Friday, July 13, 2012

Spider Bite :/ (Graphic Images)

This past month we have had some new experiences with our children. One thing that I have never experienced is a Spider Bite. I check my children over at least once a day when I am bathing them, getting them dressed, or undressing them. I try to keep up with all the bumps, bruises, scratches, and so forth. I think this is a common thing among parents. One Saturday my oldest was running around in her diaper. I noticed she had what looked like a mosquito bump coming up on her side. I asked he if it bothered her. She said, "No Mommy." I love her little voice, I smile thinking about it....

Anyways, later that day I noticed that the bite was forming a head. The head looked a light green color. I showed my mom. We didn't know what it was. We could tell it had something in it. So we tried to get it out. I held Arianna and my Mom got a kernel out of the bite and cleaned it. Ari did really well. It was uncomfortable, but she has a high pain tolerance. When I kept her attention, she mainly focused on me. Well we didn't know what it was, but like always I kept an eye on it.

I knew it was some kind of bite, but a spider bite never entered my mind. I thought it might have been an ant bite that got infected. How is got on her side, I didn't know. But that is what I thought it could be. Well the next morning, Sunday, it was red and I noticed it was getting darker. Ari was fussy all day. I knew the bite was bothering her, but I didn't know what to do. We decided to watch it and keep it clean. If she or the bite area started to get cellulitis or run fever then we would take her to the Emergency Room, but we were going to try to wait for Monday morning to call our Doctor.

We went through her bed area and play area and check for spiders. Her bed was clear, but we did find a spider in her play area on the floor. My husbad looked it up. From her symptoms and what the spider looked like he said it could have been a Brown Recluse, Hobo Spider, or Yellow Sac. We didn't think we should take her straight to the E.R. Most Doctors give steriods and antibiotics for these type things and our daughter doesn't handle antiobiotics well. So we didn't think we should go somewhere where that would be their first answer. We wanted to talk to our Doctor first if possible.

On Monday morning my Dad remembered a friend in town who was known for poultices to help draw spider poisons out and heal the bites. By this time we knew it was some type of spider bite because the center had gone black the night before. Our Doctor hadn't opened yet so I called our friend. She told me there were different poultices we could make, however since my daughter was so young she wanted to start with a very basic poultice so that it would least likely irritate her. She told me to take a potato and grind it up as small as possible. Then she said to take a small amount of the ground potato mixed with fresh Aloe Vera and to put it on the bite. We were instucted to change the poultice every hour. As the potato dried it would draw out the poisons. The Alo Vera was to help it heal.

Next I called my Doctor and asked them if there were any ways to treat a spider bite (yes I told them we thought it could be a Brown Recluse) without antibiotics or steriods. They said yes. We could do the poultice as our friend had said and to get Apis from the Naturopath. Apis keeps the swelling from bites down. They said that if she ran fever, even if it was only near the bite, then we needed to bring her in A.S.A.P. Also, if she developed cellulitis or started acting different or getting sick then she needed to be seen.

So, I ran to the store and got bigger bandaids that would hold the poultice on the bite. My daughter is allergic to the tape part of the bandaid, but I was choosing between evils and the lesser evil lost. Then I went home and grated a small part of a new potato on the smallest grate I could get. It basically made it into a potato paste. Then I broke off a small piece of fresh Aloe Vera, cut the plant open, and took the clear Aloe Vera out and mixed it with the ground potato. Finally I put a small amount on a large bandaid and put it on the bite. I changed the poultice every 1-3 hours depending if she was napping or not. Most nights I left the poultice off (I didn't know if the poultice would irritate her skin, but it didn't. However, the bandaids irritated her skin more than I thought they would) and a few nights I left the poultice on when I felt it needed it. I tried to give her skin a break from the bandaids at night. However certain nights, like the night the puss was being drawn out, I left the poultice on.

Also, I drew around the red area before I put the poultice on so that I could watch to see if the redness was going down or not.

It took a little over a week for everything to be drawn out, but it did draw out. It was gross. BUT, she did not run fever, did not get sick, and it was taken care of naturally with no antibiotics and steriods. I did keep a documentation of it with pictures. I also made sure I kept our friend and our doctor in the loop. I let them know of any changes in the bite, good or bad. The redness that was spreading seemed to go away after the first day, but the bite kept looking worse as it was drawing out the poisons. It took about 5 days before it looked like it was starting to get better around the bite and not worse. The first 24 hours the redness went down. The first 48 hours the black center was drawn out. On the fifth day, large amounts of pus and fluid were drawn from the bite. It took about a day for all that to be drawn out. Then it looked like she had a little hole in her side. I kept the poultice on it while it was still red and the hole got smaller. When the redness mainly went away, I let her body naturally take over and heal. The poultice wasn't drawing anything out. It has been about a month since she got bit and you can still see where she got bit, but there is no hole now. The bite is healed and it is slowly fading away.

I would like to say that I had some medical personel telling me that I should take her to the E.R. immediately. I also had just as many medical personel tell me that Doctors could only do so much with spider bites. This is the decision we made for our daughter based on what we thought was best considering all the options.. I would advise any parent to not take any chances with your children. If they need medical attention, then go get it.

Below are some of the pictures that I took of the bite. They are graphic in my opinion. Maybe I just think that because she is my baby, but I still felt I should warn you.

This was late Sunday Night early Monday morning sometime. The bite was getting bigger and the redness was spreading.

This was after the first poultices that afternoon. The black center has gotten bigger and more red and irritated. 

This picture was taken the next day, I think Tuesday sometime. The black center is being drawn out.

The black center has been drawn out and a lot of the surrounding redness has gone down. You can see some redness from the bandaids she had been wearing though.

You can see the wide surrounding redness is gone and it is brighter red only around the bite. You can see another head forming. I was wondering what this greenish head coming up again was.

You can see part of the poultice still on her skin. I had to wipe the poultice of her skin each time. She did not like that part. It hurt and was irritating. I left it on for this pic because I wanted to show the doctor how there was fluids and puss coming from the wound. It was being drawn out.

You can still see some puss in the middle circle. The dark red is from the bite and the lighter red is from cleaning the area as best we could (she was sensitive) and was irritated from the bandaids.

Finally all the puss came out about 5-6 days after we started the poultice. You can see where the hole is from the bite. The redness has done down. You can see better where the bandaids have irritated her skin. You can also see where the potato poultice has slightly stained her skin.

This is a better pic of the small hole a short time later.

About 1 month after her spider bite, it is barely a pock mark. The hole continues to get smaller and less visable. Her healing really was a blessing!


  1. I found it amazing that Ari was more irritated by the bandaids than anything else that we did to her.
    We put her in the bath & let the poultice soak off. That alone stopped her from fussing with us. She loved playing in a bath.
    I think you should experiment to find a tincture that can be placed on her skin before any bandaids are applied.

    1. It was easier for it to come off it the bath, like a soak. Do you mean to find something that would keep the poultice on besides the band aid or something to go on her skin before the band aid is place so that it irritates her less?

  2. Hi! Amazing story! FYI, I use cheesecloth or any type of gauzy cotton material for poultices. Just wrap it around the body. No tape! I have wrapped arms, arm pits, legs... it comes in yardage! It is a little messy at first if your poultice is really wet...but works great and is easy to removed. A little warm water, or the bath soak (great idea!). Thanks for sharing your story!

    1. Thank you! That is a great idea! *smile*


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