Patient Comments: Spider Bites - Brown Recluse

Have you or someone you know ever been bitten by a brown recluse spider? Please share your story.

Comment from: Sandy, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: May 21

I knew an elderly neighbor who was bitten by a brown recluse spider. The area of his leg became very inflamed, and then the skin began to slough off and break down, going into deeper layers. He was hospitalized but the spider bite became infected and the infection spread to his blood. He died 3 weeks after the bite.

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Comment from: Miamimom, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 16

I was bitten by a brown recluse spider 2 weeks ago. I had what looked like a very bad bruise on my arm. I didn"t realize until 2 days later what type of spider it was. The bite did not hurt but I felt very bad, exhausted with muscle fatigue, and some dizziness too. I used activated charcoal on the bite for a week and the bite cleared up. I still feel very tired and achy sometimes. I"m taking charcoal and echinacea by mouth and will continue to until the symptoms disappear.

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Comment from: tim gilbert, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: February 11

About five or so years ago I was doing a wood shake shingle roof. About half way through the day I started feeling sick to my stomach and decided to take the rest of the day off. I got home, lay down for a couple of hours and when I woke I had the worst pain in my right hand. From the time I had got home till the time I woke up my hand had swelled about three times its normal size. I rushed to the emergency room and was seen by a doctor that told me that I had been bitten by a brown recluse spider and that they needed to take me to the operation room and drain the spider's venom out. Long story short, I ended up being in the hospital for almost two weeks.

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Comment from: gsnider,AZ, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: May 10

I took my son on an overnight camp and woke up the next morning feeling fine. On the drive home, my neck started feeling a bit stiff, and I was getting a mild headache. By the time I was home (two hours) my wife had to rub my neck and shoulders because they were so tight and sore. My headache subsided with some Excedrin. Although the tightness in my neck and back never went away, the Excedrin helped me feel fairly normal for the rest of the day. That night, I started to get a burning sensation in my forearms. I told my wife it felt as if I'd just done an extreme workout and I was already sore from it. The next morning, I awoke to both of my hands swollen and tingling. My neck and lower back were stiff and I had a constant headache. I felt nauseous throughout the day. I thought I had kidney or liver problems or something like that. I never felt a bite or saw a mark because I wasn't looking for it. The next day I went to the doctor and got a bunch of blood tests. Once I got home, I noticed a bullseye-looking black circle with a white center. At that point I realized it could have been an insect bite. After ruling out Lyme disease, I am pretty confident it was a spider bite and the doctor agreed. I believe it was a brown recluse mostly because the symptoms seem to match up. My knees also hurt during this ordeal. It took about four days for major symptoms to go away, and about two weeks for the headaches and numbness (from time to time) to go away. I found that ibuprofen worked the best.

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Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Spider Bites - Type of Spider and Reaction Question: What type of spider bit you, and did you have a reaction?
Spider Bites (Black Widow, Brown Recluse) - Treatments Question: What was the treatment for your spider bite?
Spider Bites - Symptoms Question: Please describe your symptoms associated with a spider bite.
Spider Bites - Black Widow Question: Have you or someone you know ever been bitten by a black widow spider? Describe the experience.

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