Patient Comments: Spider Bites - Type of Spider and Reaction


What type of spider bit you, and did you have a reaction? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Tanya, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 27

A few years ago I woke up with swelling of the face, cold sweats and fever. I went to the emergency room was triaged and the doctor came took one look at me, poked me in my side, I said ouch and he admitted me to the hospital. He said there was some type of poison causing this and the antibiotics I was given weren't helping. After three weeks he told me he figured out what was wrong and knew what antibiotics would work, he said I was bitten by a little white spider and was allergic to them.

Comment from: Christine , 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 23

I believe, I was bitten by a wolf spider last year at the dog park (forest preserve). It started to itch immediately and there were three small fang marks in the right upper arm. Within one week, my arm had blisters and itched. It did spread to the top of my back and along the top of my left arm. Steroids (topical, and oral) did nothing. The only thing I could do was not scratch it. The three fang marks turned into gouged wounds. The area started to bruise. It still becomes irritated today.

Comment from: [email protected], 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 10

I am not sure if it’s a spider bite or not. I have a small red pimple like sore on my chest. It doesn’t itch or anything but I have had severe pain in my hands and feet for over a year. No doctor can figure out what is wrong with me. Just wondering if anyone knows if spider bites can cause pain like this not at the bite site.

Comment from: kelly, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 09

I got bit by a brown recluse spider and now my fingers are numb. I wonder if the bite is the reason for this. It's a small red circle with white in the middle.

Comment from: elcardee, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: June 22

Eight years ago, I was bitten in the flexion area of my left foot by a non-venomous spider of unknown species. I got hemolytic beta strep infection (lymphangitis), for which I received a round of IV antibiotics in the emergency room and a 3 week course of Keflex. The foot stayed swollen for almost the entire three weeks of the antibiotic regimen. In fact, the only thing that seemed to reduce the edema was a soak in a dilute Clorox solution. Despite no signs of ulceration or tattooing, I have had recurrences of foot swelling on a regular basis ever since. The edema is only in the affected foot, not in the other one. Seems to improve with elevating the limb, and after a night's sleep, but returns when I am standing. I am somewhat overweight, and I know that probably doesn't help the situation, but I repeat that the problem is only in the one foot. I wonder if anyone else has had this kind of circulatory problem. I assume it is more a lymphatic issue than a blood sequestration.

Comment from: White, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: January 16

I am taking radiation treatments. My legs are now blistering with big sores. I wonder what caused it, if it might be a spider bite and how it can be treated.

Comment from: Terrylynne51 , 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: December 11

I have a spider bite on the side of my temple. It hurts down the side of my face behind my ear down into the side of my neck all the way down to the inside of the thigh of my right leg.

Comment from: marianne , 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 26

I was bitten by a brown recluse spider twice within a year.

Comment from: Tyerlilly, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 04

I was bitten by a spider, probably a brown recluse (I've had one bite me before) and treated it with drawing salve and antibiotic cream. The bite does not look infected but it's a week later and I am suddenly running 100 degrees F fever. I'm not sure it's related or if I caught the flu. I can't find any information as to how quickly a systemic reaction occurs.

Comment from: NanCarole, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 15

I have been bitten 3 times by brown recluse spiders. Once in Arizona. I get reactions like hypertension, tiredness, and not feeling right. My doctors have said not to ice a spider bite. Icing will cause the venom to localize and cause damage to the skin. In Kansas where I was bitten twice, I was given an injection and put on Benadryl. I did alright with no major wound. In Arizona I was just given Benadryl and the doctor pricked open the top of the bite to drain it. And I did alright. Never do I ever ice spider bites and always, even when my son was bitten by a black widow, we have done just fine.


Spider Bites (Common, Black Widow, and Brown Recluse) See a picture of spider bites as well as other bites and infestations See Images
Comment from: Widows ruined me, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: March 26

About 4 years ago I started getting progressively worse stomach cramps and itching all over. After a few months of the doctor unable to figure it out, I lost all of my energy and started having heavy chest pain and severe joint pain especially in my upper back. After 100K in billing to the quacks and countless hours of arguing with quacks who swore nothing was wrong with me and I was faking it, I woke up to a black widow spider biting my back. It turns out there was a nest under my night stand and I was being bitten frequently. Quacks kept telling me it was back acne and not bites… wouldn"t even run the test when I asked about a possible black widow bite on the first visit and the mention of possible stomach cancer made spiders seem unimportant at the time. I used to work in HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), a lot of attics and crawl spaces. I got some of the right blood tests to prove it and now I’m suing the hospital, not because they didn"t find it but because after the cancer screen they treated me like a lying drug addict when my body was so wrecked I was suicidal. My body is still in horrible shape and will probably never recover fully, I’m 32 and my joints are so bad I have the mobility of my 80 year old grandfather.

Comment from: Gina, 13-18 Female (Caregiver) Published: October 07

My daughter was bitten by a brown recluse about 3 years ago. It looked like a small ant bite at first, with a little white head. She popped it and it became blue, purple and black. We went to a doctor who gave her antibiotics and sent her home. The next day the bite started oozing black stuff before our eyes. We went to see a surgeon who admitted her right away. She had a core removed about 1 inch in diameter and 2 inches deep on the front of leg, right under her knee. She was in the hospital for 7 days on IV antibiotics. Definately nothing to play around with.

Comment from: Holly, 25-34 Female (Caregiver) Published: October 07

My son was bitten on knuckle on his right index finger on Tuesday. There was lots of swelling. By the 2nd day he went to a GP; was given a antibiotic shot and amoxicillin tablets. By the fourth day it was turning purple on knuckle and cellulitus up to his wrist. He went to ER and was given 2 more antibiotics and anti-inflamatory pain med. 5th day swelling down except on his knuckle - still purple too...May try to get him in to see Infectious Disease Dr.

Comment from: Bobbie, 75 or over Female Published: August 27

I was bitten by a brown recluse spider in 1973 on my left outside ankle. Five hours later, it began to itch, and later a blister formed. The next day, my ankle and foot turned black, red, green, and blue. The next day, I could not put weight on it, so I went to the doctor. He sent me home to elevate my foot. I got a fever, chills, and threw up. Two days later, I went back to the doctor. He immediately sent me to a surgeon who sent me straight to the hospital. I was there for eight days with my foot elevated and kept wet with a solution. On the eighth day, I was allowed to go home. When I first let my leg hang down from the bed, it hurt much worse than a labor pain. I had a quarter-size hole at my ankle and another down next to my toes. The venom made a trail from the ankle to near the toes. I regularly went to the doctor to examine the holes. I was on crutches for three months. It slowly healed. I had two ulcers at the same spot the spider bit me in 2004 and 2007. Finally in 2007, I had to have my foot reconstructed, and I believe the problems were attributed to the 1973 bite. I am now 78 years old and retired.

Comment from: Redhead, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 31

Not sure if it was a spider that bit me. But I have a black spot coming up where I got bit on my neck. Well, that first black spot is now diagonal and with it about an inch from it, is another small black spot coming up. I was asleep when it happened so I don't know what bit me.

Comment from: Curious, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 13

I have a bite located on my inner thigh, it has 2 red spots in the center and a purple band around the outside like a bruise, and it itches like a mosquito bite, but I have never had the purple ring around it! I wonder what could have bitten me, I live on the Gulf side of Florida near Alabama and we have swamp land in and around us!

Comment from: Brooke, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 28

I was sleeping and have no idea which type of spider bite I have. It's a painful throbbing feeling with swelling.

Comment from: Brianna hall , 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: June 27

I have been bitten by a spider on my wrist, it’s a day later and my whole arm is swollen.

Comment from: sweetooth, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 22

I don't know what spider bit me. I didn’t have any reaction besides just a bruise and a small bump and a little soreness.


Spider Bites: Black Widow vs. Brown Recluse First Aid See Slideshow
Comment from: drummond38, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: January 27

Well, last night 1/25/2017, I was lying in bed to go to sleep, until I felt something stinging me and I thought that it was a hair piece or something like that. Yet, again I put my leg in the same place and I got stung again. Finally, I actually moved it, and it felt small and squashy. I woke up this morning 1/26/17 to the small spot hurting and didn't think anything of it to go about my day, until tonight. I looked at where it was hurting and I noticed a half red ring, white, and a black at the end of the spot. I had a family member check it out and he said that it was possibly a spider bite. He told me to put iodine on it and if there is a red streak to let him know and to not run to the emergency room unless it is urgent. It still hurts and just don't know what to do.

Comment from: Boardy, 45-54 Male (Caregiver) Published: December 20

My ring finger is swollen, I have been working in yard a day ago. I have one small lump and the rest of the fingers are very puffy. It looks like a spider bite.

Comment from: cherp813, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 21

After the bite, possibly by a spider, I felt immediate pain and it continued throbbing for hours afterwards. There was welling at the area. I see one little red dot where it appears I was bitten. This was the middle of the night, but woke me from a sound sleep. I grabbed the area and felt something very light and flat. I could not see what it was. My first instinct was to shake it out of my hand and therefore was not able to examine the culprit.

Comment from: Dahelp, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 13

I was bitten yesterday on the inside of my left leg. It is red and circular, blackish red in the middle, and hard as a golf ball but bigger than the palm of my hand. It is hurting worse each hour. It feels like it is on fire, blistering around center. Cortisone and antibiotic cream will not help and aspirin is not helping. My muscles in my shoulder hurting and can't let clothes touch it.

Comment from: MM, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: May 28

I was bitten by a brown recluse 8 weeks ago while helping an employee doing work under a house. The next morning, I noticed a large "boil" on the back of my thigh. By that afternoon, the entire back of my thigh was red and there was a purple circle about 3 inches in diameter around the "boil". Started treating myself with cold compresses and Motrin for pain and inflammation and circled the purple area with a marker. The next morning, the purple area had grown approximately 1 inch beyond the mark and the "boil" had turned black and was the size of a nickel. Went to my primary care physician who immediately recognized it as a spider bite. (They are common in central Texas and there has been several people bitten in our town). I was then referred to a surgeon who concurred with the diagnosis and was started on Bactrian and Dapsone. The next day, I was admitted to the hospital. The surgeon removed an area of flesh about 3" by 4" and 1" deep. A couple of days afterwards, the wound became very red and hot. A culture was taken and the wound was determined to be infected with MRSA. Stayed in the hospital for a week and received 1.5 grams of Vancomycin every 12 hours. Was released from the hospital and was referred to a wound care specialist. I continued the Vancomycin for 1 more week and had a wound vac on the wound. After about a month of wound vac treatment, the surgeon and the wound care doctor agreed that the infection was gone and the wound could be closed. The surgeon extended the length of the wound to bring the edges together leaving about a 7 inch suture line. 1 week after the closure, the suture line became very red, tender and hot. Another culture was taken and it was determined that it was again infected with MRSA. Was re-admitted to the hospital and started on 3 grams of Vancomycin every 12 hours. After 3 days, the surgeon re-opened two section of the wound to drain the fluid that was underneath. Stayed in the hospital for a week and was released continuing the 3 grams of Vancomycin every 12 hours. It has been 1 week since being released. The surgeon is having the wound cleaned with hydrogen peroxide and packed with Iodoform daily. The area is still tender to the touch however there is no redness. I am now having pain in the muscle and a tendon in the back of my knee. Needless to say, the MRSA infection has been much worse than the original bite, even though the bite was bad enough.

Comment from: diver_below, 45-54 Male (Caregiver) Published: May 12

Hi I live in Australia I got bitten by a red back spider which is the same as your black widow on the 1/5/2010. I was going scuba diving at the time when I felt a sudden pain in my wet suit got my friend to squash whatever was biting me and kill it in my wet suit, thought it was a green ant so I didn't really worry about it at the time. As I was in 15 min into the dive I had a really sharp pain in my chest but went away 30 min into the dive felt a bit sick but went away then 50 min into the dive had to get out of the water I was vomiting on the beach went home and fell asleep. I was fine when I woke up went to a friends and I was sick again, light headed and thought I was going to faint and sweats and felt really sick. I went home. At 2 am in the morning I woke up with really bad burning sensation on my back went back to bed went to work the next day. Half way through my shift I collapsed at work got rushed by ambulance to hospital they said I was bitten by a female red back spider or (black widow) 5 times on my back, 10 hours in hospital I was so sick and in so much pain thought I was going to die very painful. The doctor told me all about the antivenin how bad it was and what can happen so I decided not to have it so I went home thought my symptoms would go away. I was so sick for the next 2 days collapsed again rushed to hospital had the antivenin 2 days in hospital when I got released I felt fine but as time went on I had very sharp pains in all my joints bad headaches found out I had a reaction to the antivenin which is serum sickness now I’m on a 7 day tablet of steroids hoping this will get all the pain away for a small spider has one hell of a punch to it.

Comment from: JYannucci, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 03

I was bitten by brown recluse spider a little over three years ago. I was bitten in thigh. When it started itching I look, and it actually looked like a tick bulls eye. But then it got red, and skin changed color in a complete ring, which became as big as a dinner plate. Was given antibiotics, and although the skin would erupt, I called it hatching, it never turned black. What did happen is my whole right leg and foot swelled. Now three years later my leg and foot still swell, could it be from the bite. Really bothers me and doctor said he doesn't know long term effects of being bitten.

Comment from: 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: April 29

While remodeling our home I got up one morning and threw on a pair of dirty jeans I'd tossed on the floor the night before. Just as I got them to my waist I felt an extremely hot pinprick on my right hamstring. I grabbed and squeezed the jeans at the site and pulled them off. Definitely a fiddle back (brown recluse). Kept the spider in a pill bottle and got back to work. Continued to burn and ache. I then developed a bulls eye on my leg that slowly expanded over the next three days to about three inches in diameter. A blister formed in the center that burst and then a black dot appeared and started to get larger. After three days of my wife asking me to see a doctor and her becoming more and more concerned to the point of telling me I was going and left work to take me, I went. I took the spider with me for doctor to see. He cleaned the wound, applied antibiotics and gave a prescription for oral antibiotics. He also gave me a tetanus booster. He also told me if it got much worse I'd need to see a surgeon. Fortunately I didn't have to. It took several months to heal. That was seventeen years ago while in my early thirties and I still have a small scar from the necrosis spot on my leg. Better to go quickly to the doctor than be a tough stubborn macho dude and put it off till it gets really bad and you've upset your wife!

Comment from: DMTK, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 07

I believe I was bitten by a brown recluse on the side of my left shin below my knee 14 days ago. I believe this because I have the classic symptoms of the brown recluse: large red rash, then big blister filled with light yellowish cloudy liquid. Then the blister popped 5 days later to reveal a bulls-eye like red ulcer with a white ring around it and a pin dot in middle. I have been to the ER and my primary care doctor. I am Bactrim and been cleaning it 3X daily and using an antibiotic ointment and dressing daily but no relief. Constant pain down the leg, into the bone and no luck regarding the infection. My doctor has said it appears to have advanced to MRSA. I have been prescribed another 10 days of Bactrim and asked to continue to clean, apply the ointment and wrap for another 2 weeks. I am now thinking of seeing a spider bite specialist out of a hospital ER I heard about.

Comment from: mabell3864, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 07

I went to the ER to be told I had a boil on my right leg under my knee. The bottom part of my leg is numb, swollen, and the knee is swollen and sore and there is a little open area with some necrosis in the middle. I have tried soaks, antibiotics, epson salts, you name it and tried to keep off it. I was bitten almost 3 weeks ago by something while rehabilitating an old vegetable garden and my leg has gone downhill since. No one knows what it is. There is very little to no puss and there are several openings starting to appear on my affected leg. Just be careful of digging in dirt in SC, you never know what you might get!

Comment from: Daniel, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: August 28

I was bitten by a Floridian yellow-spotted fishing spider. Because I was unaware of the venom's strength, I called the 24-hour poison control resource out of New Jersey. The young man identified the animal with me quickly and assured me I would just be mildly sick unless I had a history of allergies. I do. The venom caused pain, tingling, numbness and swelling, as well as vasoconstriction of the immediate area where it bit me. I received a normal epinephrine injection from the local emergency room after two hours of convincing them I was an MS in zoology, and not a long-haired moron.

Comment from: Marie D, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 14

I was bitten by a recluse spider five years ago. I had high fever, severe body aches, severe headache and chills and a foot that swelled up and was purple. When tested four months later, I was positive for Lyme disease as well. I have been treated three times for a 5-month period with two antibiotics and then four months later the sweats began. I am now looking for an infectious disease specialist.

Comment from: JayKY, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: May 06

When I was 15, I woke up with a spider bite on the palm of my hand, close to my wrist and opposite the thumb side of my palm. It was itchy and a red streak started going up my forearm within 20 minutes. My grandmother suggested a bowl of epsom salts, or whatever that stuff is. I sat with my hand in the bowl. After 15 minutes the red streak the red streak started going back toward the wound, and in 30 minutes it had suck it all out and into the salty bowl – problem solved.

Comment from: Vacant House Cleaner, Published: March 08

I think I was bitten by a brown recluse spider yesterday on my right ring finger. Both knuckles on that finger went black and blue and became stiff and painful, suddenly, as I was vacuuming-up dead bees from a vacant house basement and doing other cleaning. (No, none of the bees were alive!) I Googled "brown recluse" and found a website with a brown recluse bite kit. For $30 and money-back guarantee and BBB seal, I'm overnighting it. I'll let you know how it goes.

Comment from: carelessgardener, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 26

I only know it was a spider bite because I can see two fang marks. Within an hour it started swelling and turning a bluish color. It's been about three days. I feel very weak and tired. My gym cardio that is usually very easy is a struggle to maintain. I'm 55, and I live in Oregon. I'm quite scared about this. The doctor doesn’t seem to know anything about it.

Comment from: ladybandit, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 21

I was bitten by either a black widow or a brown recluse, and I thought it was a boil, so I tried to self-medicate. I finally ended up in the ER, almost at a dying state. I’ve have boils in the part, so I thought it was a recurrence of the same condition. If I hadn’t driven myself to the ER, I would have died.

Comment from: 65-74 Female Published: October 07

A nutritionist at Johons Hopkins Hosp. -Maryland early 1900's, Adelle Davis in her books 1950's, says Vit C in natures antihistamine. True, because with the 2nd Brown Reclus bite I took 30,000 mgs immediately and one more day. Then reduced it to 20,000 for 2 weeks. I had no reaction at all, like the first bite gave me which was severe. With the lst I bandaged vit E oil on it which healed in 2 weeks with no surgery needed.

Comment from: Beth, 45-54 Male (Caregiver) Published: October 07

My husband was bite 12 years ago by one and every year around the same time the ulcers show back up.

Comment from: machinist, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: May 20

I was bitten by a black widow in Southern Indiana when I was a small child (7 I think). I was a small child for my age. It fell out of a persimmon tree while my dad was mowing the lawn. I remember the bite vividly, I had thought that the lawnmower threw a rock and hit me around the collar bone. It almost knocked me down. Shortly after it occurred I complained to my dad and while I was explaining it to him the spider skittered across my stomach and I knocked it to the ground (pavement. I really was fascinated with spiders at an early age and identified it right before smashing it. I remember feeling very nauseous. I also remember the nurse trying to start an I.V. to administer the anti-venom. My mother said that they had to fly the anti-venom from up North. This all happened about 20-25 years ago. But I figure that this story may be helpful to someone.

Comment from: hilonancy, (Caregiver) Published: May 03

I have discovered (and been bitten by) very tiny spiders that totally resemble miniature black widows without the red mark. Could these be miniature black widows? The bites were extremely painful and lasted for days.

Comment from: Pearley Sky, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 21

I was bitten by some kind of spider 3 months ago in Hawaii. I was not aware I was being bitten when it happened. My ankle immediately began to swell, which is what caught my attention. I could see two fang puncture marks on the outside of my ankle. The venom was in my flesh first and has moved into between my ankle bones. I have had no fever, or muscle spasms. The venom seems to want to travel up my Achilles tendon. My ankle is very stiff and very painful at night. I'm losing the flexibility in my ankle and it makes some loud popping noises. Any information is appreciated.

Comment from: 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 30

I was bitten surreptitiously by a 2 to 3 inch outdoor spider which was light grey and furry and had black and cream colored violin-shaped hash marks on its back. It left brown fang marks on my arm followed by the usual pain, redness, swelling, blistering, which I didn't notice until about 45 minutes afterward, and I did not notice its bite. However, a large subcutaneous blister formed, not visible, but it was loaded with venom which burst two to 3 months later, and I consequently have a certain amount of paralysis in the outside left arm. It seems to be vaguely traveling thru the left part of my body, but has left part of my hand numb. I went to the doctor. I read in the patient descriptions the vitamins C and D can be helpful. I also used Tums Smoothies, Tylenol, ginseng, and some topical bacitracin zinc ointment (water-base) with some cortisone cream. Also, I took some Benadryl because it is an antihistamine. I did this off and on for about two weeks. Then I stopped altogether because I'm nearly out of medication, and my body is rebelling. Now what? Alternating rest and exercise seems to be effective, but nausea and pain and stiffness are reoccurring. Also, it seems to be making other painful areas worse. I am allergic to Ibuprofen and soy, and tried Mucinex and Claritin which work really well but make me excessively cranky (far crankier than I need to be.) Also, am getting the sweats. I am thinking of swapping out the Claritin for Benadryl with Mucinex and Tylenol and Tums, and resuming the topical applications. I've already talked to the pharmacist but forgot what he said, besides the ginseng.

Comment from: tanis, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 27

It had a white spot where I had been bitten. One day later it is not big, but it looks black and blue.

Comment from: Eva, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 21

I got bite by a brown recluse spider while in Vegas in June. I have been on 3 different meds, but it isn't going away.

Comment from: 7-12 Female (Caregiver) Published: August 18

My granddaughter has a bite on her wrist from unknown spider or insect there is no itching involved but the area is warm, red and swollen with red streaks going up her arm.

Comment from: i've been hit, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: August 17

I got bit by a sun spider. a.k.a. 10 legged freak. I had severe pain and swelling and itching. Please do not step or smash them with bare skin.

Comment from: 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 13

How about a spider bite that left about a 1 inch round mark, inches like crazy for about 2 weeks then disappears only to re-appear about a month later and has been doing this for 5+years.