Brown Recluse Spider Bite: Symptoms, First Aid And Treatment

The brown recluse spider is well distinguished for its appearance as well as its poisonous bite. It is the commonest and most prevalent of brown spiders, however; it is found only in the south and central United States.

By and large, the brown recluse spiders live in Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Missouri, Mississippi and certain areas of Tennessee, Georgia, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska.

Symptoms Of Brown Recluse Spider Bite

The brown recluse spider has a deadly bite, and if bitten you need to seek instant emergency medical aid, without wasting precious time. Like most spiders, this spider too, characteristically bites when disturbed.

  • The symptoms of a brown recluse spider bite differ depending up on the quantity of poison introduced in to the person as well as the person’s sensitivity levels.
  • Some people may experience a delayed reaction, others an immediate reaction, and others no reaction at all.
  • Those who have a low sensitivity level, will show only a small red mark which by and large, tends to heal fast and a vast majority of bites do not leave behind any scars.
  • Those having a higher sensitivity level, manifest a white blister at the site of the bite soon after the spider bite.
    The tissue around the bite site turns hard. The region becomes whitish and dry with ragged edges surrounded by redness.
  • In extreme cases, the bite site may develop a ‘volcano lesion’, i.e. the damaged tissue could turn gangrenous and is seen as an open wound which occasionally can be as large as a human hand. This wound takes more than 8 weeks for full recovery, and scars are always left behind.
  • People also complain of itching around the bite site.
  • There will also be fever, chills, nausea, and sometimes vomiting, sweating and general malaise.

First Aid And Treatment For Brown Recluse Bite

  • Clean the wound well, using a mild soap and warm water; and apply an anti-biotic cream.
  • Thereafter, apply a cool compress. Use a cloth soaked in cold water for the compress. This will help allay the discomfort, pain and swelling. If the bite is on the arm or leg, raise it.
  • You may use an over-the-counter pain reliever or anti-histamine to manage the distressing symptoms better.

After the first aid, it is essential that you visit your health care provider soon. It is necessary; do not neglect. He will examine the bite site / wound, order certain tests if necessary and give you the appropriate treatment.

  • Your physician will clean the wound again; well with an anti-septic.
  • He will ask you to apply cold packs frequently, to decrease the inflammation and pain.
  • He may prescribe a strong analgesic if required or may ask you to take anti-histamine to reduce the itching and agonizing pain.
  • He will call you for regular follow ups to look out for any signs of secondary infection.
  • He may advocate a tetanus booster shot if you haven’t had one in the last 5 years.
  • In case infection occurs, he will prescribe anti-biotic. You need to follow the course for the anti-biotic properly.

There isn’t an effectual commercial anti-venin. If you are bitten, and after having received the first aid, you feel severe symptoms are manifesting, call 911 or poison control or reach the emergency room immediately.

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