Brown Recluse Spider Bite - Treatment

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Brown Recluse Spider Bite.
What was the treatment for your brown recluse spider bite?
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See what others are saying

Published: October 16

I am a 71 year old architect from Louisiana. I was bitten on my lower leg by a brown recluse spider one evening as I walked outside in the grass. I don't know if the spider was in my robe or just jumped up to my leg from the ground. It felt like a bad mosquito bite and itched. The next day the bite area was red and swollen and got progressively worse each day. A small raw core developed surrounded by a hard swollen ring. I self-treated it for several days and then decided to seek professional help. My family physician knew exactly what it was and immediately deadened the area and lanced the wound to drain the pus and venom. He put me on a powerful antibiotic and the wound is healing very well, and after two weeks I finally have a scab that appears to be closing in the sore. As it has healed, I have lost some dead skin. I am thankful to have cleared this up because the culture results showed that I have MRSA infection in the wound. That to me was more concerning than the spider bite..

Published: June 30

I live in the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania. I have known about brown recluse spiders for years. I was bit on a Thursday in June 2017, scratched an itch through my pants’ leg, followed by inflammation and by the evening there was a 3 to 4 inch puffy red oval around the bite. There were very distinct rings, 2 or 3, within the oval, and because we live in a state with high incidence of Lyme disease, that's what my husband assumed it was. He said I should get it checked out immediately so I went to an urgent care center that night. The doctor at the urgent care center said it was Lyme, and I started taking doxycycline and followed up with my family doctor 4 days later. I related the whole history, how the bite area became a lesion, hot and painful, and I felt achy and sick on Friday. He also saw the bite area but agreed it was Lyme, I even said to him, 'do you think it could be a brown recluse bite?’ and he said no. But, he said he'd never seen a Lyme bullseye rash like this ever before, and he's been practicing for probably 30 years. Then I got my results back from the blood test taken at the urgent care center (6 days after the bite) and it was negative for Lyme. I asked this question of the woman giving me the results (which I asked all along by the way), if there was anything else that could cause a bullseye rash. She said yes, spider bites. Ten minutes of research showed that the timeline of my symptoms, the symptoms themselves, and the appearance of the bite area all exactly matched the brown recluse bite. I think we were all (me too!) blinded by our fear of Lyme disease. Just wanted to share this so others may pause and consider other alternatives when they get the bullseye rash..