We are your one-stop source for information on prevention and treatment of Brown Recluse spider bites
** The following information was compiled from various medical and collegiate sources. It is not intended to replace the advice or diagnosis of a medical professional. Some of the photos may be disturbing **
Identifying a Brown Recluse Spider Bite Bibliography
If you see a mark on your skin that you think may resemble a spider bite, examine the bite very closely. If it is a spider bite, there will be two separate "fang marks" about 1/16th of an inch apart. The next step is for the fang marks and surrounding tissue to eventually turn darker in color due to necrosis. The surrounding skin will be red in color.
If there is only one puncture present, the bite was more likely made by a mosquito, deer fly, or other insect. It may also be a sting or a thorn puncture.
If you think you have a Brown Recluse bite, the only 100% sure way of knowing you have a bite is to catch the spider that bit you and have it identified by an expert.
We offer a free spider identification service. Simply contact us with your photo(s) and we'll help to confirm whether or not it is a recluse spider.
In a short period of time, the venom in a Brown Recluse spider bite has the ability to cause major tissue necrosis. Necrosis is the death of living cells. The venom comes into contact with the living cells and they simply die. The result is a very painful and gruesome "flesh-rotting" open wound.
Fatalities are rare, but are most common with children, the elderly, and those in poor physical condition. The severity of the bite wound can vary greatly with some bites going unnoticed while others (though rare) reach the size of dinner plates. The amount of venom the spider injects can vary and tests indicate the spider is able to control the amount of venom injected.
Brown Recluse spider bites can be difficult to diagnose, even by physicians. Diagnostic tests to detect Brown Recluse venom in tissue are not readily available.
Collection of the spider that bit you is considered the best possible chance for positive identification. This presents a problem because Brown Recluse bites sometimes do not result in any initial pain (43% of cases in one study). Since the bite may not be immediately noticed, collection of the spider isn't seen as a necessity.
As soon as 2 hours after the bite, or as long as a week, the area may become painful, itchy, hot, swollen, red and tender. An irregular ulcerous sore, caused by necrosis, will often appear that is from 1/4 inch to 10 inches in diameter.
Prompt attention is the best defense against preventing the necrosis. The wound is often described as being dark colored in the center, surrounded by a reddish area with a narrow whitish separation in between the red and the blue. This gives it the famous "bull's eye" pattern.
If the wound is becoming necrotic, it will often begin to turn purple within 24 hours. If the skin does turn purple, it is likely that necrosis is on the way and will then turn black as the cells die.
Eventually, the necrotic core will fall off and leave a deep pit. A sinking blue-gray impression in the skin is the result. This is due to the lack of a good blood supply to the center of the wound.
Deep scarring can occur after healing. Scarring may look like a hole had been scooped out of the body. In some cases, necrosis can reappear months or even years after being bitten. Sometimes necrosis will reappear on a yearly basis (See below).
Necrosis takes a long time to heal with some victims experiencing pain for months and even years after being bitten.
Our customers report
that our First Aid Kit healed their necrotic wound, and that having a kit
on hand prevents severe necrosis from ever appearing:
Those having the following symptoms are less likely to experience a necrotic wound. The theory is that the venom circulates through the bloodstream rather than being localized in the skin. These symptoms are:
Not all bites will have the same effect. There have been cases where deaths were attributed to Brown Recluse bites, but it is not common. Secondary infections can occur. The degree of severity depends on:
An antivenin has been developed but is mainly effective within 24 hours after the bite. Since people typically only visit their doctor after the 24 hour window has expired, an antivenin has not been commercially available.
A number of methods have been used by the medical community to fight the symptoms of a Brown Recluse spider bite.
Emergency room treatment often consists of local debridement (removal of dead tissue), elevation, and loose immobilization of the affected area. Antibiotics are usually the treatment of choice, though it only helps to keep the wound from getting infected.
Cool compresses are also sometimes applied to help slow the activity of sphingomyelinase D, the protein thought to be responsible for tissue destruction.
If the wound continues to fester, additional visits to a doctor will involve cutting out the surrounding tissue, and possible scheduling for skin grafts. The photos on the left are that of Dale Losher, a Brown Recluse bite victim who was admitted to the hospital for treatment.
Staph and Strep infections can occur due to the open wound, which can cause serious complications, and are a major reason for amputation.
If you are bitten, do not apply camphor, phenol, or other household disinfectants Also, never apply heat to a Brown Recluse bite wound. It will make it worse.
Recurring bite wounds
Brown Recluse bite wounds are known for returning even after it appears to have completely healed. One possible trigger of the recurrence is a bruise, scratch or other lesion near the previously wounded area. The wound can erupt in the same location as the original bite or in another area. The wounds can recur on a yearly cycle near the time of the year when the original bite occurred.
It is believed that wounds return because the venom is still underneath the skin. Below are photographs sent to us from Cora Rich of Scott County, TN. She has a recurring bite wound in its 10th year of recurrence.
in 1999, a woman was bitten on the arm by a Brown Recluse spider and made a remarkable discovery.
She and her husband tried various suggested remedies to help heal her horrible bite wound but nothing seemed to work. Rather, it was getting worse. They knew from other people's experiences that doctors were only going to prescribe antibiotics and that wasn't going to heal the wound.
Finally, after much prayer they discovered a combination of ingredients which they applied topically to the bite wound.
After applying, the wound quickly reversed course and healed up completely.
They later learned that the Activated Carbon they applied to the wound is already given internally at hospitals to treat poison victims because Activated Carbon quickly adsorbs poisons.
Using the same substance to adsorb Brown Recluse venom externally on a Brown Recluse bite wound, along with some important herbs to support healing of the wound only made sense.
So in 2003, they decided to partner up with others and begin developing a product that could be kept on hand in case someone is bitten AND also be used on older Brown Recluse spider bite wounds like hers.
Finally, a Very
Effective, All Natural, Drug-Free
Why does the
product work so well? The ingredients in this kit get to the root cause of the
symptoms rather than treating symptoms.
Drawing out the venom is the most important factor for starting the healing process and this is exactly what the Brown Recluse First Aid kit was created to do.
This First Aid Kit has 2 components. The all natural Advanced Adsorb Powder (containing high quality Activated carbon) is combined with The Brown Recluse Solution, a unique herbal solution, to produce a paste.
paste has a molecular attraction to the venom. (See
of this kit have been astounding! Since 2004, over 35,000 kits
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