Brown Recluse Spider Warning!

This is the THIRD time I’ve gotten this email forward, so I thought it was worth mentioning in my blog.  The subject line of the email reads:  Fwd: Dangerous Spider Bite – Brown Recluse Spider (Graphic pictur…
The body of the email shows some awful pictures of someone’s infection on their hand that they supposedly got from a spider bite.  Since I am a skeptic of ANYTHING I get via email forward, I looked up this warning on, the website that investigates possible urban legends and their origins.  Actually, while I was at it, I looked up snopes on, seeing what they’d say about their own site being an urban legend, but that’s another post…

Anyway, back to the spider bite warning.  Instead of posting the pictures of the infection here, I will just provide a link to the entry about it since the pictures are pretty gross…  Click here if you have a morbid curiousity and you’d like to see what the inside of someone’s hand looks like.‏  So anyway – and I find myself saying anyway again, which means lots of tangents in this post :).   Anyway, when I looked up the brown recluse spider bite warning on, it said that the status of this legend is undetermined, which means that they don’t know if it’s true or not.  Evidently, the photos are real, and it’s really an infection in someone’s hand that is pictured, but the origin of the infection is not necessarily the spider bite.  Here is a description of the incident by the victim her-(or him) self:

 I suspect a spider bite was the cause.  I was out in
the wood at Caddo Lake and noticed a bite on my thumb.  The doctor I was
seeing thought it was a spider bite.  Other doctors told me it was a brown
recluse bite.  It was also a MRSA infection.  It became so infected
because the first antibiotic I was on was not doing any good and I tried
to finish the semester before going in to see the doctor.
It was a very interesting experience and I no longer wait to go in to the
doctor.  Whether or not it was a brown recluse bite or not I can’t say.  I
saw some very good doctors who specialize in spider bites and they thought
it was.  But you have probably seen the latest info on MRSA infections
being misdiagnosed as spider bites.

Umm…  this person described this experience as “interesting”?  Wow, what a mellow personality one must have to possess a wound that looks like that and describe it as interesting… 

So, the moral of the story is, be careful with spider bites.  Be even more careful with email forwards, and most importantly, (especially if you’ve read my post called, “Don’t Let a Hospital Kill You) take good care of skin infections before they become as serious as the one pictured in the spider warning email, or you will have an “interesting experience” of your own!

5 thoughts on “Brown Recluse Spider Warning!”

  1. Aren’t those lovely pictures? Something for the family album? Jamiahsh – I’m surprised you didn’t get this from our favorite forwarding friend, V. She’s the first one that sent it to me.

  2. Just so you know, the Brown Recluse Spider is not native to NW Ohio. Any extremely poisonous animals are all hitch hikers, and generally don’t last too long up here. No black widows, no scorpions, and only one venomous snake. The snake is extremely rare (endangered I think), and loves the low swampy ground (Massasauga or swamp rattler). So you shouldn’t have to worry about the lovely pictures.

  3. Not very concerned about the brown recluse… especially because they don’t even know if that’s where the infection came from… The concern is not the poison in the animal, it’s the infection… can’t let an infection get to that!

  4. the problem with a brown recluse bite is that it numbs the area and starts to kill (digest actually) the tissue. If you try to treat it yourself, you end up with a very bad infection. So the important thing to remember is if you get bit by any insect, if it starts to look worse than a mosquito/fly bite, you should have it checked out.

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