Early Lyme Disease (Erythema Migrans) and Its Mimics (Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness and Tick-Associated Rash Illness)
Erythema migrans, an expanding erythematous skin lesion that develops days to weeks following an Ixodes species tick bite, is the most common clinical manifestation of Lyme disease. Presentations in the United States differ somewhat from that in Europe, presumably because of the different etiologic agents. Diagnosis is based on the appearance of the skin lesion, rather than on laboratory testing. After treatment with an appropriate oral antibiotic for 10 to 14 days, the prognosis is excellent. Two conditions that cause a similar skin lesion following a tick bite, but are of unknown cause, are Southern tick-associated rash illness in the United States and tick-associated rash illness in Japan.