4 Signs You May Have Been Bitten By A Brown Recluse Spider

If you were recently bitten by a spider while cleaning out your closet or garage, you may wonder if the culprit was a brown recluse spider. If so, look for the following four signs and symptoms that you may have been bitten by this type of spider.

Burning And Itchy Skin Around The Bite

Although you may not feel any pain when the spider first bites you, you may shortly afterward start experiencing a burning and itching sensation at the site of the bite, as well as the skin around it. These symptoms are caused by the venom making its way through the tissue in your skin.

If your itchy, burning skin becomes worse, try using an over-the-counter corticosteroid cream to relieve the symptoms. However, if it becomes unbearable, you may want to make an appointment to see a primary care doctor.

Bullseye Around The Bite

A few hours after you start having local symptoms, you may see a ring form around the bite. The area around the bite will resemble a bullseye, with the bite itself becoming red at the center. The inflammation at the site and the tissue around it is a sign that your body is trying to fight off the venom.

To ease the inflammation, place a cold pack on the bite for 10 to 15 minutes. The cold can also help slow the absorption of the venom, giving your body's white blood cells a chance to get rid of it.

Blister At The Bite Site That Turns Hard

Later in the day or night, the bite site may form a blister that becomes hard. This lump can become quite painful to the touch. 

If you have a blister that turns hard, continue placing ice packs on the site to dull the pain. However, you need to watch it carefully for the sign discussed in the next section.

Black Lump Forms Over The Bite

If you notice that the blister has turned into a black lump, this is a dangerous sign. A black lump indicates that the spider's venom has started to kill off your skin tissue.

This dead, or necrotic, tissue can spread quickly if left untreated. When you see this sign, call and make an appointment with your doctor immediately.

If you believe you were bitten by a brown recluse spider, you may want to have a medical professional look at it, especially if you start seeing the formation of a black lump. Contact your primary care doctor to schedule an immediate appointment so they can diagnose and treat the bite before it gets worse.