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 Brown Recluse Spider Bite

Here's an email sent in by Tina:
Four years ago my then 13 year old daughter woke me and said her leg was stinging. I looked at her leg and knew it wasn't an example of a bite I'd ever seen.

In Texas we have a lot of insects and other critters; I'd seen just about every kind of sting and bite except spider and scorpion, but I couldn't identify this bite... Since we hadn't seen ANY scorpions in the area, I figured spider as my first guess. The bite was the color of bubblegum and about as big as a quarter with a tiny hole in the middle. I told her to run slip on some loose shorts and get in the truck. Since I am allergic to most bites, I wasn't taking any chances with her being allergic.

By the time we reached the clinic the area was about the size of a silver dollar, dark, blood red, with a black spot in the middle.

At the urgent care physician identified the bite as a spider bite, probably a Brown Recluse. He gave her an antibiotic perscription and steriods. He told us to also buy some Benadryl and give her a LARGE dose of it immediately and every 4 hours for 48 hours; then as needed for itching. He also said we should have administered Benadryl as soon as we noticed the bite. (You might add that to your first aid recommendations. I had no idea it would help a spider bite, but he said it helps the body stop reacting to any venom. It sure helped her.)

Over the next several weeks, we battled infection. I had no idea that the "Bull's Eye" people say to look for took weeks to become recognizeable. The original bite was about the size of a silver dollar. As it started to clear, a welped area popped up about an inch from the original area...blistered, and began to heal, then again, another inch another whelped/ blistered worked in that pattern until she had rings around the original circle from below her knee to above her hip. The original bite was about mid-thigh.

The very center, or bull's eye was the only area that rotted out, and though it took months, it did finally heal completely without scarring. The Doctor said we were fortunate that we acted so quickly and were able to begin treatment within an hour of the bite. I wish I'd documented with photos, but I didn't. It was a very interesting process to say the least.

I like your site very much. As a teacher it's nice to find a comprehensive site so well laid out for students and teachers.

Tina Cobbs

More photos and information on treating bites may be obtained in the links below.

Brown Recluse Spider Bite Site A Cure??
Brown Recluse - Photos & Observations