider look at any suspicious rash. If you live in an area where ticks abound and/or Lyme disease is common, it's even more important to be on your toes and be aware of any unusual rashes.

This is one way the rash can appear. This presentation has the typical outside ring and center clearing that is dark purple.

Lyme Disease Bullseye Rash

Lyme Disease bullseye rash
Jackie Jay/Flickr

This bullseye rash is a classic presentation with a red outside ring, a red center and a clearing between the area. This rash has a purple tint to the area that is cleared.

Lyme Disease Bullseye Rash II

lyme disease bullseye rash

This is also a classic bullseye rash of Lyme disease. Note the red outside ring, the red "bullseye" in the center, and a clear area between the two. This is an advanced rash and most likely started out much smaller and looking less like a bullseye.

Facial Palsy from Lyme Disease

lyme disease facial palsy

This facial (or Bell's) palsy is the result of Lyme disease.

Once someone has Lyme disease that has gone untreated for a few weeks or months, other symptoms begin to show up. One of the potential symptoms is a facial palsy, where one side of the face droops and is difficult to control. Other later symptoms of Lyme are fever, headaches and neck stiffness (from Lyme meningitis), heart palpitations, dizziness and pain that can move from joint to joint.

Swollen Knee as a Result of Lyme Disease

swollen knee
Lyme Arthritis. rockinfree/Flickr

If Lyme disease isn't treated, other symptoms can occur.

About 60% of people with Lyme disease who go untreated for many months will develop arthritis. Arthritis is very commonly found in the knees of these individuals, though it can be found in other large joints.

Five percent of Lyme disease sufferers who go untreated will go on to develop other health concerns, as well. These problems can include pain, numbness and tingling in hands or feet, problems with concentration and problems with short term memory.

Lyme disease is easily treated with common antibiotics. If you think you or your teen have been infected, call your primary care provider right away. Simple blood tests, that sometimes must be repeated to rule out infection, can give you and your family peace of mind.

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