How to Treat a Brown Recluse Spider Bite

Knowing how to treat a brown recluse spider bite can be an important skill to have. Although there have been no reported adult deaths directly linked to a brown recluse spider bite, the poison contained in the bite can lead to several different complications.

A brown recluse spider bite can be extremely serious for young children, the elderly or anyone with a compromised immune system. Knowing how to treat a brown recluse spider bite properly from the start can help reduce the chances of serious complications.

Brown Recluse Spider
The brown recluse spider is a small, brown spider with a distinct, violin-shaped marking on its back. It does tend to be reclusive, preferring to hide in dark and quiet spaces. The spider is native to warm areas, but these days, it can be found all over the US. It has potent venom that is toxic to human tissue and can cause enlarging wounds that don't heal without direct medical intervention.

Brown Recluse Spider Bite
A brown recluse spider bite may sting during the actual bite, but you also might not feel anything at all. The bite will start as a small red bump surrounded by a red ring and will look very similar to a bull's-eye. The bite may start stinging and begin to turn more skin around the bite red. It can cause intense pain and will eventually become a fluid-filled blister. The blister will then pop and open, leaving a deep ulcer.

Brown Recluse Spider Bite Home Treatment

  1. Capture. If you are bitten by a brown recluse spider, it's important to try to capture the spider. You will want to take the spider to the doctor for identification. This can help your doctor know the right treatment path
  1. Clean. Make sure to clean any suspected spider bite well with soap and water. Use cool water to the cleaning and flushing, as warm water can cause any venom to move more rapidly into your system.
  1. Cool. Use a cold compress on the spider bite to help alleviate pain and slow the movement of venom. You can dampen a washcloth with cold water or use a plastic bag filled with ice as your compress.
  1. Calm. Stay calm if you suspect you have been bitten by a brown recluse spider. Avoid any strenuous activities that could cause the venom to move more rapidly through your system. Also try to keep the bite area elevated above your heart to reduce blood movement.
  1. Call. It's important to call your doctor if you suspect you have been bitten by a brown recluse spider. If they can not see you the same day, your doctor may advise you to seek help at the emergency room.

Brown Recluse Spider Medical Treatment
There isn't much that can be done for a brown recluse spider bite beyond proper care and regular monitoring. There is no anti-venom or specific medication to dissolve the poison in the spider bite. As a preventative measure you may need to receive a tetanus shot, though.

If you've been bitten by a brown recluse spider, it's important for your condition to be closely monitored by your doctor. Brown recluse spider bites can fester and grow, becoming very susceptible to infection. If an infection does occur, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics. If the infection is extreme, your doctor may need to remove the dead tissue surrounding the infection to help aid the healing process.

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