Spiders are the one most common phobia in people, but how many spiders are capable of biting people? Most spiders are harmless, and among about 20,000 that live in the region of United States, only 60 are capable of biting the human. Why does that happen? Usually, if they get in that kind of situation where they feel threatened, it can be a moment the spider is pressed between your skin and your clothes. Brown recluse spider is not that naive and maybe you should be cautious when it comes to this kind of bites. They like warm places, so when it gets cold, they tend to enter people’s houses and there is a possibility of getting a close meeting eye-to-eye with this kind of spider. Let’s see how to recognize and how to deal with them.
Let’s Find Out Something About The Spider Itself
Brown recluse spider, or Loxosceles reclusa, is known for its necrotic venom called sphingomyelinase D, which affects the body tissue leaving it with inflammation and leading to necrotic ulcer and gangrene. It can be dangerous since it can evolve in kidney failure and even fatal consequences. The causes of death are reported only in children younger than 7 years old. They are not aggressive, but will attack if they feel threatened. They like dark, warm places like closets, attics, old tires, barns, mostly grounded places. Brown recluse spiders live in a region comprising Arkansas, Mississippi, Kansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, Alabama, and parts of Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Georgia, Tennessee, Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska. If you don’t live in these areas, unlikely is that you have a chance to get bitten by this species of spider.
How To Recognize The Bite?
Initially, bites can be painless. The first symptom can be shown after 3 to 8 hours after. It can start with redness, it can become tender and swollen. This can go with itching, fever, muscle pain, vomiting, nausea, chills, etc. Because of this, such nonspecific symptoms, the initial bite in the first couple of hours can look like regular flu and you would not even think about bite and spiders. It can be misdiagnosed even with physicians, thinking it’s Staphylococcus aureus or some other bacteria, diabetic ulcer or Lyme disease. If you see some small fang marks and redness on the skin, followed by this other symptom, you should go to a doctor right away. The faster treated, the better. The doctor can perform some kind of tests, and can get some analysis from the wound itself and treat you with antibiotics and antihistamines. The bites usually stay localized and within 3 weeks they heal, leading to full recovery. Sometimes, it can expand with the wound diameter about 7 or more inches. This can prolong to a few weeks or so, and it could leave a mark or lead to a more serious state or disease.
Stages Of Brown Recluse Spider Bite
You can feel bite sting or it could be painless. After a few hours, the enzymes from spiders’ venom are starting to affect the tissue by dissolving the cell connections and leading to inflammation. This activates the immune system, and here is where some people react more sensitive than others, leading to some severe changes. The enzymes break down the skin, fat, blood vessels leading to necrosis and immune system provides with cytokines, histamines, and disease-specific white blood cells that intend to stop the inflammation and in some cases, the immune system can harm the tissue itself.
In stage two, the destruction of the red blood cells and blood vessels lead to oxygen deficiency in the tissue, leading to changing the color of the skin to gray and it can have a small red spot in the middle.
Stage 3 develops if the venom goes into the circulation and to the whole body, and can cause a reaction called systemic loxoscelism. This kind of condition is characterized by fever, chills, dizziness, nausea and gray color skin around the bite mark. You can also see some rash, like small red dots throughout the body. If this continues without treatment, it can lead to coma, kidney failure, and some seizures.
Medical And Home Treatment Of The Bite Mark
First Aid – if you get bitten by this spider, the first thing you should to is to rinse with cold water and antiseptic soap. Then, put some ice on it and raise it above the heart line, if possible. You can use some painkillers, like ibuprofen, but not aspirin, since it can cause bleeding.
When it comes to professionals, they will opt for antibiotics and antihistamines, which can calm down the inflammation. Sometimes it will require for you to take an anti-tetanus shot. Even if this can be dangerous, most of the bites subside within a few days without any help from the professionals.