Rash misconceptions set straight
Lyme disease rash is:
- Sometimes but not usually a ring within a ring Bull’s-eye rash appearance
- Often mistaken for a spider bite but is not a spider bite
- Not always present. Not everyone has a rash.
Characteristics of Lyme disease rash:
- Large expanding red round rash
- Grows to greater than 2” in diameter over days
- Bull’s eye appearance of rash only appears in the minority of Lyme disease cases
- Uniformly red in the majority of cases
A leading cause of misdiagnosis is the failure to recognize the Lyme disease rash, when present.
Available blood tests are antibody-based for Lyme disease and do not accurately diagnose Lyme disease in the first few weeks of infection. False negative tests are a problem in acute Lyme disease. Therefore, early Lyme disease is a clinical diagnosis. Recognizing signs and symptoms can be vital to receiving appropriate early treatment and patient care, especially in the COVID-19 era.
If you are experiencing a rash and/or flu-like symptoms, please seek the advice of a healthcare practitioner.
Research in our Center aims to improve the recognition of a Lyme disease rash:
- Our Center is working on AI methods to improve early diagnosis of the Lyme disease rash.
- Research shows the presenting characteristics of the Lyme disease rash vary by age, sex, duration, and body location.
- A case study reveals that the Lyme disease rash may be harder to discern in people of color.
Suspicious Rash or Flu-Like Symptoms?