Highlights

  • Contrary to popular belief, brown recluse spiders are not found in California and FloridaRead More
  • A nickname for brown recluse spiders is violin spidersRead More
  • Wounds from brown recluse envenomations are often very largeRead More
  • Most bites are dry bites (bites where venom is not injected). In such cases bacterial infection is the only dangerRead More
  • There are no tests that can disclose if your spider bite wound was from a brown recluse spiderRead More
  • It has six legs and its legs are the same colorRead More
  • They egg sacs are white, and each egg sac contains 40-50 spiderlingsRead More
  • Their life-span in 4 years on averageRead More
  • They prefer to live in dark and dry places. Watch out for spiders in clothes and shoes!Read More

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Wounds and Scars

By Anders Nielsen, Ph.d.

Disclaimer: The images of scars from bites brought here have not been confirmed.



Although the brown recluse spider has a reputation of being a rather docile spider, its bite is nothing to joke about. The reason why is it considered rather docile is that it has been shown that people have lived together with it for years without a single bite.

The human body has a tremendous ability to repair tissue that has been compromised. In this case, a condition called loxoscelism has caused a lot of tissue damage around the wound.

The patient in the photo below will have to go through a long healing period. How long it takes depends on his age and how effective his body is at replacing the dead skin cells with new ones.

Wounds like these can take up to two years to heal completely.

Luckily, relatively mild damage is seen in many cases with bites in adults. However, a search in the literature for the words: "brown recluse and bite" reveals that 65 percent of all children must have surgery for their wounds in order to recover. As their skin is thinner, they are much more likely to be exposed to loxoscelism than adults.

The lesson from all of this is that even though the danger imposed by brown recluse spiders is overestimated, one must take care to avoid close encounters.

The article is: Complications and Outcomes of Brown Recluse Spider Bites in Children (Hubbard J & James L) in 2011.




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