TICK BITES, DIAGNOSING LYME DISEASE AND TREATMENT

Most humans are infected through the bites of immature ticks called nymphs. They're tiny and difficult to see and are about the size of a poppy seed! This tiny creature may carry the most harmful bacteria, a stealth bacteria! Since these ticks are so small they can hide anywhere on your body. I have known ticks to attach themselves to armpits, ears and even eye balls!

Ticks are basically small spiders and like a spider they can crawl very quickly to a comfortable part of your body to feed. A meal of your blood is all they want.

It is most likely that you won't feel a tick bite you. It's doesn't hurt and it isn't usually itchy. You may not even see it as these ticks are so small (less than 2 mm).

A reddish bump may appear where you were bitten and will hopefully disappear after a couple of days. However, if the site of the bite starts to develop a reddish rash after a couple of days (can be up to about 30 days later) and starts expanding outwards then this is a sign of Lyme disease. This rash is indicative of Lyme, you have the rash you have the disease.

This rash is commonly known as a bullseye rash (erythema migrans) and can grown to about 30 cm. Not everyone gets the rash, I didn't!

The bullseye rash will usually have a central red spot surrounded by a clear circle with a wide red circle on the outside.

As this rash is developing other symptoms may develop including fever, headache, chills, fatigue, stiff neck, aching body, swollen lymph nodes and even Bell's palsy.

TIME TO VISIT YOUR GP.

The NICE guidelines state that if Lyme disease is suspected, due to symptoms alone then a 21 day course of doxycycline 200mg should be prescribed. A blood test should be offered.

The Nice guidelines are evidence-based recommendations which our health care professionals use, it is their bible!

PLEASE NOTE: A LYME DISEASE BLOOD TEST SHOULD NEVER BE TAKEN WHILST THE PATIENT IS TAKING ANTIBIOTICS AS THIS WILL INTERFERE WITH THE RESULT.

A BLOOD TEST MUST BE CARRIED OUT BEFORE ANTIBIOTICS ARE ADMINISTERED OR A MINIMUM OF A WEEK AFTER THE COURSE HAS ENDED.

THE CURRENT TEST FOR LYME DISEASE HAS BEEN PROVED TO BE VERY INACCURATE THEREFORE DIAGNOSIS SHOULD BE MADE ON SYMPTOMS OR RASH ALONE.

The NICE guidelines state that if a bullseye rash is present then a 21 day course of doxycycline 200mg should be prescribed regardless of lack of symptoms as the rash indicates the infection.

If Lyme disease is suspected and appropriate treatment administered there is a possibility the patient will be cured.

However, Lyme is a stealth bacteria, corkscrew in shape and can burrow into tissue, organs and even cells thus rendering the antibiotic useless.

Should symptoms persist after the first 21 day course of antibiotics has finished then another 21 day course of antibiotics must be prescribed.

This next antibiotic course will be dependent on symptoms and you may need to change from the original Doxycycline. This time you may need to be prescribed Amoxicillin, Doxycycline or even IV Ceftriaxone. Please check the NICE guidelines for the correct antibiotic at this point.

So, you're probably thinking that ticks are only found out in woodland areas, the highlands of Scotland, fields etc etc, well, yes that is true but they are also found in the rest of the U.K. as well, absolutely everywhere. They're in our suburban parks, our gardens, our pets bring them into our houses, we bring them in to our houses.

ONCE BITTEN BY A TICK YOUR LIFE MAY NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN.

A TICK NEEDS REMOVING PROPERLY WITH THE CORRECT REMOVAL TOOL.  THE BEST AND SAFEST ONE TO USE, WHICH WILL GRAB ALL TICKS IS THIS ONE "THE TICKTOOL".

Ticks and tick bites/rashes