More and more patients are receiving Bowen testing for Lyme disease. Many tests return as positive, and patients are placed on long, expensive, and often problematic therapies. Is there any validity to this testing whatsoever?
—John Spence, MD, Marianna, Fla.

No. Bowen testing is not an FDA-approved diagnostic for Lyme disease. There is no perfect test for Lyme disease, but testing should always be done in the appropriate clinical context, with considerations of epidemiology as well as appropriate geography. I would reassure patients that Bowen testing is not a validated method to diagnose Lyme disease.
—Cedric W. Spak, MD, MPH