Spring is here, the weather is warming up and we are finally able to wear those cute open toe sandals. With that being said, there are some new concerns to be aware of. All of the creepy crawlers that have been sleeping the winter months away are coming out of their favorite hiding places and we are all at risk for bug bites.
Brown Reculse Spiders are common spiders in the South part of Texas. They are yellowish-tan to dark brown in color, about the size of a half dollar. They measure around a half-inch in length. If you have been bitten by a Brown Recluse, please seek medical attention!
The most common times for these spiders to bite are in the summer months. Spiders prefer dark, dry, undisturbed locations to live. Think garages, basements, under rocks, in piles of wood, and up in the attic.
How do I know if I was Bitten by a Spider? Or maybe it was just a Mosquito...
One of the first ways to tell if it was an actual spider bite:
- It will be very painful, and the pain will not go away.
- A central Blister may form around the bite site. The skin will often blanch(turn white in color) around the blister and the skin around that will become very red and irritated.
- The redness will not be symmetric. We call this the Red, White, and Blue sign. It is an excellent way of identifying a recluse spider bite.
What should I do if I think I was Bitten by a Spider?
- Avoid exercise and avoid heat. Heat will spread the venom faster.
- Elevation of the extremity.
- Cold Compress
- Cleansing of the wound
- Topical and Oral antibiotics
- Simple analgesics (tylenol for the pain)
Typically these spider bites will heal in 1-3 weeks and the pain will usually reside in one week but, it is important to have the bite looked at by a professional. There have been studies that have shown these spider bites can cause necrosis of the skin, fever, nausea, and even renal failure. The best treatment is to avoid getting bitten at all. Learn to recognize the spider, patient awareness is the primary factor in making the correct diagnosis and forming an appropriate treatment plan.