Brown recluse spider bite

Brown recluse spider bite

If you have been bitten by a Brown recluse spider bite you should seek medical attention, since a Brown recluse spider bite can causes severe symptoms in humans, including gangrenous wounds. In severe cases, the wound can take months of even years to heal and form serious and discomforting scar tissue that disfigures entire limbs. The open wound can also become infected with bacteria, viruses or fungi. Surgery is sometimes necessary in order to remove dead or dying tissue form the bitten area. 

Brown recluse spider bite – vulnerable groups
The symptoms experienced after a Brown recluse spider bite vary a lot from person to person. Children and elderly persons risk developing more severe symptoms, since their bodies will not dilute and combat Brown recluse spider bite venom as efficiently. If you have an underlying health condition, especially heart problems, a Brown recluse spider bite can also be more dangerous to you.

Brown recluse spider bite – individual variations
Even two persons of the same age and constitution can develop highly dissimilar symptoms after receiving Brown recluse spider bites, since one victim can be more sensitive to the venom than the other. The severity of the symptoms can also be affected by other factors, such as how deep the venom was injected and which limb that was bitten. A large spider with big mouth parts is capable of causing a deeper wound that a small spider with small mouth parts.

Brown recluse spider bite – identification
As explained above, a wide range of factors will affect your individual reaction to a Brown recluse spider bite, and seeking prompt medical attention is therefore always recommended when you think that you have received a Brown recluse spider bite. If possible, ask someone to capture the spider and bring it with you to the hospital in a plastic bag. Knowing which spider that bit you will make it easier for the hospital staff to give you the ideal treatment. If the spider manages to escape, you can instead describe to the doctor. Pay special attention to size, colour and colour pattern of the spider. Habitat and the shape of any the net can also provide valuable clues.

In most cases, Brown recluse spider bite victims do however not realise that they have been bitten by something until several hours have passed. After such a long time, it will naturally be really difficult to tell which spider that bit you. It is not uncommon for a Brown recluse spider bite to be virtually pain free at first. You may feel a short stabbing pain when the spider punctures your skin, but it is also very common to feel nothing at all. The real pain will not develop until 2 to 8 hours have passed.

Brown recluse spider bite symptoms:

  • Two small red marks at the bite site. These marks are virtually impossible to distinguish from bite marks cause by other spiders of similar size. They can also be invisible to the human eye since they are so small.
  • Pain around the bitten area.
  • The bitten area can feel hard to the touch, at least initially.
  • A white blister at the bitten area.
  • Local swelling.
  • Reddening of the skin around the bitten area.
  • A typical white-blue-red wound consisting of a white blister/lesion, a surrounding blue-grey area and reddened skin.
  • Generalized itching
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Restlessness
  • Fever
  • Feeling chilly
  • Shock
  • A large wound with tattered edges and sinking centre can develop over time. The wound can be surrounded by gangrenous tissue and grow larger and deeper each day.
  • Secondary infections in the wound caused by bacteria, virus or fungi.


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