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Avatar universal

Is this tick bite or lyme disease bite and when did it occur?

I know there isn't a expanding rash that you get from a infected tick. And I know I didn't see a tick stuck in my skin when I first noticed this at 6:00 am today. All this means is that there still could be a 10% chance. And that I would have to wait out if an expanding rash does occur. Which would indicate a 90% chance that I will get lyme disease.
Even if it doesn't I still have to worry about that 10%.

But here is the story. At 9:00 pm yesterday I walked through the grass. The lawn was cut. So I didn't do tick checks as I usually do. Got home, I took off my socks as I usually do. I didn't notice the bite, or any rashes, but then again I didn't really check. At about 1:00 am, I took a sleep to 6:00 am. I started itching my ankle, felt a little pain. I wondered what it was. I noticed a rash. I wonder what it came from. Maybe I got bit while I was sleeping. Anyways I did research at american lyme disease foundation website. Everything seems perfectly lined up, 1, it occurs in my state often, 2, it often occurs at this time of year. 3. They love to bite in the area where my rash is, back of the ankle.

So I have a few questions, wouldn't I have known if I had a rash two days ago in this area. Reason why I ask is the website says if the tick remains in my skin for 36 hours it could infect me. So I want to know if this bite could have happened 36 hours ago and I didn't notice it. I'm not sure if that is likely because I keep my socks off when I'm in the house. I do work on the grass, but when I'm working I have to wear pants for my particular job. I worked Sunday. But that doesn't necessarily mean if I remember walking with just shorts on in my own lawn. But I do without a doubt know that I walked Tuesday on a lawn with shorts on today at 9 pm.

Anyways, I'm getting to tired right now and anxiety driven to explain myself 100%. So I'll just upload a picture, so you can tell me what kind of bite this. What are my chances, or if it's likely this type of bite just occurred recently. Is it it a bite that looks like it occurred 36 hours ago?
46 Responses
Avatar universal
Welcome to MedHelp -- glad you stopped by.

Rather than worry about whether it might be Lyme-carrying tick, I would *today* got see a doc -- if not your regular doc, then an urgent care kind of place, and get a prescription from the doc for a course of doxycycline.  That is the first line of treatment for a suspected Lyme tick bite.  If you wait to see if the bite turns into Lyme, a simple course of doxy won't do the trick.

The risks of Lyme vs the risks of a short course of doxy:  not even a question in my mind.  Once Lyme is established, it is far, far harder to treat and cure.  

The whole thing of it taking 36 hours for a Lyme-carrying tick to infect you makes no sense to me, and I've not seen the scientific back up that proves it.  I suspect it is old-school think, by docs who at that point in history did not know how troublesome Lyme is, and how difficult it is to get rid of an established case of Lyme.

Does it look like a Lyme bite, you ask.  Dunno.  They all look different.  But anything that even vaguely looks like a possible Lyme tick bite, I would get treated.  Again:  the risk of dealing with an established Lyme infection vs the risks of a [10] day course of doxy are a no-brainer for me:  take the doxy.  Now.

Don't wait.  Just do it.  Let us know if you need further persuading, okay?    
Avatar universal
Yes, I need more insight. Before I can just go to the doctor. This is crazy.  I was hoping you can tell me something by the picture.

And you are right it's not scientifically proven even according to cdc:

CDC even indicates in most cases 36 hours


"Ticks can attach to any part of the human body but are often found in hard-to-see areas such as the groin, armpits, and scalp. In most cases, the tick must be attached for 36-48 hours or more before the Lyme disease bacterium can be transmitted"

Also, you said anything vaguely looks like a possible Lyme tick bite, you need to get treated. That means I could get treated often.

But I can usually tell if it's a mosquito bite, or if it's a spider bite, a spider bite is just shaped differently. I'm not talking about a real big spider, just a regular spider. I know the difference. I was hoping you could tell me when you think this occurred. Because I could not possible get under most circumstances if I was walking through the grass.

Also, could have bitten through my socks. I wear socks in the area where the bite appeared. And I take socks off when I got home.

Although I walked past the same grass point at 7:50 pm. Hand socks on for 1 hour, and walked through the same grass area again at 8:50 and then got home at 9:50 pm. Then took my socks off. Went to bed at 1:00 am then slept to 6:00 am. Then I sat in my chair and noticed a slight pain. Looked and notice that marked. Could a bug actually go through my socks then bite me at that point?

Again my chances are 10% if no bulls eye rash occurs. And then my chance is even lower if that tick wasn't attached to that spot for more than 36 hours. Despite you saying there is no scientific evidence. But that is what they say at the CDC.  I'm just trying to gather facts and insight.

Despite these chances and these possible facts, why would you considered I get treated? Do you have any insight that you believe. I should go to the doctor and get treated?
Avatar universal
Part 1 (message is too long, has to be split into two parts, see following message for part 2):

You're doing a good job of going through the facts and possibilities in a logical, careful fashion.

Here's the problem:  the medical community is in a terrible mess about Lyme disease.  At 27, you're not old enough to remember when the last big, new disease came on the scene, and it was worse than Lyme, so in that regard, you're a bit fortunate.  That last big, new disease was AIDS.  [NOTE:  AIDS is *NOT* related to Lyme.)  

I remember clearly one of the head docs at the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) going on live TV in his long white doctor coat to stand in front of the news cameras to intone solemnly that if you were not gay, you could not get AIDS.  He just flat said it, in an effort to quell the growing panic in the nation and elsewhere that AIDS could be transmitted as easily as the common cold.  And at that point in the arrival of AIDS as a new disease, there was great confusion among the docs ... similar to the confusion now about Lyme.

In contrast with AIDS, the good news about Lyme is that it isn't as deadly as AIDS, tho it can make you quite ill.  Been there, done that.

The reason I bring this up is to illustrate that the medical community does NOT always have all its ducks lined up when dealing with a new illness.  There is much confusion about Lyme, and there is a HUGE split in the medical community about how serious Lyme is or is not.

So-called mainstream medicine says Lyme is rare, hard to get, and easy to cure with a couple weeks of doxy.  This is the official position of the CDC, Centers for Disease Control.  Check their website, and that of the IDSA (Infectious Disease Society of America, a voluntary group for docs who practice in the infectious disease area, which Lyme is).  The docs who first noticed and labeled Lyme not so many years ago surmised that Lyme was just another pesky bacterial infection and a couple weeks of doxy would do the trick.

What those docs did not know was that Lyme bacteria have tricks that most other bacteria do not:  they hide in slimy shields they create inside the body, called biofilms, which the human immune system cannot 'see through' to locate or penetrate to kill the Lyme bacteria.  Doxy does NOT penetrate biofilms.  

Also, Lyme bacteria have an unusually long reproductive cycle, when the cell wall splits and new baby bacteria are formed.  If the appropriate antibiotics are present when the bacterial wall splits to reproduce, the bacteria can be killed.  The standard treatment with doxy is for maybe 10 days to two weeks, but this standard is for bacteria that reproduce every ~20 minutes, while Lyme reproduces in time measured in hours.  Thus it is common for Lyme to be treated for antibiotics for months, not days.  So-called mainstream docs and the CDC don't understand or credit this, and the Lyme bacteria are happy to hide out in the biofilms, reproducing slowly as the doxy passes by, and then they resume getting comfy inside you.  Result: you still have Lyme, despite having the 'standard' treatment.

The CDC and IDSA have staked their reputations on this, but thankfully there is another group, ILADS (International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society), which is a voluntary group for MDs who understand Lyme's tricks as outlined above.  These docs know to test for co-infections the Lyme ticks often carry and which need different meds entirely from Lyme.  Treatment can take months, not the couple of weeks the CDC decrees.

ILADS dot org is the website to look at, and search there for Burrascano's Guidelines.  Dr B is one of the leading lights at ILADS, and he lays it all out in detail.

I personally went through 20 highly trained and experienced MDs in an area with stellar medical facilities, and none of them had any idea what illness I had.  Finally, Doc #20, having run out of other ideas, ran a Lyme test, which came back positive.  She then gently told me that I 'could not possibly have Lyme disease' because, she said, 'I have patients with Lyme, and they are all ... near death.'

Thanks, doc.  Way to go.

====see part 2 in following message====

Avatar universal
====Part 2====

By chance, an old friend of my back East had had Lyme some years before I got sick, and I knew it was nothing to ignore, so I found myself a Lyme doc who follows the ILADS approaches for testing and treatment, and I got well within a few months, took another while to get my stamina back, and have remained well for more than 5 years now.

The docs who first 'discovered' Lyme disease a few decades ago are still practicing and have built their reputations on the initial impression that Lyme is hard to get and easy to cure with a couple weeks of doxy, and never mind co-infections.  These docs have influence in the main voluntary organization of MDs who practice in the infectious diseases area, IDSA, Infectious Disease Society of America.  IDSA is too proud to back down after all these years, and IDSA will still tell you that a couple weeks of doxy is all you need, and never mind the co-infections.  Human arrogance knows no bounds.  This is a huge scandal that will someday explode, but till then, we Lyme patients have to figure out some of this for ourselves.

Sometimes people get bitten and have a low level infection with Lyme and one or more coinfections, and just feel tired and dragged out for a long time before finally being diagnosed with Lyme etc.  My kid was one of them.  When I was finally diagnosed, I dragged said protesting kid to my Lyme doc for testing, on the theory that I got ill when we were back East touring grassy college campuses, so there was a good chance she was exposed too.  And whaddaya know:  Lyme and babesiosis [a cousin to malaria], just like me.  After additional protesting, said kid took the same treatment I did, and when it was done, confession was made:  "Mom, I didn't realized how bad I felt until I was well again."  Victory!

I tell you all this to explain why the things you recite from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and IDSA (Infectious Disease Society of America, the voluntary group of docs that promote the view that Lyme is rare, hard to get, and always easy to cure with a couple weeks of doxy) are indeed the party line.  And a couple weeks of doxy can work, IF your infection is very recent and IF you have no co-infections (tho the Lyme ticks carry one or more 'bonus' diseases maybe half the time).

My kid and I never saw a tick, never saw a rash.  Nothing.  Nada.

So back to your post:

You say:  "Again my chances are 10% if no bulls eye rash occurs."  Balderdash.

"And then my chance is even lower if that tick wasn't attached to that spot for more than 36 hours."  More balderdash.

"Despite you saying there is no scientific evidence. But that is what they say at the CDC."  And the CDC is wrong.  

If you take the CDC diagnosis and treatment approach and get well, then good for you.  But if that treatment fails, the IDSA and CDC standard answer is:  "You are cured of Lyme, but your immune system is still reacting to an infection that is no longer there.  It is called 'post-Lyme syndrome', and you'll just have to live with it."

Sorry, that's just not logical.  But the patients are caught in the middle.

If you follow the IDSA approach, I hope it works for you.  If it does not, then go find an ILADS-type doc and try again.  And in the meantime, view the documentary 'Under Our Skin' and read 'Cure Unknown', a book about the mess the medical community has made of Lyme diagnosis and treatment, through sheer arrogance of the docs who would be embarrassed to back down now and admit they blew it.

I suggest you read up on both the IDSA and ILADS approaches, and then decide which way to go.  But do not make the error of assuming that the IDSA has the whole thing laid out properly -- that way lies trouble.  Go in with an open mind and then decide, without prejudging who might be more correct.

Best wishes to you -- let us know how we can help.  (Sorry for any typos or muddles here ... gotta run, no time to proofread.) --end--
Avatar universal
You should get checked just in case. There are many places that can test you for Lyme disease. For instance, I used a place called Envita in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Avatar universal
May I ask if your tests were Western blot and ELISA?
Avatar universal
Hey, look if you are saying something is balderlash, a joke , it's plain wrong. Then what evidence do you have to back up that claim. They can't just come up with this information without scientific evidence.

If you are going to say something is wrong, then you need evidence. Or are you just saying this because they don't want us to fear monger us? Because of AIDS in the past.

You are basically saying I can't even trust doctors now. Do you think a doctor is just going to give me what I want and make a treatment. Because apparently you are smarter than the doctor. I would have to print out everything you just said and give this information to a doctor. And make him read a book.

I want to know why you say that .

You say:  "Again my chances are 10% if no bulls eye rash occurs."  Balderdash.

This is wrong, what information did you find that they maybe wrong. In that book?

"And then my chance is even lower if that tick wasn't attached to that spot for more than 36 hours."  More balderdash.

Why is this wrong, what information did you find that maybe wrong?
Where did they get this information, what scientific evidence do they have for that explanation. And what scientific information do you have that you may think that is wrong?

Also to note, I didn't go into any grassy area, the lawns were cut. So do you think my risk is lower? How grassy was the area you toured in college? How many inches?
Avatar universal
Sorry to have alarmed and offended you.  I will respond to your most recent email above, and then will say nothing more.

1 -- You say:  "Hey, look if you are saying something is balderlash, a joke , it's plain wrong. Then what evidence do you have to back up that claim. They can't just come up with this information without scientific evidence."

If you go to the ILADS website and, as mentioned above, read Burrascano's Guidelines, you will find a great deal of information there, as well as in other publications available in libraries and on the internet.

2 -- You say:  "If you are going to say something is wrong, then you need evidence."

I am relaying what I have read and learned over the past several years of having Lyme disease and having been treated successfully for it.  There is a great deal of literature in the field, taking different points of view.  I would suggest you consult medical journals on the topic, bearing in mind that Lyme and its co-infections are still a developing area of medicine and science, and there is much controversy.  The same thing happened when AIDS first came onto the scene a few decades ago:  much back-and-forth, professional disagreements among the different camps, and so on.  There is research published by all sides of the Lyme controversy, and it would be excellent if you would read it all, so that you can form your own opinions.  There is far too much of it to reproduce or discuss in detail here.

3 -- You say:  "Or are you just saying this because they don't want us to fear monger us? Because of AIDS in the past."  

I assure you, 'fear mongering you' is the opposite of my intention.  You arrived at this site with fixed ideas from the CDC and IDSA, and I was balancing what you have already read with what you were apparently
unaware of.  This is a developing area of medicine in which there are different points of view, and I was alerting you to that fact.  If you wish to follow the CDC and IDSA views, that is entirely up to you, and I hope it works out well for you.

4 -- You say:  "You are basically saying I can't even trust doctors now."  

No, I am saying that Lyme disease is a developing area of medicine and there are significantly different points of view held by different members of the medical community.

5 -- You say:  "Do you think a doctor is just going to give me what I want and make a treatment."

No, but you are at least now aware that there are signficant differences of opinion within the medical community.  That is the point of my comments, to alert you to the fact that this is not settled science in the view of many.

6 -- You say:  "Because apparently you are smarter than the doctor."

No, because there are MDs who take a more progressive view of Lyme and its co-infections than the party line of the IDSA and the CDC, and I was alerting you to the varying opinions and approaches because you appeared to be unaware that there were any such differences.

7 -- "I would have to print out everything you just said and give this information to a doctor. And make him read a book."

No, you can simply see an MD who follows the CDC/IDSA guidelines, and leave it at that.  Gives you less to worry about.

8 -- You say:  "I want to know why you say that."

I wrote what I did because it took me 20 MDs to finally get a diagnosis and to be properly treated, and you appeared to want information.

9 -- You said in your initial post:  "Again my chances are 10% if no bulls eye rash occurs."  I replied:  "Balderdash."

You have read something (i.e., that you would have a 10% chance of having Lyme if you do not get a bullseye rash) that is contradicted by other reputable sources who are less wedded to blinkered orthodoxy.  If you do not wish to consider other points of view, you are free to disregard them.

10 -- You say:  "This is wrong, what information did you find that they maybe wrong. In that book?"  

You also say:  "And then my chance is even lower if that tick wasn't attached to that spot for more than 36 hours."  I replied:  "More balderdash."

I suggest you read Burrascano's Guidelines and other material on the ILADS website.  It is quite extensive.

11 -- You then say:  "Why is this wrong, what information did you find that maybe wrong?  Where did they get this information, what scientific evidence do they have for that explanation. And what scientific information do you have that you may think that is wrong?"

Again, see Burrascano's Guidelines and other materials on the ILADS website, as well as medical journals on the topic.

12 -- You say:  "Also to note, I didn't go into any grassy area, the lawns were cut. So do you think my risk is lower? How grassy was the area you toured in college? How many inches?"

Ticks are everywhere -- on animals, on plants, in the grass -- and they are extremely tiny ticks, as in the size of a period at the end of a sentence.  Many of us never see a tick; I did not.  Unfortunately I left my ruler at home to measure the height of the grass that I was unaware may have hosted the tick(s) that bit me, and so have no specifics on that metric.  Ticks are, as indicated, simply everywhere.  ============================================

I am sorry to have alarmed you, and send you all good wishes in following the IDSA and CDC guidelines.  Do keep us posted on your progress; I am certain it will be of interest to readers here.  Best wishes!  
Avatar universal
I went years without knowing what was wrong with me and was told, even though I had never experienced much before, that the sudden advent of anxiety in me was "all in my head."

It took years before a doctor who happened to be at Yale when the first Lyme studies were done tested enough to determine I have Lyme Disease, and I have been tested for everything else in the world, literally. That doctor did not want his/her name tied to the diagnosis out of fear of the CDC's outdated outlook on Lyme Disease. And this is a doctor from YALE. But I thank God I found this doctor by sheer chance, or I would still not know why I have felt as I have,

Whether you have Lyme Disease or not - that's something that testing and a knowledgeable doctor well versed in true Lyme Disease can determine.

And as a guy who rarely goes into any woods and keeps his large yard mowed, all I know is what has happened to me.

Whatever approach you take, good luck, and I have been helped enough by Jackie California to know what she wrote was not meant to harm.
Avatar universal

I'm not offended, I'm just concerned. And I do appreciate your information.

After reading what you are telling me, I'm just a little more scared. And I would have to do annual tick tests like every month.

And I do want you to say more. So don't leave me alone.

You have read something (i.e., that you would have a 10% chance of having Lyme if you do not get a bullseye rash) that is contradicted by other reputable sources who are less wedded to blinkered orthodoxy.  If you do not wish to consider other points of view, you are free to disregard them. "

I'm not asking for vague answers for that. I'm saying simply that lots of reputable websites claim that if you have infection usually 90% of the time a bulls eye rash occurs. We know that bulls eye rashes occur for some people. Maybe they have taken statistics on that, maybe they did a scientific study. I'm not sure. What are the other sources that you are saying to say that they are wrong. And based on what scientific evidence. I'm looking for an actual argument or phrase why these sources wrong. It seems you already read and believe the other sources. But you aren't telling me what these sources are saying and why those are right and why those are wrong. You are just saying it's a contradiction. I'm asking why is there a contradiction. I want a real answer, not a vague answer saying that other sources are less insert *big word here. I'm looking for a real answer.

Again, I know you are read journals and everything and did tons of research. And you are saying it's too complex to tell me that here. Again, if this was true, the other sources may not allowed to be able to say that. And by the way you just told me find a doctor that does this:

"MD who follows the CDC/IDSA guidelines"

but you told me before CDC was wrong about their scientific studies. And you want me to follow a MD with CDC guidelines.

""Despite you saying there is no scientific evidence. But that is what they say at the CDC."  And the CDC is wrong.   "

Again, you say one source is bandlerlash, and the other is more accurate. What is the explanation for that? Why are you telling me to read guidelines when I'm trying to ask you what is wrong with one source and the other.

You can't just tell me one source is wrong, but this is source is right. Explanation: I want you to read a book. I don't want to become a med student.  Why is required to read 50 pages of a book stating why 90% of people that actually get infected by Lyme disease will have red bull's eye rash. Just give it to me straight here. Is it based on statistics of all reported cases of Lyme diseases, 90% of the people that reported had bull's eye rash. And the 10% of people that had it never had a bull's eye rash.

That one mean it would be very rare for me to develop Lyme disease. And my chances our lower. Otherwise I'm already set for treatment based on paranoia if you researching 100's and 100's of articles and taking all the negatives of every article and just believing the negative. I'm trying to get into your head and understand what you are telling me here.

"that is contradicted by other reputable sources who are less wedded to blinkered orthodoxy"

That is not answer to my question, you are basically saying one source is bad, then I'm going to give you a big word here. Please just give it to me straight here. Please, and I thank you for your help. CDC is no longer reputable by the way?

Avatar universal
You may want to watch the film called "Under Our Skin" Just type it in and you can watch it free online. It helped me understand the controversy around lyme and co-infections.
1211030 tn?1381137342
If the tick bit you you can be infected.  Needs no time limit to be attached. It infected the second it bit
1763947 tn?1334055319
Guess what? Jackie is correct and most doctors don't know! I went 22 years misdiagnosed with everything under the sun. By the time I got my correct diagnoses of Lyme plus the 3 co-infections of Bartonella, Babesia and mycoplasma, I was so damaged, it is much harder for me to get rid of it!
Avatar universal
Well said and Kudos to Jackie who has a wealth of experience and knowledge on this subject. I have read the same info on many reputable scientific sites and everything Jackie has said I have to agree with. I've been researching for months as to the causes of my symptoms. I live in Ontario, Canada. Doctors here know SO little about Lyme Disease, to the point that my own GP misinterpreted my test results, telling me they were Negative and that I don't have Lyme. Upon further investigating and consulting with others, I was made aware that my test results were actually quite significant for Lyme.
Oblivion656, do plenty of research about Lyme, and the controversies. You will see that Jackie absolutely knows what she is talking about.
Good luck and good health to you!
Avatar universal
I know how hard it is to deal with all this stuff when you're ill.  Been there, did that, and I'm sorry if my approach is not helpful.  Simply put:  there is a split in the medical community between those who believe Lyme is a simple bacterial infection that needs only a couple weeks of doxycycline (the IDSA view) versus those who know Lyme and its co-infections are much more complex to diagnose and treat than the IDSA thinks.

We are brought up to respect knowledge and education, particularly in fields like science and medicine, because it is all based on facts and logic.  Unfortunately Mother Nature has a way of changing the game rules without telling us mere mortals, creating new ailments like AIDS and Lyme and Alzheimers.

Docs do the best they can to keep up, but they are only human and are science-based, relying on facts and proof -- as they should!  The problem arises when the docs don't have enough proof (in their view) to change the ruling orthodoxy in the medical field.  It is right that they are cautious, but sometimes -- like with the appearance of AIDS just a few decades ago -- Mother Nature pulls a fast one, and the docs take a while to catch up.  Lyme is that same kind of game-changer, and the docs are still playing catch up.

I tend to scoff ('balderdash!') when talking about these issues, to remind all of us that nature continues to evolve, and docs are only human and need to up their game with Mother Nature on a daily basis.  Just because a doc learned something a decade ago or a week ago doesn't make it accurate or true today.  

I learned this the hard way:  some years ago, I got odd pain in my midsection, but like a good soldier I waited a few days to call the doc.  Doc saw me, heard me out, and said (this is a quote, burned into memory):  "I'd say you have appendicitis, but you don't look sick enough to me."  

I was sent home, but got much worse over the next several days and went to the local hospital ER.  The doc I had seen was summoned, and by the time he arrived, I was in a little less pain, so he shook his finger in my face (literally!), saying:  "Don't ask for surgery you don't need."  And he turned around and left.  I was sent home.

A few days later, the pain was worse, different, more intense and widespread.  I went to a different hospital (there were fortunately several within 10-15 miles) and a doc there diagnosed me with not only a ruptured appendix, but also a blocked and damaged kidney caused by the rupture. It was the exploding kidney giving me the new round of worse pain, but if my kidney hadn't caused me to go to the ER the second time, I likely would have died.  I still have trouble with that kidney sometimes, and think how 'lucky' I was.  Truly.  Otherwise my then-four-year-old kid would have lost her mother.

So if I scoff at MDs who seem to think they are gods in white coats, it's because they sometimes start to believe their own press clippings, and it's we the patients who suffer.  It takes a lot of wisdom, training and courage to pick up a scalpel and cut open a patient, and I respect that.  But at the same time, we are the last best defense against our doc's flaws and blind spots.  

And in the defense of the docs, Mother Nature plays tricks by creating new ailments all the time.  AIDS is only a few decades old.  Lyme disease is not much older than that, or if it was around previously, it was before people moved so aggressively into wooded areas and left the pretty trees standing so the little animals would be there for the Lyme ticks to feed on.  It's always something, and we and our docs have to stay on our toes.

Lyme disease is one of the most obvious examples of all this, and it is important to be aware of controversies in medicine so that we can protect ourselves.  The docs are only human, and it's hard for them to keep their confidence up but still be ready to be surprised, yet that is what medicine demands of them.

The motto of medicine is:  'Primum non nocere' -- 'First, do no harm'.  Those are tough words to live up to, but docs try every day.  It's still up to us to keep an eye on them.

So when I scoff about docs and medicine, it's only to remind us all that we are our own last, best defense against a doc making a bad call, and we have to keep after the docs and look out for ourselves at a certain level.  I throw in a bunch of irreverence when I talk about docs, because we all need to be able to stand up to a doc and say, "That doesn't make sense."  It's easier to do that when remembering that docs are only human too.

The worst time to have to be smarter than the docs is when we are dreadfully ill, but it's when we've got to try the hardest.  Informational sites like this one are a real blessing, and MedHelp got me through some bad Lyme times.  I'm not trying to destroy your confidence in your docs, only trying to buck you up to keep a skeptical eye on what's going on ... which is not easy when you're sick.  Someday Lyme will be all figured out, but then there will be something else for sure -- Mother Nature's little tricks to keep us humble.

--- Side note:  One of the symptoms of Lyme disease is anxiety, as many people here have noted.  That can sometimes be helped by taking magnesium (Mg) supplements, because Lyme bacteria use up Mg in their reproductive process, leaving our body levels low.  You sound pretty antsy (as you are entitled to be), but some of it may be low Mg levels.  It turns out that the American diet is often deficient in Mg to start with, and if the Lyme bacteria start using up what's left, it leaves us rather short of Mg and short of patience.  

The usual kind of Mg at the store is not always the most easily absorbed by the body, esp. the combo of calcium-and-magnesium ('Cal-Mag'), but if you look for any formulation of just magnesium that ends in '-ate', it is (to my understanding and experience) the most effective.  For example, magnesium malate, orotate, aspartate, citrate etc. -- all ending in '-ate' -- are good.  I take a combo called 'Magnesium CAO', short for citrate, aspartate and orotate, and I know others who have had good results from it too, tho it may be available only online and not in stores, not sure.  But you might try some form of "Mg xxxx-ate" to see if it helps level things out for you.  Worked for me.  Still does.

Best wishes -- keep us posted.
Avatar universal
And one more comment.

You say above:  "I'm saying simply that lots of reputable websites claim that if you have infection usually 90% of the time a bulls eye rash occurs."

This may be the result of 'selection bias'.  Meaning, if you are looking at a group of people who are already confirmed as being sick with other, non-rash symptoms of Lyme, then it would not be unusual that they have a bullseye rash.  (The rash does not show or is not seen in everyone -- the bite can be on your scalp, or on your back, or under your arm, or all kinds of places you don't think to look, or it fades before you see a doc.)  

But in a group of people already diagnosed with Lyme, it would not be usual for a number of them -- and perhaps a large number of them -- to have a bullseye rash.  It is backwards however to say that having a bullseye rash is a prerequisite for getting a Lyme diagnosis.

That would be basing the premise on the conclusion, which is an error in logic.
Avatar universal
Yes, they were!
Avatar universal
I don't know that I stated my concern very well, but appreciate the concurrence!  If you can word it better, pls do.
Avatar universal
wow! just my 2 cents here…

I  have had bug bites that looked like that in your picture. at least 4 times int he past few years..like a bulls eye but very small..... there was no tick, or visible bug... just a bite from something…

i pulled a tick off my thigh last month, and the red mark it left was a lot more red than your photo..it healed and i waited 2 weeks and it never turned into the large hand size bulls eye rash that is what can happen with Lyme..i did not get a fever or anything..

keep an eye on it.. you did not remove a tick so i would say relax!

Avatar universal

Well if they base that on percentage or if people that didn't see it. The bull's eye rash. Or selection bias.

But what is the scientific reason some people wouldn't get the bull's eye rash and some people will? Is it the level of infection or just the human body will react differently to infection?

Does that mean the bull's eye rash most occur on all the studies they done, but some people don't see them because they are so small or on the scalp? Or sometimes they won't appear at all?

"It is backwards however to say that having a bullseye rash is a prerequisite for getting a Lyme diagnosis."

It would be an indication that you have Lyme disease. Besides not being able to see it because you have not spotted the bull's eye rash. What would be the reason for it not to occur? Then get it later?

@JackieCalifornia, sorry about your doctor that wasn't thorough. He wasn't being thorough.

Yeah, I strictly want the facts, and if they do say something from multiple sources about Lyme disease. I expect them to be right. As you said one doctor wasn't being thorough and one was thorough. So therefore there shouldn't be multiple sources saying something wrong about a disease.

I'm simply calculating my chances with the amount of worrying I have to do. No bull's eye rash, no symptoms, no wooded areas, no ticked pulled out, what the tick bite should look like, etc. Same way with aids, no sex, no needles, no blood exposure.

I think there is a difference then talking to a personal doctor then there is trusting websites. A doctor should be thorough with tests. A website should base their knowledge backed up with scientist.


Yeah, that's basically the only question I asked in the first place, is that a tick bite?  In your experience in tick bites, it was more red.

It could have been a spider bite.

Anyways, I'm left to conclude that there is a 5% chance that is anything at all. And that there is no rational reason to worry about it even if it was. Although I should have probably went to a doctor. I just felt it would have caused more problems with anxiety. Because I know a doctor can't 100% be scientifically correct then what's the point? Except him running tests on him to check for it maybe? I don't know.

By the way there is another similar mark above my eye brow. I'm led to conclude. No real point of going to the doctor every time there is a mark on my body. Unless it does match a tick bite and it does have bull's eye rash, and if I had been in the woods, I need more evidence to convince myself.

I did see a picture of a tick bite on webmd, and it looks like a darkish red color. So yeah, it does look way more red.
Avatar universal
Try not to 'over think' the whole rash and symptoms thing.  Nothing in nature including humans and bacteria is uniform (meaning exactly the same), either in the same person or from person to person.  We're not all the same height or coloration, our emotions and physical strength are all different -- even 'identical' twins have small variations between them.  

If your rash is smaller or bigger or pinker or redder than someone else's, that does not mean you do not have Lyme ... and conversely, it doesn't mean that you DO have Lyme.  These are general indicators only, but since they are all we have to go by, we need to heed them, but with a grain of salt.

If you look at different photos of bullseye rashes, none of them is exactly the same as any other one -- partly because of nature's variation, and partly because rashes rise and fall, expand and contract, over time and differently in different people and due to different combinations of bacteria causing the rash.

When you order a hamburger, you don't expect it to look like exactly like every other hamburger you ever had, right?  Lyme rashes are the same way, only more so.

I can understand that you want to find reasons not to pursue whether you have Lyme or not, but the way to make the most accurate determination on that point is to find a good doc and let the doc make the determination.

You sound pretty anxious, which is normal when faced with any potentially serious illness, and also normal if one has Lyme:  the infection affects the whole body and endocrine system, and as a result your thought process and emotions and hormone/endocrine levels will be all over the place.  

If you talk yourself out of the possibility that you have Lyme, you could be doing yourself a terrible disservice if you do really have Lyme.  Please consider getting a knowledgeable doc to give you an exam and a work up, so that you don't stay ill, if you are already, and so that you don't get worse, as often happens in untreated Lyme and related infections.  I've been there, and I know how hard it was to know what to do.  

I didn't WANT to have Lyme, but that's not the right question.  The right question is:  DO I have Lyme and/or another tickborne illness?  Facing it and getting an accurate answer is the best thing you can do for yourself and for your family and friends.  Don't try to talk yourself out of being sick:  go and find out if you ARE sick, and then deal with the answer.  It's not as bad as being sick, I promise you.

The variations in location, size, color and existence of a bullseye rash are indicators, not final answers.  I never ever saw a rash on myself, and never saw a tick.  I was tested for Lyme only because my doc had tested me for everything ELSE, and those other tests were all negative.  When you get through ruling out all the things your symptoms canNOT mean, then you are left only with the short list of things your symptoms CAN mean, and that is what has to be dealt with.

Lyme will not go away by itself, and it can do significant, continuing damage over time.  You say "I just felt it would have caused more problems with anxiety" to get tested.  No, because the truth shall set you free:  it is the unknown that will torment you, not the known.  The known can be dealt with, while the unknown will torment you.

Your current anxiety may well BE a sign that you have Lyme.  It will not go away by itself, and the longer you wait, the harder it will be to cure.  Please don't wait.  Find a Lyme doc.  Just do it.

What is worse?  Having Lyme and not treating it, or having Lyme and getting treated?  Please go see a good doc and get a work up, and then take appropriate action as needed.  Please!
Avatar universal
" No, because the truth shall set you free:  it is the unknown that will torment you, not the known.  The known can be dealt with, while the unknown will torment you."

That is EXACTLY how I felt at first, not knowing what was causing all my symptoms. My neurologist kept coming back to it being caused by "stress". In a sense he was correct that I was stressed - stressed about not knowing what the cause of my pain was! I felt like my very active body (hiker, cyclist, snowshoer prior to all of this) was betraying me. Then once I got on this site, and received SO much help from people on here ( 4 in particular!) and a few other people, then got my Igenex test done and realized that Lyme is most likely the culprit, it was almost a sense of relief! I'm NOT happy that I most likely have Lyme Disease at all, however I can stop worrying and searching and wondering and going from specialist to specialist. I am looking forward to my appt in early August with my LLMD.
Avatar universal
You go, girl!  
Avatar universal
LOL, thanks Jackie!!
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