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brown recluse

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 7 months ago

Brown Recluse Spider Bites







What's the Big Deal? It's A Small Spider!


The Brown Recluse spider is one of 60 spiders in the Americas that are capable of biting humans. Although you wouldn't think a spider bite would be something to worry about, consider this: the brown recluse's venom is more potent than that of a rattlesnake. From the small injection, the venom spreads, causing cellular death, and eventually tissue necrosis. So you think, "It's no big deal, my immune response will take care of the little bit of venom, and everything will be fine." Think again. The autoimmune response may, in fact, cause more damage than it's preventing. True, it's rare, but there's always the chance that your immune system can cause, by the release of histamines and cytokines, destruction of red blood cells, clots in capillaries, and inability to clot where you need them.


How Do I Know If I've Been Bit?


Well, chances are you won't know at the time of the bite, as brown recluse bites tend to be painless. Often, you will notice a few hours after you've been bitten by a brown recluse. Symptoms include pain, itching, nausea, vomiting, fever, muscle pain, and, if a severe bite and left untreated, tissue necrosis. There is a good chance, however, that your body's natural immune response will take care of the invading venom and there will be little scarring after the site of injection is healed.


Should I See A Doctor?


If you think you've been bitten by a brown recluse, it is a good idea to see a doctor the same day, or as soon as possible afterwards.


How Should I Treat This Before Seeing A Doctor?


According to eMedicineHealth, you should apply ice to the area, elevate above your heart, and take Tylenol or another NSAID to prevent swelling. You should not apply heat, as that can further the tissue damage. You should not apply steroid cream (Hydrocortisone), try to suction the venom, or use electricity to stop the spread of venom.


 How Will The Doctor Treat This?


As there is no antivenom available for this type of spider bite, the treatment is largely supportive. A tetanus immunization may be reqired, as well as antibiotics, pain relief and antihistamines.


Where Do Brown Recluse Spiders Live?


Brown Recluse spiders prefer warm, dark places, including attics and garages.


How Can I Avoid A Brown Recluse Spider Bite?


Easy. Clean your house, remove clutter from garages and attics, and keep firewood and other clutter away from your home. Other things that eMedicineHealth recommends is installing sodium vapor lights and having a professional pest elimination.


Pictures Of Brown Recluse Spider Bites


So you want to see what a bite can look like in its more advanced stages? Well... here are a few for you.


Foot Bite

Arm Tissue Death in its early stages

Surgery to remove dead tissue

Healed brown recluse bite; 10 months after







Source Name Web Address Information Taken
eMedicineHealth http://www.emedicinehealth.com/spider_bite_brown_recluse_spider_bite/article_em.htm Bits and pieces were taken from this website and compiled into this document. Copyright credit goes to the original authors and editors.


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