Tertiary Lyme disease; Stage 3 Lyme disease; Late persistent Lyme disease; Lyme arthritis
Early diagnosis and appropriate antibiotic treatment for primary Lyme disease is the most effective way to prevent tertiary Lyme disease.
Here are some tips for preventing primary Lyme disease:
When walking or hiking in wooded or grassy areas:
- Spray all exposed skin and your clothing with insect repellent (spray outdoors only, do not use on face, use just enough to cover all other exposed skin, don't spray under clothing, don't apply over wounds or irritated skin, wash skin after going inside)
- Wear light-colored clothing to make it easier to spot ticks
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants with the cuffs tucked into shoes or socks
- Wear high boots, preferably rubber
Check yourself and your pets frequently during and after your walk or hike.
Ticks that carry Lyme disease are so small that they are very hard to see. After returning home, remove your clothes and thoroughly inspect all skin surface areas, including your scalp.
If possible, ask someone to help you examine your body for ticks. Adults should carefully examine children.
Bratton RL, Whiteside JW, Hoyan MJ, Engle RL, Edwards FD. Diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease. Mayo Clin Proc. 2008;83:566-571.
Steere AC. Borrelia burgdorferi (lyme disease, lyme borreliosis). In: Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolin R, eds. Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2009:chap 242.