As Borrelia Lymphozytome nodular thickening are called to the skin. The light red to bluish red swellings often indicate a Borrelia infection caused by a tick bite, but can also be triggered by viruses. The bulging skin thickening is mainly caused by the immigration of B and T lymphocytes and can be differentiated from malignant B cell lymphomas by analyzing the existing cell types.
What is Borrelia Lymphocytoma?
According to nonprofitdictionary, the appearance of Borrelia lymphocytomas is similar to that of malignant lymphomas, which are expressed by small, nodular growths on the skin with a noticeable light red to blue-red discoloration. The skin nodules, which are also known as pseudolymphomas, are caused by immigration of B and T lymphocytes from the lymphatic system.
The small growths are soft, bulging and mostly spherical. Borrelia lymphocytomas typically occur primarily on the face, neck, ear lobes, nipples and genital areas on the scrotum. It is noticeable that mainly children, adolescents and women are affected. A differentiation from malignant B-cell lymphomas can be made by determining the cell type of the B-lymphocytes present in the nodules.
B lymphocytes in Borrelia lymphocytomas are of multiclonal origin, i.e. they come from different cell lines, while the B lymphocytes in malignant B cell lymphomas each come from a single cell line. They are therefore of monoclonal origin.
One of the main causes of the development of Borrelia lymphocytomas is Lyme disease. The infectious disease was named after Lyme, Connecticut, USA. It is an infection with bacteria of the genus Borrelia from the group of spirochetes, helical, gram-negative bacteria with their own characteristic musculoskeletal system.
In Central Europe, Lyme disease is usually caused by the bacterium Borrelia afzelli or related species. The pathogens are transmitted through bites from infected ticks. But only about a third of the diseases are caused by Borrelia.
Also viral infections are made benign for the occurrence of Borrelia Lymphozytome partially responsible. In the majority of cases in which neither a Borrelia nor a virus infection can be detected, the cause of the disease is not known.
Symptoms, ailments & signs
Benign Borrelia lymphocytomas are mainly noticeable by their striking appearance. The spherical light red to blue-red swellings reach a size of several millimeters to a few centimeters and, if they appear in exposed areas, can hardly be overlooked.
In those cases where the soft nodules are caused by a Borrelia infection, additional symptoms will appear as side effects. Even in the early phase, before visible lymphocytomas develop, unspecific complaints such as headaches and body aches, neck stiffness and a general malaise are characteristic. The symptoms are similar to those of the flu.
The development of a ring-shaped wandering redness (erythema migrans) is typical for the appearance of Borrelia lymphocytomas. It is presented by a gradually outwardly migrating, concentrically arranged red strip of skin that forms at the puncture site. Although the erythema is a typical side effect, it does not occur in all cases of Borrelia infection.
Diagnosis & course
Borrelia lymphocytes are easy to recognize due to their conspicuous appearance. However, their appearance does not say anything about the cause, after which the therapy will ultimately be based. As soon as one or more of the typical nodules appear for the first time, it should be clarified whether a tick bite had occurred a short or a long time beforehand.
If that was the case, a borrelia infection is suspected. The suspicion can be clarified in the laboratory and on the basis of general symptoms. Furthermore, a differential diagnosis should rule out that the nodules are not malignant lymphomas that require completely different therapy.
The course of the disease when Borrelia lymphocytes appear depends exclusively on the course of the underlying disease. In the case of a Borrelia infection, the disease can be very serious due to a possible multi-organ infestation.
Borrelia lymphocytoma forms a blue-red swelling in the form of a soft nodule. The clearly visible symptom is a cellular reaction of the blood and is considered to be the result of a tick bite. Not every person is prone to such symptoms, as there are sufficient antibodies.
However, if you belong to the risk group and do not have Borrelia lymphocytoma treated in time, you must expect unpleasant complications. If the Borrelia start to spread in the body, they can attack the entire immune system as well as the organs, muscles and joints. Compared to America, however, there are less chronic cases in Europe.
Children in particular who play a lot in forest and meadow areas should have their bodies checked regularly for the conspicuous signs. Significant long-term effects of untreated pathogens are various symptomatic relapses in which the affected patient suffers from states of exhaustion, fibromyalgia, nerve damage, joint problems and dysfunction of the organs.
If the course is chronic, therapy can hardly alleviate the long-term effects mentioned. Permanent damage to the skin, cartilage and joints, mostly elbows and knees, persists. In the elderly, this can manifest itself in the form of arthritis. Adults are prone to malfunction of the thyroid gland, nerve and connective tissue. If the lymphocytoma is detected in good time, the chances of recovery are rather uncomplicated.
When should you go to the doctor?
In about a third of all cases, the soft, reddish nodules are due to an infection with Borrelia and are signs of Lyme disease. Those affected should therefore go to the doctor at the latest when the lumps become visible.
Since the severity of the course of Lyme disease and possible long-term consequences turn out to be worse the later the disease is recognized and treated, patients should react as early as possible. After a tick bite, it is helpful to first familiarize yourself with the symptoms of Lyme disease and early summer meningoencephalitis.
The onset of Lyme disease is noticeable through side effects that are very similar to those of the flu. Severe headache and body aches, fever, general malaise and stiff neck are typical. After a tick bite or staying in a risk area, those affected should immediately consult a doctor if these symptoms occur and explicitly mention the possibility of Lyme disease.
An immediate doctor’s visit is also necessary if the so-called wandering redness (erythema migrans) appears. This is circular, steadily increasing redness, which usually forms around the bite site, but can also appear on another part of the body. Wandering redness is one of the few characteristic features of a borreliosis infection. Immediate antibiotic treatment is indicated in these cases.
If a Borrelia lymphocytoma cannot be traced back to an infection with Borrelia, it is usually harmless, but a doctor should be consulted as a precaution.
Treatment & Therapy
The treatment of Borrelia lymphocytes, which can be traced back to Lyme disease, is primarily aimed at combating the causative bacteria. Depending on the severity of the disease, there are various antibiotics to choose from, which can also be used in an individual combination.
Since the bacteria are difficult to control, the antibiotics must be taken strictly as directed over a longer period of several weeks. In addition, no medication should be taken that can reduce the effectiveness of the specific antibiotics. Additional therapies to strengthen the immune system are beneficial.
Even after apparently successful therapy, the disease can flare up again because the treatment with antibiotics has not rendered the Borrelia completely harmless. If the cause of the Borrelia lymphocytes cannot be determined and a bacterial infection can be ruled out, taking antibiotics “on suspicion” is not recommended.
Assuming that the other typical general symptoms of Lyme disease do not occur, the treatment of the red nodules aims at strengthening and modulating the immune system. This also includes a lifestyle that, in addition to phases of stress, also allows for short phases of relaxation and regeneration. Phases of tension controlled by the sympathetic nervous system (stress hormones) should be able to alternate with parasympathetic phases.
Outlook & forecast
The actual Borrelia lymphocytoma is a symptom of Lyme disease and can only be viewed in connection with this infection. It always occurs together with erythema chronicum migrans, i.e. reddening of the skin after a tick bite. Other forms of Borrelia lymphocytoma are caused by viruses, but this is not the same disease, just a similar phenomenon.
In all cases there is hyperplasia of lymphatic cells. The disease is often seen in children and adolescents, as well as in women between the ages of 40 and 70. Borrelia lymphocytoma usually appears in stage I of a Borrelia infection. In rare cases, it can also occur in the second stage of Lyme disease. Overall, it is a symptom of Lyme borreliosis, but it does not occur very often in the context of this disease. Rather, the Borrelia lymphocytoma is a special case of a Borrelia infection.
With early treatment with antibiotics, the Borrelia can still be fully combated. If treatment is not given or if treatment is too late, the infection spreads and manifold symptoms such as Lyme arthritis or neurological disorders with polyneuropathy, meningitis, encephalomyelitis or encephalitis occur. Chronic diseases of the sensory organs, joints or muscles can also occur. However, the symptoms are individual for each person affected. In the late stages of the disease, a complete cure is often no longer possible.
Preventive measures are mainly limited to protecting yourself from tick bites, especially in vulnerable areas where Lyme disease is known to have occurred. Good protection is provided by wearing long trousers and long-sleeved shirts that have the closest possible waistband.
Additionally or alternatively, after a stay in areas with tick infestation, the skin on the whole body can be carefully inspected for possible tick infestation and possible ticks can be removed with tick tongs or tweezers. There is only a risk of infection many hours after the tick has “buried” the skin.
As a rule, there are no special follow-up options available to those affected with Borrelia lymphocytoma. The patient depends on symptomatic treatment of this condition in order to avoid further complications. In most cases, antibiotics are used to relieve the symptoms. The affected person must also ensure that they take antibiotics regularly.
Interactions with other drugs should also be discussed with a doctor. When taking antibiotics, alcohol should also be avoided permanently. In general, a healthy diet and lifestyle also have a very positive effect on the further course of the disease. The immune system of the person affected must also be specially protected in this disease in order to avoid further diseases.
Stress should also be avoided as much as possible. If possible, strenuous activities or sporting activities should be avoided. The patient should protect himself against ticks when saddling up in predestined areas and wear long clothing. Defense sprays can also prevent the infestation. It cannot generally be predicted whether Borrelia lymphocytoma will lead to a lower life expectancy. In some cases, contact with other sufferers of the disease can also be useful, as this leads to an exchange of information.
You can do that yourself
Since Borrelia lymphocytoma is a side effect of Lyme disease, which is transmitted by tick bites, the best form of self-help is to avoid tick bites or to treat them adequately in a timely manner.
People who are often outdoors should first check the risk of Lyme disease for their region and, if necessary, for their holiday destination. Corresponding overview maps are made available free of charge on the Internet. The risk of a tick bite is particularly high when hiking or playing in meadows and in tall grass or when coming into contact with low trees and bushes. Ticks also like to stay in wetlands. You should therefore be particularly careful around bodies of water.
The borreliosis pathogens are transmitted by the insects during the exchange of body fluids with the host. The longer a stuck tick remains undetected, the greater the risk of infection. Ticks that have been bitten should therefore be removed promptly and preferably by a doctor.
Strengthening the immune system can also prevent a possible outbreak of Lyme disease or at least reduce the severity of the course of the disease. A healthy diet rich in vitamins, regular physical exercise in the fresh air, sufficient sleep and avoiding excessive consumption of alcohol and nicotine all contribute to strengthening the immune system.