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Spider Bite: Brown Recluse Spider Bite (cont.)

Brown Recluse Spider Bite Self-Care at Home

Home first aid care is simple. These self-care measures should not replace a visit to a doctor or emergency department.

After a spider bite:

  • Apply ice to decrease pain and swelling.
  • Elevate area if possible above the level of the heart.
  • Wash the area thoroughly with cool water and mild soap.
  • Avoid any strenuous activity because this can spread the spider's venom in the skin.
  • Use acetaminophen (Tylenol) for pain relief.

Do not perform any of the following techniques:

  • Do not apply any heat to the area. This will accelerate tissue destruction.
  • Do not apply any steroid creams to the area such as hydrocortisone cream.
  • Do not attempt to remove the spider venom with suction devices or cut out the affected tissue.
  • Do not apply electricity to the area. Anecdotal reports of high voltage electrotherapy from common stun guns have never been shown to be effective in any scientific studies. This can also cause secondary burns and deepen tissue destruction.
  • Do not apply a tourniquet to the extremity involved.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/9/2014

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Spider Envenomations: Brown Recluse »

In the United States, reports of severe envenomations by brown spiders began to appear in the late 1800s, and today, in endemic areas, brown spiders continue to be of significant clinical concern.

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