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


What was the treatment for your spider bite? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Michelle, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: June 26

My treatment was cephalexin 500 mg 4 times a day, and antibiotic cream (Neosporin) applied to the spider bite site. This is my second encounter with a brown recluse spider, can’t be 100 percent sure that’s the spider as I have been asleep each time. But my doctor seems to think so also. Both times the bite was on my left ankle, the same spot, and within 7 months of each other.

Comment from: Mapa , 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: April 10

My nephew was taking a stingray off a hook accidentally caught and it wrapped its tail around his wrist and caused quite a bad laceration. About 15 minutes after injury he had a seizure that lasted about a minute. We went to emergency room and they treated it with warm water which gave him instant relief. The venom caused the seizure. Not something to treat lightly. Seek medical help immediately.

Comment from: Kaitinlal, 65-74 Female Published: September 07

I got wet in the rain on the 28th and from that night I've been suffering from fever till now.

Comment from: medical missionary, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: August 26

Treatment for my spider bite was charcoal poultices changed every 2.5 hours; one can also add bentonite clay. About 10 days passed before I knew I had been bitten. I eat plant base no junk food about 75 percent raw, and lots of green smoothies. Garlic flush every morning, haven't had a cold or flu in years, bite would have been worse if I had not been building my immune system. I had to keep working so I made a really thick poultice covered with sandwich wrap so it would not dry out, wrapped that with ace bandage; do not let it dry out. I slept with it at night, cleaned in the morning, put manuka honey on it and put a new one on for work, and repeated at night. Do this till it is healed. How I made my poultice is, one tsp charcoal, one tsp ground flax seed (clay one tsp optional), add water and stir till it forms a paste. Fold paper towel to a 4 inch square, dampen, put the charcoal on it, spread it on the folded towel, and put it on the bite with towel out. Take a 4 inch square sandwich wrap place on top then wrap with ace bandage. It will be good for about 8 hours. I hope this helps someone.

Comment from: reliable, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 16

I have received two brown recluse spider bites within 14 months. I have not sought a doctor's care (I did ask a doctor about my bite when in the office for another matter and the bite was okay) and have treated my bites at home. It is a tedious process but well worth the effort. My scar from the first bite is barely visible (the second is still being treated). Once you notice the bite, clean it with peroxide (peroxide is a debride agent) and then apply a paste made with vinegar and water. Use this paste for 2 to 3 days (this helps pull the venom from the wound). Keep the bite covered with gauze so the wound can breathe. After applying the paste I use a mixture of one drop each of the following essential oils: basil, bergamot, clove, frankincense, and rosemary. Then add 5 drops of lavender. Twice a day everyday debride the wound using peroxide and a sharp double edged razor blade. With the razor blade cut away (always cutting sideways...never down into the skin) the dead skin. Keep up this routine until the wound finally has a pink hue to it (this means all the dead skin is gone). After all the dead skin is gone stop using the razor but keep up the oil and peroxide treatment. I put a little Neosporin on the gauze through all the stages to assist in the fight against infection. This treatment has worked well for me and it may not work well for you. But, it is worth a try. You should make sure you do not have an allergy to any of the oils before mixing your treatment oil. The doctor was surprised that I was able to do so well with my bite, but was very reluctant to tell me I did well since they do not like to tell you a home remedy works. You just need to keep a close eye on the wound and be diligent. If you remove the gauze patch and the wound is starting to smell, add 5 more drops of lavender to your mixture or contact your doctor. (Lavender is what was used during the Civil Was to stave off infection.)

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.

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.


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

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.


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