The first and most obvious symptom of Lyme disease is usually a skin rash called erythema migrans (EM). The rash typically appears within 3-30 days after a person has been bitten by an infected tick. It usually starts as a small, red bump and expands over several days to form a circular or oval-shaped rash. The rash may be warm to the touch but is typically not painful or itchy. It may also have a bull’s eye appearance with a red outer ring and a central clearing.
However, it’s important to note that not everyone with Lyme disease will develop the characteristic rash. Some people may experience flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, fatigue, and muscle and joint aches instead. If you suspect you may have been exposed to a tick and are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to see a healthcare professional for evaluation and treatment.