Discussion Response

Submitted byResponse to
From: Just Me!
Can spider bites cause simular rashes?

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:

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...

Here are some links on this topic:

Identifying/misidentifying brown recluse spiders Dermatology:
Entomology - Myth of the Brown Recluse Spider:
Entomology - Spiders and other Arachnids:
Entomology - Causes of Necrotic Wounds other than Brown Recluse Spider Bites:
eMedicine Online Text - Emergency Medicine:
HealthCentral - General Encyclopedia - Brown recluse spider:
Brown Recluse Spider Bite Healing Progress Photos:
HealthCentral.com picture lesion on the hand:
Brown Recluse SPider bite, lesion on the back:
Brown recluse spider - Symptoms:
Brown Recluse Spider, genl info Q/A:
Brown Recluse Spider Fact Sheet:
Bites: Brown Recluse Spider Bites:
Brown Recluse information and Traps that Stop Hobo and Brown Recluse Spiders:
Alta Vista Search Results:
Brittanica.com search results/links:http://search.britannica.com/search?query=spiders&ct=igv&start=6&show=10

Compare the photos of brown recluse spider bites above and the information about the bite with the following info about and photos of EM rashes:

"Get Wise to Lyme Disease: NJ DOH site w rash photos:"
Image: Lyme Disease Rash:
Symptoms of Lyme: rash pics:
More Lyme Disease Rash Pics:
Alta vista image search results for Lyme rash:
Lyme Disease Foundation site has some rash pics:
New York State Department of Health Communicable Disease Fact Sheets and rash pics:
From the lots of links guy, symptoms of Lyme, rash pic links:http://www.geocities.com/HotSprings/Oasis/6455/symptoms-links.html
Erythema Migrans -- My Point of View: Dr Masters/Medscape: a good article and some more rash pics:
Medscape Abstracts and Conference Summaries - Ehrlichiosis, Babesiosis, can cause rashes too in additon to lyme:
Some rash pics:

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!


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

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