Date: 08-Oct-2000 at 10:57 AM EDT Host: spider-tn052.proxy.aol.com /
Document Title: Re: Can spider bites cause simular rashes?
Terry: Spider bites, at least certain spider bites, can cause a rash that in SOME ways is SIMILAR to the Lyme rash, but in many, many ways is very very different.
The first question to ask is WHERE is your friend located? The brown recluse spider is found only in certain limited areas of the country NOT including the NE US nor California...
Brown Recluse Spider Territorial Map: http://spiders.ucr.edu/images/colorloxmap.gif
The next question to ask is whether the bite was painful and whether the rash is painful? Cause the bite and the rash are painful when it comes from a brown recluse spider, sometimes agonizingly painful. The rash can have an annular/circular appearance BUT w/in the first 24-48 hours the skin at the site most often will become necrotic, painful and soon start to slough off...
Another common myth/bit of MD misinformation I hear is this:
'Your rash itches. It CANNOT be a Lyme rash. That is an allergic reaction to a bug bite.'
Typically the Lyme rash does NOT itch. However, MANY people are
allergic to bug bites, and specifically tick saliva. So it is
possible to be bitten by a tick and get an allergic reaction.
Which does not preclude also being infected by Lyme (and other
tickborne illnesses). An allergic reaction AND infection are not mutually exclusive.
Also, remember that more Lyme rashes are atypical than present
in the classic bullseye.
The whole spider bite thing is another great myth and bit of
common MD misinformation.
The brown recluse spider bite is only superficially similar to
the Lyme rash in that they briefly can have a similar
appearance. The differences are far greater than the
The spider bite rash is almost always painful and so is the bite itself. The spider bite rash tends to become necrotic and
painful in the middle and sloghing off of the skin following
necrosis is commonly seen.
MOST IMPORTANT: the spider whose bite causes this rash is almost never found in the Northeastern United States--it prefers warmer southern climates, and is rarely if ever found in the wild north of the mason dixon line. So all the folks who call me from the
NE us who have not travelled south and tell me their doctor told them their rash is from a spider bite, I urge to see an LLMD,
and remind them of these facts, and remind them that NO ONE can
distinguish one rash from another by simply looking with their
eyes--even DR RASH himself--many rashes of very different
origins present with very similar appearances and mere visual
examination is NOT enough, particularly for those who aren't
even trained as dermatologists (dermatalogists automatically
biopsy nearly every patient and send the biopsy off for
microscopic examination, staining for fungus and
histopathology).And I remind them that their doctor is not
likely to be an entymologist and is likely NOT much of an expert about bug bites either!
The Great SPIDER BITE SCAM!!!!
Submitted by Category
From: Terry James
Date: 08-Oct-2000 at 07:48 AM EDT
Host: ip775.m0net.ips.techline.com /
Document Title: Can spider bites cause simular rashes?
Hi after going to a retirement party at where I worked,one of my good friends showed me his knuckle of his right index finger. It was swollen and red with a chunk that was missing right where he was bit. The weird part was he had a rash on the left side of his chest that went from his nipple,staight up to his adams apple, then over to the top of his shoulder, then diaganolly back to the nipple. This is the same kind of spread out rash that I had on my back and I've been confirmed for lyme since November. He wants to shrug it off as just a spider bite. Will spider bites cause rashes? and so far away from the bite site. Or could he have been bitten by a spider on the nuckle of his right hand and also been bit by a tick closer to the rash.Anybody with knowledge of spider bites please respond. Thanks Terry