Although the bite of a brown recluse spider is poisonous, these wounds usually heal well if left alone, an expert notes.
It’s still important to recognize the warning signs of an adverse reaction to a brown recluse spider bite, warned Dr. Donna Seger, medical director of the Tennessee Poison Center, particularly since these potentially dangerous bites are on the rise.
“As physicians, it is hard for us to do nothing. The [bite] has classic characteristics, but if physicians are not familiar with this bite, the tendency is to debride [remove infected tissue] and cut out the lesion,” she explained in a Vanderbilt University Medical Center news release. “This actually slows the healing process, and can result in disfigurement that would not occur if the lesion were left alone.”
Ointments, antibiotics and the anti-infective medication dapsone should not be applied to a brown recluse spider bite wound, Seger added. She also recommended using ice for pain management rather than strong painkillers.
In some cases, brown recluse spider bites can cause symptoms throughout the body. Warning signs of this syndrome include fever, rash and muscle pain.
These symptoms may occur with or without the breaking down of red blood cells, which can be life-threatening, particularly for children.
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SOURCE: WebMD News from HealthDay
Mary Elizabeth Dallas