What to do, not to do if bitten by brown recluse


Just by looking at a brown recluse, you’d think its bite would hurt, but they don’t.

Vanderbilt toxicologists have treated more of these bites this summer and News 2 found what you need to know.

Dr. Julia Gomez with Sterling Primary Care said the bites can be rather dangerous, but there’s a simplicity to treating this kind of spider bite.

“What you’re really looking for are changes in the skin and signs there’s a spreading infection,” she said.

The brown recluse isn’t aggressive, but more opportunistic.

It likes dark places and to be left alone, but could be hiding in your child’s clothes or bed sheets.

Brown recluse venom can be most harmful to children under the age of 12.

If it does bite, what you do is simple.

“The safest thing is to just use plain old soap and water, and ice is not a bad idea as long as it’s not left on too long,” Dr. Gomez said.

Do not use peroxide or rubbing alcohol because it can break down the skin.

The idea is to not make the skin vulnerable because eventually the wound can get better on its own.

It’s also never a bad idea to call your doctor as soon as you can, particularly if a victim suffers from muscle pain or a rash around the bite.

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