Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Lyme Disease

The next topic for the EtsyBloggers Street Team Blog Carnival is "bull". Bull fights, the Taurus zodiac symbol, shooting the bull, etc. My first thought was the bull's eye rash associated with Lyme disease. I guess that makes me a dork. Or at least a normal medical laboratory technologist.

Anyway, I figured, since I will soon be posting about my hiking trips, why not raise awareness about Lyme disease, and while I'm at it, check out what some Etsians have made that either help prevent getting bit by a deer tick, or even help promote Lyme disease awareness.

What is Lyme disease?

Lyme disease is an illness caused by Borellia burgdorferi bacteria, which is passed through the salivary glands of an infected deer tick when it bites the skin. The disease can manifest in several ways, some people don't even show signs or symptoms. However, often times an erythema migrans rash (the characteristic "bull's eye rash" will appear around the site where the infected tick bit the skin. Typical symptoms include headache, fever, sore muscles, and swollen or achy joints; of course these symptoms resemble those of the flu. Unfortunately, if left undetected, it can lead to more severe problems like arthritis, confusion, numbness, and possibly facial paralysis.

How can I prevent Lyme disease?

While Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics, it's best to prevent getting it in the first place. When outside, you should use an insect repellent that repels deer ticks, such as a DEET containing spray. You should also cover yourself properly if you plan on hiking or doing yard work. Wear high socks, long sleeves and long pants. Basically, don't dress for a fashion show if you plan on walking through grass, brush, or the woods, or when you are doing yard work. Besides, a nasty rash and swollen joints isn't exactly attractive either.

Wendy Lou's Natural Bath "Don't BUG Me" Insect Repellent

While DEET is a very effective chemical repellent against the deer tick, there are a few other approved repellents on the market as well. Wendy Lou's Natural Bath sells a DEET free insect repellent called Don't BUG Me. It contains oil of lemon eucalyptus, which has proven to be as effective as low levels as DEET, and is the only plant based repellent approved. So for those interested in a more natural, renewable resource based insect repellent, you could try one containing oil of lemon eucalyptus, such as Wendy Lou's Don't BUG Me repellent.

Raising Awareness

I came across two shops on Etsy that sell items that are Lyme disease awareness themed.

Creative Art and Soul this Green Ribbon Sand Carved Aventurine Pendant for sale. While the green ribbon has several meanings, one is Lyme disease awareness. So sport this as a necklace and when someone asks you about it, you can tell them what you know about Lyme disease, the bull's eye rash, and how to prevent it.

King Milo Press is a shop on Etsy named for a Jack Russell Terrier that endured a lot of suffering for the first six months of his life before being adopted by a school teacher. Milo is now an advocate for Lyme disease and spreads the words through zines and green plushies. With the purchase of the Screen Printed Lime Plush Dog Toy (anti-Lyme disease), a portion of the procedes will go to the Lyme Disease Foundation.


Blaze said...

Very informatory! :) Thanks! And looking forward to some hiking posts!!

StormyDesigns said...

Great read. Thanks for participating. Oh, my old blog is dead, here's my new one http://stormydesigns.blogspot.com

storybeader said...

I think that makes you a normal medical laboratory technologist. Love the plushies.

joeyandaleethea said...

Those plushies are so cute! Thank you for participating in our EtsyBloggers blog carnival!