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

What was the treatment for your spider bite?

Comment from: Julie, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 08

Back in 2003, I was bitten by a brown recluse spider while at a barbeque. I noticed that evening when I returned home my right leg was very sore and a little bit red. The next day, the redness increased and spread with a layer of skin starting to separate from the other layers of skin. My leg felt very hot and sore. I went to the emergency room, my leg was excised, and I was given Penicillin VK, which I had an allergic reaction to. I was then given Levaquin, which aided in the healing. This began an entire year of treatment (excising and antibiotics). I was very fortunate that I got med help within hours of getting bit and probably saved my leg. I have severe scarring from the excising but other than that relatively normal. Best to eliminate spider bites is prevention. Be aware of your surroundings and areas indoors and out, shake out your clothes and shoes before dressing.

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Comment from: angiewhitl, 45-54 Female Published: July 24

I was bitten by a brown recluse in 1999. I didn't know I was bitten, and it took a week before symptoms started showing up. There were hives that covered my hands, feet, my ears, and every part of my body. I ended up in the hospital with the doctors telling me I had Legionnaires' disease! I finally got rid of the hives only to end up in my doctor's office three days later with him telling me that I had to have emergency surgery to remove the poisons that were eating away at my body. I was sent to the hospital within the hour to have a debridement done on my backside that left a 4-inch funnel and two smaller tunnels into my backside. I woke up with about 3 feet of packing and pain so bad I can't describe it. I was off work for three months, was unable to sit, and needless to say, my hips hurt all the time. If anyone tells you it's nothing to worry about when you tell them you were bitten, you tell them to shove it. This woman still carries the scar from that spider (which we never found) .These spiders are very aggressive, and we do get a lot of them into the country by way of our retail imports.

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Comment from: sixty8-whiskey, 19-24 Male (Caregiver) Published: May 29

Treatment for a spider bite. Do not elevate the wound above the heart, this will force the blood to rush to the heart faster, instead keep the wound below to heart, to slow the venom. Spider bites, snake bites, all the same thing. The venom travels through a series of nodes in the body, so about 2 inches above the wound take some string, cloth, doesn't matter and wrap it around the area, not tight enough to cut off blood flow, but not to loose. When you have that, take a razor, or scalpel, knife whatever, and make a 1/8th - 1/4 inch deep incision above, through and below the wound. Take a suction cup, or anything that has suction, and try to suction it out. Do not use your mouth because even if you spit it out your body will absorb the venom. This will not stop the venom but it will slow it down until you get to a medical treatment facility who has the antivenom. Keep the patient as calm as possible, do not excite them or get them to breathe faster, as this will cause the venom to travel faster. Once again this will not stop the venom, it will only slow it down until you get to a treatment facility. If you can, bring the snake, spider, or whatever bit you, to the facility. If not and you have no idea, than do what you can until you arrive at a hospital.

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Comment from: 65-74 Female Published: November 08

Hospital doctor gave me injections then as much poison as possible was removed from the bite in my stomach. I then had to visit the hospital every day to have dressing removed and another inserted isn't the wound. My treatment lasted about three weeks until the wound healed from the inside. The bite happened on holiday in USA in either Sebring Florida or Memphis Tennessee. I can't be sure which because I never felt the bite when it did not happen nor did I see the spider. I only found out it was a spider bite when I went to the hospital after noticing a blackish small blister like spot on my stomach and it was surrounded by a reddish circle.

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Comment from: ashwolf54, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 13

I was bitten by a brown recluse spider 2 years ago while on vacation in Florida. I noticed a stinging sensation on the top of my right foot and soon it was red and swollen and tender to the touch. I decided to treat it myself, (which was foolish, should have went straight to the emergency room) with peroxide and antibiotic cream and luckily I had brought some antibiotics with me. When I returned home I saw my dermatologist and he confirmed I was bitten by a brown recluse and I continued on antibiotics and luckily it healed but left a deep scar. Since then I have had two staph infections, I have one now, and I wonder if being bit by the spider has anything to do with the staph infections as I never had them before. I am on antibiotics, Bactrim, and the cream, both infections have been on my buttocks. I consider myself a clean person and don't know what to do about these infections and worry I will continue to get them.

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Patient Comments

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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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