Bartonella Rash or Stretch Marks – What You Need to Know

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More and more people are panicking when they see streaks appear on their skin, caught in the eternal question – Bartonella rash or stretch marks? There seems to be quite a trend that encourages people to think their ordinary weight change stretch marks are a sign of Bartonellosis, which is not, in fact, the case.

So in this article, we’ll be looking at the relationship between Bartonella streaks and stretch marks and trying to figure out if there is some link between the two.

What Is Bartonella, Exactly?

Bartonella is a type of bacteria that exists inside the lining of blood vessels, and that can infect humans, insects, and animals alike. Cats, ticks, and fleas often carry it. While this bacteria has been around for some time, information is still coming out about transmission, symptoms, etc. There’s still some debate as to who is the main spreader here.

Cats (particularly feral ones) are linked with the eponymous “cat scratch disease” or “cat scratch fever,” which is one of the Bartonella-related diseases that can result after a cat scratches a person.

Other conditions that can result from contact with a Bartonella-infested animal/insect are:

  • Trench Fever – often associated with body lice, it got its name in WWI when a lot of the soldiers contracted it due to poor living conditions in the trenches;
  • Carrion’s Disease – it used to be called Bartonellosis and is mainly associated with the Andean region in South America.

Bartonella And Stretch Marks – What’s the Link?

A lot of people are under the mistaken impression that Bartonella and stretch marks are related because Bartonella is often a coinfection of the far more well-known Lyme Disease.

The symptoms of Lyme Disease include fever, fatigue, poor appetite, and this unusual rash that looks very similar to stretch marks, hence the confusion.

When you do a quick Google search, many of the picture results that show up show people with something very similar to stretch marks or even a rash on stretch marks, but the general opinion on this seems to be that its fake news.

So far, no credible scientific source has found a link between Lyme disease and stretch marks or Bartonella infection and stretch marks. What’s more, one study conducted by the researchers from Johns Hopkins found that stretch marks have nothing to do with bacterial infections, including Lyme Disease and Bartonella.

Taking reference from the above study, as well as other relevant literature, a dermatologist on the American Academy of Dermatology Association points out that even if a link between Lyme Disease/Bartonella and stretch marks were to be found, that would not equate causation. So while it’s entirely possible to suffer from stretch marks and chronic infection, it is unlikely that the two are related.

Know the Reason For Your Stretch Marks!

What I’m not trying to do here is downplay in any way the seriousness of Lyme Disease or any of the Bartonella-related diseases. These are all very serious afflictions, and you should not treat them (or the possibility of infection) lightly. What I am trying to do here, however, is make sure you are informed correctly and prevent unnecessary panic.

Many people noticing stretch marks on their skin for the first time (and doing the mandatory Google search on the stuff) soon panic. Are their stretch marks a sign of Lime Disease? No, they are not.

And honestly, there is no better way to stop this misconception than to correctly identify the actual causes of stretch marks, which are:

If you are not experiencing any of the above and are still seeing stretch marks, you are very unlikely to suffer from Lyme Disease or a Bartonella rash due to infection. Still, it might be a good idea to consult a specialist, but try not to worry unnecessarily.

Takeaway – No, You Are Not Getting Stretch Marks From Lyme/ Bartonella Infection

Remember that not everything you read on the Internet is a fact. When researching medical topics, always look for appropriate studies to confirm/infirm your suspicions. When reading articles, always be wary of those that can’t support their claims with scientific proof.

If in doubt, consult your physician.

And stop worrying! Stretch marks are a beautiful reminder of a certain time in your life and should be embraced as such!