Spider bites: Dealing with the brown recluse spider

Being bitten by a brown recluse spider is not usually deadly, but elderly and children as well as those with poor health are at risk. If bit, proper first aid care can help save the individual from infection or other complications.

First aid care

Some of the first aid measures for a bite include:

  • Try to keep the individual calm if bitten by a brown recluse spider
  • Apply an ice pack or cold compress to reduce the swelling and pain in the bite site
  • If possible, secure the spider carefully to be used in deciding on a diagnosis.

What are the signs?

A reaction to a bite is based on the amount of venom injected during a bite, age of the spider and the sensitivity of the immune system of the individual to the venom.

brown-recluse-spider

Apply an ice pack or cold compress to reduce the swelling and pain in the bite site.

A sting from a brown recluse spider can trigger an immediate reaction but some are not affected at all. Generally, a victim might start to feel some reaction 2-8 hours after. A bite is small as a pinprick and might be left unnoticed. Nevertheless, once the venom starts to react, the individual will experience the following:

  • Generalized itchiness
  • Restlessness
  • Nausea
  • Fever and/or chills
  • Shock

In most cases, a small-sized white blister starts to swell around the bite site. This area enlarges and turns reddish while the tissues harden.

A wound from a brown recluse spider bite is defined as a bluish-gray or bluish-white, dry, depressed patch while the bordering area is reddened. The small lesion can grow to the size of a dime or bigger. This is based on the reaction of the individual to the venom.

A severe reaction can trigger an aching deep lesion that takes a long time to recuperate. A volcano lesion is described as a cavity in the flesh caused by the damaged tissues. This can erupt at the site of the bite.

More Information / Disclaimer

The information posted on this page on a bite from a brown recluse spider is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize and manage bites by taking a standard first aid course with Edmonton First Aid.

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