Progression and healing of a spider bite

Ok, this is not really study notes, it is just the story of my spider bite.  Well, best guess is a spider bite.  I didn’t feel any bite. 

5-21-10. This is about 6 hours after the first stinging sensation, not a specific event, just noticed that it was stinging like a burn.

5-22-10.  This is about 30 hours after and this is when it was decided to visit the ER.

5-22-10.  The ER doctor (who looked like Clark Kent) suspected a jellyfish sting since it was first noticed after getting out of the ocean.  Bactrim (Sulfameth/Trimethoprim 800/160) was prescribed in case there was some staph infection involvement or to prevent it.  Augmentin (Amox-Clav 875 mg) also prescribed as a broad spectrum antibiotic because the source of the problem was not really known.  Diagnosis – Cellulitis.  Follow up with PP.  (The tiny blue line around the periphery is where we drew a circle with a pen to track enlargement or reduction)

 5-25-10. Morning of day 4 or about 66 hours after noticing the “stinging” sensation.  A visit to the primary physician brought this comment from the doctor “Oh my!  I can’t do nothing with that”.  He prescribed Doxycycline Hyclate 100 mg which covers tick bites and spider bites.  He could not decide whether or not to stop the Augmentin; finally decided to continue it.  He tried to find a surgeon to refer me to because it needed to be debrided.  No luck.  Was advised to go to Duke ER the next morning to find a surgeon to look at the bite.  This picture was taken at the ER (hour 80).  The PA I saw said that the current thought process was not to debride but to let it heal naturally with the help of the Doxycycline [well, maybe this is “study notes” after all, I should forward this link to my PP].  Augmentin was stopped.

 5-26-10. The blisters finally burst.  (The dark streaks to the left are adhesive from tape used to keep it covered).

Day 75-27-10; turned the curve.  The purple ecchymotic area has lost some color and receded somewhat.


  5-29-10; after leaving it uncovered all night…. think I should cover it back up.


6-3-10 scab peeling off, new pink skin beneath!


6-21-10 Day 30


23 thoughts on “Progression and healing of a spider bite”

  1. Wonderful site. A lot of useful information here.
    I’m sending it to some pals ans also sharing in delicious.

    And of course, thanks to your sweat!

  2. I really appreciate seeing this progression – I am currently experiencing the same thing. No idea what bit me, 4 bites in a cluster, and it is progressing like yours, only I have not seen a doctor yet. Mine is now in about day 10 – not sure since I don’t know when the bites occurred. Thanks for posting these pics and giving such a good description!

  3. Recommend going to the doctor! A quick trip to the doctor could definitely prevent serious problem that an infection may cause later. I would only skip the doctor if the redness and heat (warmth of the skin at the bite) are already receding.

  4. This looks pretty much identical to what I’m experiencing right now on the back of my thigh. My day 4 (big blisters surrounded by purple) looks just like your day 4 did. On day 2 I was experience chills, fever (101+), and fatigue.

    Went to my PP yesterday (day 3). He suspected a spider bite and prescribed 2 weeks of Sulfamethoxazole/Trimethoprim, which I started yesterday. The fever and chills are gone, so hopefully I’m on the road to recovery.

    Thanks for documenting your experience!

  5. Thank you for sharing! My bite was much less severe, but I can still see the similarities, which tell me that my bite is on the mend and doing great.

    For anyone who gets a spider bite and recognizes it, I recommend putting on black ointment (NOT black salve, they’re not the same). Here is the brand that I use:

    There are also a few other home remedies that can take out the poison. If it gets worse, obviously don’t wait to see a doctor. Your bite got so bad so quickly. I’m glad that you’re ok, and that the bite area healed really well!

  6. Mine was similar. 10 days after first course of antibiotics the redness, heat, and swelling came back but surrounding the original bite. It grew to an area all around my leg and 12 inches up and down the leg. Doxy this time. 7 weeks out I have a new infection in big toe, same leg. This is not usual for me. There must still be a toxin or infection hiding and coming out when opportune. Hope it heals completely and does not go on for months.

  7. Has anyone been able to ID the spider? A family member has a very similar bite and we are stumped as to what might have done it. Any help is appreciated!!

  8. No idea what it was. I was at the beach when it happened. Could have been on the beach or in the house before I went to the beach. Who knows. Sorry.

  9. Your documentation of the chronology with pictures and description is the best that I have come across. Thank you

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  11. Holy crap I swear I had the same damn bite and the ER dr told me it was psoriasis. Same excact start and finish.

  12. Thank you for posting progression with dates. I feel a lot more confident that my bite will heal after seeing your detailed experience.

    I got bit on my belly twice in one sitting at the start of fall and it only hurt for about 30 mins, but I got bit on my leg Tuesday and here it is Friday and it’s just starting to heal.

    It started as what looked like a mosquito bite and swelled to the size of a nickel within ten mins. Then, the next day, it itched and formed a wonky bullseye. It looked more lik a red fried egg lol. The bullseye formed a hard lump under my skin. If I hadn’t seen the original bite site, I’d swear I was burned with a flat iron. That’s what it looks and feels like. It’s a raised dark red slash, not at all like the bite started, but it finally stopped hurting. I hope it just stops swelling.

    I really don’t know what bit me. There’s not much of a puncture that I can see, not really. It’s a white spot, but not a raised bubble. We’ve had a lot of those orangish lady bugs cause my walls are yellow and they love it. Do u think maybe one of those could’ve secreted something to make a spider-like rash? It’d be hard for it to get on the back bend of my leg, but maybe. I don’t see a fluid bubble at all, but it’s only been 3 days. I’m just curious what the heck it was. It jacked me up, like an OG! Now I’m scared there’s a spider hit on me. I do be squishing em, u kno

  13. This is exactly what a bit on my toe did. Thank you for sharing I’m at the skin peeling stage after 15 days. The “epicenter” is still present and looks like a small oozing crater, but better. I feel like I’m at least on the mend and encouraged by your detailed post! Thanks

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