Rash myths and 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
- Greater than 2” in diameter
- Bull’s eye appearance of rash 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.
Telehealth Rash Consultation Services
Tick bite and Lyme disease rash consultation* is available by telemedicine appointment at the Johns Hopkins Lyme Disease Research Center. A telehealth visit requires the ability to digitally photograph the patient’s skin rash for the evaluation and to meet certain State insurance parameters.
* Only available currently to patients in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Delaware.
If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, please seek the advice of a healthcare practitioner.