Common infectious disease that can appear as bruise as NHS warns 'see GP'

Woman Touching Shoulder In Pain.
-Credit: (Image: Getty)

The NHS has warned people to look out for one symptom that could indicate a common infectious disease which boasts a number of symptoms.

Focusing on one of the common symptoms, the health service warned on its website that if you spot a circular or oval shape rash around a tick bite, it may be an early symptom of Lyme disease. This is a bacterial infection that can be spread to humans by infected ticks.

The experts warn that it's often easier to treat if it's diagnosed early, therefore if you suspect you have it, you should arrange an appointment with your GP straight away.

So what do I need to look out for?

The NHS states that the rash can have a darker or lighter area in the centre and might gradually spread. It's not usually hot or itchy. In addition to this, it could be flat or slightly elevated, appearing pink, red, or purple on white skin. On brown and black skin, the rash may be more difficult to detect and could resemble a bruise.

If you have a rash, it can appear up to three months after being bitten by an infected tick. However it usually appears within one to four weeks and can last for several weeks.

What are the other symptoms of lyme disease?

lyme disease leaflet
Lyme disease is more common than you think -Credit:Lee Williams/Reach plc

The health experts warn that sometimes individuals experience flu-like symptoms a few days or weeks after they were bitten by an infected tick. This can include:

  • a high temperature, or feeling hot and shivery

  • headache

  • muscle and joint pain

  • tiredness and loss of energy

Some people with Lyme disease develop more severe symptoms months or years later, although this is more likely if treatment is delayed. These more severe symptoms may include:

  • pain and swelling in joints

  • nerve problems – such as pain or numbness

  • heart problems

  • trouble with memory or concentration

Lyme Disease UK warn that sometimes this disease can be misdiagnosed as conditions with similar or overlapping symptoms such as chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, fibromyalgia and multiple sclerosis.

Won't it be obvious if I've been bitten by a tick?

Lyme Disease UK
Lyme Disease UK warn that some patients do not always remember a tick bite -Credit:Lee Wiilliams/Reach plc

No, not always. According to Lyme Disease UK: "Patients do not always remember a tick bite. Nymph ticks can be as small as a poppy seed." It adds that it is the most common human tick-borne infectious disease in the northern hemisphere, urging people to keep an eye on symptoms.

How can I remove a tick?

The likelihood of falling ill is minimal. There is no need for further action unless you develop a rash or start feeling unwell.

To remove a tick safely:

  1. Use fine-tipped tweezers or a tick-removal tool. You can buy these from some pharmacies, vets and pet shops.

  2. Grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible.

  3. Slowly pull upwards, taking care not to squeeze or crush the tick. Dispose of it when you have removed it.

  4. Clean the bite with antiseptic or soap and water.