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Bull's eye rash? (photos) How much time for treatment?
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Bull's eye rash? (photos) How much time for treatment?

So yesterday when I woke up, my arm was itching a lot. I didn't really see anything. I felt a small bump, like maybe a mosquito bite but it was itching all day long so I put anti-itch cream on, but it still itched a lot. Today my arm seemed swollen and hot to the touch. Just a half hour ago while I was shopping, I lifted my sleeve and noticed it resembled a bull's eye. Now I'm worried.

I live in Buffalo NY. I didn't even leave my house yesterday (Wednesday) and on Tuesday I drove to a town out in farmlands, but only to attend a school board meeting that was maybe 15 minutes long. I was wearing long sleeves. I don't live near any deep woods -- I live in a pretty typical suburban neighborhood. How could a tick have bitten me? Or could this be a reaction to a spider bite or irritation from too much anti-itch cream? (The cream says 4 times a day.... I used it four times this morning alone.) It hurts a little when I put pressure on it.

I feel no other symptoms, no fever. My pinky knuckle on the same arm is also itching like crazy and is now red and swollen from all my scratching -- I wonder if having an allergic reaction to something. Should I go to the doctor? I just read that Lyme Disease is curable in early stages and the main reason it gets bad is not going to the doctor. But I still worry. Any thoughts? How urgent is it that I see a doctor? Can this wait until tomorrow?

My arm:
http://img15.imageshack.us/i/bullseyearm005.jpg/
http://img198.imageshack.us/i/bullseyearm004.jpg/
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11 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn
I would see the doctor ASAP, while the rash is still there.  It looks like an EM rash to me.  If your doctor feels it is lyme early treatment is the best chance for a full recovery.
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666921_tn?1254994218
I agree with patsy10 - but just to say I had something sting/bite me last week - it was very itchy - then it did swell and was hot to touch - on my arm too - it looked like a EM rash - I even took some pics. - but I know it was a 'mosquito' type gnat - so there are other 'bugs' that cause a 'bullseye rash' .

I would see the doc. ASAP - I knew what stung me - but if I hadn't I would have had it checked - if doc says its not a tick bite - be vigilant about any new symptoms over the next couple of months.
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Avatar_f_tn
My doctor must've thought I was crying wolf and said she couldn't see me today and I should wait until my previously scheduled appointment for Monday. I went to a walk in clinic, although I am skeptical the people in a clinic like that are real doctors or good doctors. Anyway, the guy in the clinic didn't think it was Lyme because my rash was itchy and was fading away rather than spreading. He also didn't think ticks were common in New York state, which I have no clue about. I may ask for blood drawn Monday, although I doubt antibodies would be there yet.

My hand also blew up today at the site of some other bite I got, which I've previously mentioned in this thread. I'm not sure if this helps or clouds any diagnosis but he is a picture. This site is also hot to the touch. Pictures of my hand:
http://img88.imageshack.us/i/puffy001.jpg/
http://img188.imageshack.us/i/puffy002.jpg/ I don't know if these do it justice but it's definitely puffy.

So the clinic guy gave me 20 capsules of Doxy, 100mg, which I think he said was 10 days. I still don't want to take antiobiotics if I don't have anything causing them to not work well when I do actually have something. I am a person who is constantly worried about my health and always fears the worst, I've found.
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Avatar_f_tn
BTW, update pics of my arm:
http://img15.imageshack.us/i/armupdate0022.jpg/
http://img268.imageshack.us/i/armupdate024.jpg/

As you can see, the rash part is definitely going away, but the bumpy red middle is still there. I feel like it would probably last longer if it was really Lyme, but then again who knows. It hasn't been as itchy either, meanwhile I'd love to itch my hand but I know it would make it more swollen and red. You know, I think everyone would like to think they'd feel or notice a tick burrowed in their body and engorged, but obviously not, or no one would ever get Lyme.
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Avatar_f_tn
I just wanted to say that I am very surprised that the doctor didn't know about ticks in NY.  NY is one of the lyme endemic states.
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Avatar_f_tn
He wasn't a real doctor, like I said. It was a health clinic in a suburban neighborhood that is basically an alternative to going to an emergency room... you have to suspect these people were somehow deficient in their abilities if they didn't set up their own practice. Even though according to the CDC map, NY and my part of NY are high risk for lyme disease, I suspect doctors probably don't get cases all that often, especially when the actual tick wasn't observed.

Anyway, anyone have an opinion of whether I start the 10-day course of 200mg of Doxy or wait to see my real doctor on Monday? Some people were telling me it should be 400mg for a month, but online resources seem to recommend a much lower dose. I'm confused.
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Avatar_f_tn
Just an update: My joints are causing me pain all over my body. I saw a doctor who didn't seem to believe me, "we don't really get cases of lyme disease around here." She ordered a bunch of tests I don't even think would find anything yet, based on my research. She refused to give me a higher dose of Doxy. I'm going back to my primary doctor tomorrow and BEGGING for her to put me on 600mg or at least 400mg. It's amazing how quickly life can change. I truly believe this is lyme, even if doctors don't. You get scared you're overreacting when all these doctors keep saying it, but I would rather over-treat myself for a disease I don't have than under-treat myself for a disease I do have. Based on my research, my rash and my joint pain, I have no reason to believe I don't have lyme.
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Avatar_f_tn
I am in agreement with Patsy, looks like mine and I was tested positive for lyme.  I am not sure how to upload the pic thing...lol I should try it and post it
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Avatar_n_tn
Tell the person who says LYME is not in NY to call the CDC.  On their web site, the government web site Lyme is in every state of the union.  There are two lyme tests one works 25% of the time the other 50% of the time.  If you have lyme they may or may not tell you.  Joint symptoms do not usually start for months later.  But that is such a typical lyme photo, some itch some don't.  Does not matter.  The first treatment is Doxy 200MG a day for 30 days.  Tell her to check cdc prescription guidlines.  30 days not 10 days.  Rash should be gone befor you stop taking doxy.  Darn, this is simple stuff.  OK second thing, there are many other tickborne diseases, other than lyme that have similar symptoms and there are no blood tests for.  

I suspect you would remember the tick bite.  You can catch it with an hour of bite but very unlikley.  More likley 12 to 24 hours of bite time.  No Tick?  Well it probably is some other bacterial infection.  Still DOXY, Still 30 days.  

jp
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Avatar_f_tn
I would take no chances with lyme disease.  Often the test comes back negative.  For myself, I felt *no* tick bite, and that could be because deer ticks are very, very small.  I just happened to see the tick when I was showering, and it was fully engorged.  Other than seeing it, I doubt very much that I would have noticed it at all.  I had flu like symptoms, and no bullseye rash at all, but my doc (in very alternative boulder colorado) gave me 3 weeks of doxy 500 mg.
Really, seriously, it is not worth the potential problems later (ie arthritis, heart problems, and neuro problems and these problems last forever) to take a chance.  Go back to your primary physician, and get the higher dose doxy.

and yeah... other things cause bullseye.... is the center of the bullseye flesh colored or red?  does there seem to be a puncture mark in the center?  Where is the bullseye located?  Is it itchy?  And I think you said that you had a swollen hand as well?


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Avatar_f_tn
I have had this same exact skin reaction. I found out i am allergic to my pet birds

http://img19.imageshack.us/i/imageegbu.jpg/
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