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Brown recluse spider bite symptoms
The bite of a brown recluse spider leads to a mild stinging, followed by local redness and severe pain that usually develops within eight hours but may occur later. Some reports of brown recluse bites describe a blue or purple area around the bite, surrounded by a whitish ring and large red outer ring in a "bull's eye" pattern. A fluid-filled blister forms at the site and then sloughs off to reveal a deep ulcer that may turn black.
Picture of a brown recluse spider. Note the violin pattern on the cephalothorax and light-colored hairless abdomen.
Picture of a brown recluse spider
Picture of a brown recluse spider head close-up
Generalized symptoms of bites from black widow and brown recluse spiders may include:
joint pain or stiffness,
overall feelings of malaise,
muscle cramping or tension.
While black widow spider bites are hardly ever fatal, rare deaths have occurred from brown recluse spider bites and are more common in children than in adults.
If a spider was not observed inflicting the bite, it is difficult if not impossible to determine whether a spider bite occurred, since many conditions of the skin may produce the same symptoms as a spider bite. Streptococcal and Staphylococcal infections,
early lesions of herpes
simplex or zoster, burns, stings or bites from other
arthropods or insects (including fleas, bedbugs, mosquitos, biting flies, ants,
and ticks), thorn injury, and early Lyme disease all may be characterized by
skin findings similar to those from a spider bite. Spiders rarely bite people,
and only if threatened. People often thing they have spider bites when the
irritation is from another cause.