Patient Comments: Spider Bites - Brown Recluse

Question:

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

Comment from: Don, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: October 14

I think I was bitten by an unknown spider, I don’t know if it was brown recluse spider. I have a brown, maybe purple spot just below my left knee. It itches, happened in my crawl space under my house, 3 to 4 months ago. I have been using Neosporin on it, it is dry now, but from time to time it itches. Wonder if I should see a doctor.

Comment from: Audrey, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 11

I have been dealing with a brown recluse spider bite for 3 years. It started out with the burning, and by the time I got home my leg was 3 times its size, red and swollen. The doctor gave me 2 antibiotics. Since then the wound center had veins stripped. It keeps getting bigger and the skin drying and coming off. Then it gets raw all over again. I wonder if anyone has dealt with this and what they did.

Comment from: Paula, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 24

I was bitten by a brown recluse spider 18 days ago. I went to the emergency room (ER) where they gave me antibiotics, pain medicine, ibuprofen 600, a tetanus shot, circled the bitten area, and sent me home. I returned to the ER to days later and they gave me a booster antibiotic shot and steroids, and told me not to pop the blister. By this time the bitten area was thrice as big. I followed up with my doctor two days later and was given more steroids. Past two days I am feeling fatigued, with stiff joints and headaches.

Comment from: Josh, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: July 17

I was bit on a Tuesday night by a brown recluse spider while sleeping. On Wednesday the area around the bite was red, about 3 inch diameter, painful, swollen, and hard. Pain is local but also in surrounding joints. Thursday the redness spread and the wound had white pus, clear fluid, and abscess formed. There was a small black spot in the middle. Sunday the abscess was lanced and packed at the emergency care facility. I am still treating it a week later.

Comment from: leabrit, Female (Patient) Published: March 08

On Friday l got bitten by a brown recluse spider (this is my 4th time of being bitten by this spider) and l normally pop the area so the poison drains. This time l just did not do it this as it was on the back of my leg. That night l went to bed and l got the shakes and could not stop. That is when l realized what had bitten me, had my husband pop it and drain out the pus. Only by this time it was in my body, the shaking stopped but l felt like l needed to be sick and got to the point where l could not breathe and my temperature hit 100.2F. So I went to the emergency room where they gave me an IV and some medications to help with the sickness and then did a bunch of blood tests. My blood pressure was 170/96, normally 110/76, now l am doing a bit better but still feel sick 6 days later. I am exhausted every time l do anything and am sleeping on and off through the day. It is hard to eat anything but if l don’t l get really faint and that is another worry. But my temperature is almost normal. The worst thing is my stomach swelled up and was inflamed and hot, it is slowly going down but got huge and hard for a few days which was very scary.

Comment from: leabrit, Female (Patient) Published: March 07

On Friday l got bitten by a brown recluse spider (this is my 4th time of being bitten by this spider) and l normally pop the area so the poison drains. This time l just did not do this as it was on the back of my leg. That night l went to bed and l got the shakes and could not stop. That was when l realized what had bitten me, had my husband pop it and drain out the pus. Only by this time it was in my body, the shaking stopped but l felt like l needed to be sick and got to the point where l could not breathe and my temperature hit 100.2F. So I went to the emergency room where they gave me an IV and some medications to help with the sickness and then did a bunch of blood tests. My blood pressure was 170/96, normally 110/76, now l am doing a bit better but still feel sick 6 days later. I am exhausted every time l do anything and am sleeping on and off through the day. It is hard to eat anything but if l don’t l get really faint and that is another worry. But my temperature is almost normal. The worst thing is my stomach swelled up and was inflamed and hot, it is slowly going down but got huge and hard for a few days which was very scary.

Comment from: Nana_to_JJ, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 13

It is very important to see a doctor right away if you suspect you've been bitten by a spider. I've been bitten by a brown recluse spider. The bite is sharp and painful, like a pinprick. The area of the bite turned red with a white center. When the center turned dark I became very concerned and went to the doctor who gave me a shot of steroids and a prescription for Cipro. Side effects of the bite included abdominal pain, dizziness and joint stiffness. One day after taking the Cipro, the symptoms went away and 3 days later the bite started to heal. I can't stress this enough, it is very important to see a doctor right away.

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.

SLIDESHOW

Spider Bites: Black Widow vs. Brown Recluse First Aid See Slideshow
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.

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.

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.

IMAGES

Spider Bites (Common, Black Widow, and Brown Recluse) See a picture of spider bites as well as other bites and infestations See Images