Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Can Lyme Disease Go Away On Its Own?

Lyme disease is a tick-borne ailment that one develops when they are bitten by small tiny ticks. The tick that carries the bacterium (Borrelia burgdorferi) that causes the disease is known as deer tick or black-legged tick. It belongs to the Ixodes tick family. The imminent result of a deer tick bite is a red rash that resembles a bull’s-eye. Therefore, it is important to always be on the lookout for the rash if you suspect to have been bitten by a tick. Other than that, flu-like illness, headache, and stiff neck, as well as fatigue, are indicators of a Lyme disease bacterial infection. Lyme disease cannot go away on its own and you will require an antibiotics treatment for about two weeks or even a month. The earlier the diagnosis of the illnesses, the more positive the results of treatment are and the disease will go away faster. On the contrary, if Lyme disease isn’t detected early enough, the treatment is slower and one may end up developing severe complications such as arthritis.

Can Lyme Disease Go Away On Its Own?

Important Facts About Lyme Disease

It is important to know that Lyme disease is not contagious and one can only be infected if bitten by the black-legged tick or deer tick. Adding to that, a tick bite can go unnoticed because tick bites aren’t painful. Needless say, ticks are usually small in size and they may bite you and be gone before you even know it. However, for the bacteria to be spread into your body, the tick must have been attached to your body for at least 24-36 hours. The first case of Lyme disease was reported in the town of Old Lyme, Connecticut, USA, in 1977. This ailment is common in many parts of US, Asia, and Europe as well. Additionally, Lyme disease has three main stages namely; early localized Lyme disease, early disseminated Lyme disease and late disseminated Lyme disease respectively. Each stage is characterized by unique symptoms although, they may overlap in some cases of infection. Furthermore, some symptoms may run through the different stages, though their severity may differ.

Treating Lyme Disease

The period of infection is of importance when it comes to treating Lyme disease. It helps to assess the extent to which the infection has spread and determine the best course of treatment as per the symptoms. If one doesn’t remember or isn’t aware of being bitten by a tick, then a blood screening test can be done to clarify whether or not one has the Lyme disease. The primary treatment of Lyme disease involves oral antibiotics which kill the disease-causing bacteria i.e. Borrelia burgdorferi. For an advanced case, to the late stage Lyme disease, it is also treated with antibiotics, although they’re administered intravenously. If one is experiencing inflammations or pain especially in patients who’ve developed arthritic Lyme disease, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are recommended to deal with the immediate issue.

Preventive Measures for Lyme Disease

People who are exposed to the outdoor environment, especially bushy areas or the wild are at a greater risk of tick bites. So, to prevent yourself from developing Lyme disease, or rather from tick bites, you should;

  • Dress in a way that the tick cannot easily access your skin and bite you. You could tuck in your t-shirt and tuck your pants in your socks, wear long-sleeved t-shirts, etc.
  • Avoid areas or regions that have been flagged of Lyme disease.
  • Wear an insect repellent that contains at least 20% DEET if going to places with the black-legged or deer ticks. You can apply the insecticide on your skin or clothing.
  • Stay out of woodlands and areas with tall grass. If hiking, walk in the middle of the trails, away from the bush thickets and tall grass.
  • Opt for light-colored clothing so as to easily identify the ticks.

Conclusion

Lyme disease needs treatment to be cured and the earlier it is done, the outcome is usually positive. So, if you are bitten by a tick or suspect that you got a tick bite, ensure to visit a medical facility as soon as possible. Do not assume a tick bite because if truly you are infected, the situation will only get worse.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: October 20, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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