Weird Delay in Pain from Brown Recluse Spider Bite Explained

Within their habitat, there can be serious infestations—if there is one brown recluse spider, there are most likely dozens or even hundreds more of them. However, even in homes with serious brown recluse infestations, it is unusual for people to get bitten.

In many cases, it’s thought that the spiders arrive in boxes and shipments that come from the states where they are native.

If you notice that the skin around the bite starts to look a bit red and swollen, wash the area with soap and water, pat it dry, then apply an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment. Keep a close eye on the wound for any increasing signs of infection.

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The angular, slanted leg shape gives brown recluses their scientific name (Loxosceles means “slanted legs”).

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You may be given a course of oral antibiotics if you have a mild case of cellulitis. If it’s severe, you will be given intravenous (IV) antibiotics in the hospital.

If those are your only symptoms and they don’t get worse, you don’t need to see your healthcare provider. You should still watch the wound closely to make sure nothing changes in the hours or days after you are bitten, though.

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In rare instances, you may be at risk for loxoscelism, in which the skin around the bite begins to die away. Getting a diagnosis as soon as possible can ensure you have the right treatment to stop a potentially life-threatening problem.

When that spider is a brown recluse spider, the condition is referred to as loxoscelism. This is because the brown recluse belongs to a genus of spiders known as Loxosceles.

Most brown recluse bites either don’t have any symptoms at all or there is a little swelling with a red bump. Some bites will develop a boil or a pimple that resembles an ingrown hair.

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Brown recluse spiders live in very specific parts of the south-central United States. The spiders are called “recluses” because they are hard to find even in the places where they live.

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The patient responded to the antibiotics and the infection cleared up. Two weeks after the bite, the wound was beginning to heal and healthy tissue was forming.

In some cases, what a person thinks is a spider bite is actually another type of necrotic skin infection, such as necrotizing fasciitis. Skin infections like this can be much more dangerous than a spider bite.

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