Patient Comments: Spider Bites (Black Widow, Brown Recluse) - Treatments

What was the treatment for your spider bite?

Comment from: muddguppy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 24

I was bitten by a brown recluse about a month ago, and while I felt the stinging prick and noticed a large pink welt on the back of my lower leg, I didn't really notice anything else after the second day until I kept feeling like there was something wet on the back of my leg. I looked in a mirror and saw two bites which were black and oozing in the centers with dark purple all around and 3/8 inches wide around each bite. The larger pink area was also a light purple. I have kept a lobelia tincture around for many years, (1 oz. cut lobelia herb in a pint jar filled with vinegar, shake twice a day for 10 days and strain if desired) I applied the lobelia on the bite with a large band aid, and kept it there for 36 hours. In one day's time, the purple has turned from black and purple to pink and red. I went in to the doctor, and got a tetanus shot and two types of antibiotics, and fortunately, everything has healed up other than the pick and red skin. Where the bites initially were, there was a small bit of skin that sloughed off, but I haven't got any big holes thankfully. So far, I have no ill effects. My daughter was also bitten about 18 years ago by a brown recluse. (She found and identified the spider.) She also used the lobelia tincture and never lost any tissue, although we have both had varying degrees of headache, nausea, and joint pain. We are both fine with no further problems.

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Comment from: alex, 13-18 Male (Patient) Published: August 27

When I was 10 years old, I awoke to find a nasty red swollen lump on my upper thigh. It was incredibly painful whenever I touched it. I did not tell anyone about it for the initial two days, then it began getting so painful I could barely manage to walk. I was taken to a hospital when I was put on a heavy regimen of antibiotics. A dermatologist confirmed it was a brown recluse bite.

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Comment from: StormyLuv, 13-18 Female (Caregiver) Published: April 21

This may not work for all but I'm a firm believer in this treatment for almost any bites. My daughter was bit by a brown recluse on the top of her foot and we noticed a white line moving up her foot then up her leg so I knew immediately she had been bitten (later found the spider). I made a thick paste out of meat tenderizer and applied it over the bite, let it dry then took her to the doctor. By the time we had gotten in to see the Dr. the white line had disappeared. He said that was a great idea with the meat tenderizer, it drew all the poison out and she had no symptoms afterwards. This also worked well with stings from jellyfish when we went to the beach. Making a paste using meat tenderizer is the best cure for almost any type of sting!

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Comment from: 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: August 25

My 20-year-old son was bitten by a brown recluse spider and did not notice until a day later when he saw his leg all swollen and red. The previous day, he was feeling very ill and stated he had a cold or flu because all his body was aching. We tried taking him to a doctor, but he refused. I started him on antibiotics and pain medicines until I called my mother and she advised to cut a big onion in slices and apply them to his leg. I did; I applied purple onion slices overnight and in the morning he was a lot better. The onion really worked.

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Comment from: jiho16, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: March 17

I was bitten twice, 6 weeks apart by brown recluse spiders. Both had to be operated on (cut open and removed infection and dead tissue). Both bites were on fingers, the first one was on left ring finger, waited 1 week. before seeking help. Second was on the right index finger, I sought help the 2nd day. I helped to put a cold pack on the 2nd bite and helped keep the poison from spreading.

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Comment from: Meg M, 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: May 02

My sister was bitten by a spider on her thigh two years ago. It was never determined what kind of spider it was but it ate into her flesh and she had to be on a multitude of medications and creams over a three month period. This cleared it up for a few months. However, ever since then she has periodic episodes where she breaks out in hives all over her arms, legs, chest, and back. Doctors have called it psoriasis and labeled it an allergy of one sort or another. She is absolutely miserable and cannot find any relief for whatever she has. We are ready to take her to Mayo Clinic.

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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 - Symptoms Question: Please describe your symptoms associated with a spider bite.
Spider Bites - Brown Recluse Question: Have you or someone you know ever been bitten by a brown recluse spider? Please share your story.
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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