Here's a page with photos of the
progression of a supposed Brown Recluse Spider bite to the thumb.
These were photos were sent to me with no way of acknowledging
copyright or verification that they are correct. They are often
contained in an email warning about the brown recluse spider.
Click here for a site about these photos which says in part: "Whether these photographs actually depict the effects of
brown recluse spider bite is difficult
to determine. The accompanying text provides no useful
identifying information, such as where the putative
victim lives or where he was bitten, whether he obtained
a diagnosis of his wound from a doctor, whether he
sought medical treatment, etc. Various accounts place
these pictures as having originated in Missouri,
Wisconsin or California.
Even if these photographs are genuine, they likely
create an exaggerated sense of the danger posed by brown
recluse spiders. As Phillip Anderson, a Missouri
physician who specializes in brown recluse spider bites,
explained in an
article for the medical journal Missouri Medicine,
'Almost all brown recluse spider bites heal nicely in
two to three months without medical treatment at all.
Also the long-term medical outcome is excellent without
treatment.' Furthermore, says Anderson, 'We are not
aware of any verifiable deaths caused by the bite of the
North American brown recluse spider.' (He noted that
several deaths from such wounds 'had been reported in
medical journals, but none of the reports is
convincing.') He also reported that out of 'about 1,000
credible recluse spider bites,' he was only aware of
'about a dozen cases of impressive, sustained
hemolysis.' " Further information on the Snopes
site has named the owner of the thumb and also provided this link to the
photos of the surgery needed to repair the thumb.