The “bulls-eye” rash is a distinct pattern that appears on the skin after a person that has been bitten by a tick infected with the bacterium that causes Lyme disease, contracts Lyme disease. It is not the same as the typical small swelling or red spot that develops almost immediately after a tick, or other insect bites or stings you. Rather, the characteristic “bullseye” (also known as erythema migrans, or EM) occurs within three to 30 days after a bite from an infected tick. On average, the rash appears within one week of infection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that bullseye rash affects 70% to 80% of infected patients. A patient with a rash matching this description should seek immediate attention.
Variable Size and Appearance
• EM lesions most commonly present as a single uniform erythematous oval to circular rash ranging from 5cm to 70cm at the site of the bite.
• About 20% of EMs have the appearance of a “bull’s-eye” with a dark red center surrounding by a pale ring, followed by a reddish exterior ring.
• Among some patients, EMrashes may actually appear in places where the patient was not bitten.
• The rash(es) expand in size over the course of several days.
• To monitor any changes, it may be helpful to mark the edges of the rash when it first appears using a waterproof marker.
• It may also be helpful to take photographs, which you can share with your healthcare practitioner. Serial photographs may help document any changes or progression in the shape or size of your rash or rashes.
Flu-Like Symptoms: Seek Immediate Attention
Not all Lyme disease presents with a rash. If you develop flu-like symptoms (fever, chills, headache, body-aches) within 30 days of a tick bite, it is important to visit your primary care provider, or PhysicianOne Urgent Care for immediate medical attention, regardless of the appearance (or absence) of any rash.
Despite our best efforts, even the healthiest people get sick. If you suspect you or a loved one may have been bitten by a tick, PhysicianOne Urgent Care is here seven days a week for high-quality urgent care, at a fraction of the cost of the Emergency Room. Contact us at 1.855.349.2828, or walk in to be seen today. If you’re looking to save time, find a location near you and check in online!
Health News + Events
5 Ways We’re Keeping You Safe
The safety of our patients and team members is always our top priority. The next time you’re in one of our centers, you will likely notice the updates we have made. Learn abo Read More
Summer Travel Safety During COVID
With COVID-19 still in our communities, is it safe to travel this summer? Dr. Jeannie Kenkare, our Chief Medical Officer and Co-founder, shares helpful information on how to stay s Read More
How to Tell the Difference Between Lyme Disease and COVID-19
Lyme disease, the most common tick-borne illness, spreads through bites of infected black-legged ticks whose population is highest in June and July. Throughout the summertime, Phys Read More
What Our Patients Are Saying
"The overall care I received was excellent! I also appreciate your affiliation with Yale New Haven Hospital."
"Throughout the visit I felt like the staff really cared. The Doctor took his time talking with me about my symptoms, and I felt like he listened to all my concerns and took that into consideration when recommending the right treatment. Thank you!"
"I had to take my son in for an ear infection following a sudden change in temperament at daycare. He was inconsolable the entire car ride but when we got there and by the time we left this care facility he was back to his normal happy go lucky little two year old boy. I highly recommend PhysicianOne Urgent Care."
"I wanted to take a moment to thank you for the attention you gave me last week. My son was started on antibiotics and ear drops. Within 24 hours he began to feel better. The poor kid had been going to school in tears because he was afraid of missing any more days, but feeling (and looking) just awful! He's not been able to even think about lacrosse practice, but thanks to starting him on antibiotics, he was thrilled to return to practice today."