I have treated several brown recluse bites, both personally and professionally. First, a brown recluse bite looks and acts different than other spider bites, but the remedies that work on them will also work on less venomous bites.
A brown recluse bite will begin to blister and turn purple/black around the bite within a matter of minutes to hours. The black area is usually quite large (1-12 inches across- not usually as small as 1/4 inch) and indicates the area that is being affected by the venom. This is not infection, so antibiotics will have no effect on it. The venom acts to kill the tissue, which will slough off in a layer or chunk, leaving a large open wound. The various remedies mentioned in this post include various items that purport to draw out the venom. The most effective of these, I have found, is the potato poultice.
The easiest and most effective method I have found is to use a starchy potato (Russett, Idaho, or the like. Do not use a waxy potato, like a red or gold potato). Peel the potato or scrub it to get the dirt off. Use a grater to shred the potato like you are making hash browns. Take a handful of the wet potato shreds and place them into a piece of thin cloth, like a handerchief and tie it shut (use a rubber band or twist tie). Use a bit of alcohol on a cotton ball and scrub the bite to break the blister open and disinfect the surface. Place the potato filled cloth on the bite and secure it in place by whatever means necessary. Leave on for several hours, until the potato begins to dry. Discard the old potato where it cannot be eaten by any animals (it can kill them) and repeat with fresh potato. You should notice the purple area fade and get smaller until it is gone, over the course of a day or two. Keep repeating until the purple is all gone. If you stop early, the remaining purple may still slough off. If you see streaks of red, it indicates infection as well as venom so you may need to see a doctor.
Activated Charcoal, Baking Soda
Got a brown recluse bite on my eyebrow after sleeping in a rarely used top bunk bed at my friends apartment. By the second day my eye was swollen shut and that side of my face was swollen as well. I was nauseated, sweating and had chills. Red bulls eye rash developed and area had strange grayish color. I did not want to go to a hospital because I did not have insurance and was worried that they would try to cut out the area surrounding the bite and it was right above my eye. I hit the internet and decided to try charcoal and baking soda as a last resort before finally going to the ER. It worked beautifully. I took activated charcoal solid tablets and crushed them into powder and added baking soda about 1:1 (slightly more baking soda) I added enough water to make a paste and placed it on a sterile gauze. The first day I would change the dressing about every two hours making sure it remained moist. Changed it couple of times at night. Also took charcoal by mouth to alleviate systemic reaction to the bite. Noticed improvement within a couple hours. Within 2 days the swelling was gone, the rash disappeared no more nausea or chills. Continued for one more day just in case. Did not have any scarring. Since then I always make sure to have activated charcoal around.
We had been home treating 2 Brown Recluse bites my husband got on his shins for 10 days or so. One had become very purple/red and his leg/foot was swelling and about a 2 inch square of flesh around the 'crater' of the bite looked like raw hamburger/open wound that continued to leak clear/yellow fluid. I found a website about spider bites that mentioned a man's story who had been bitten numerous times over the years by recluses, he had finally ran into a vet that gave him 3 small injections with a tiny needle around the 'crater' of the bite with cortisone. He said it started healing immediately. I printed this out and took it with us to the hospital. The ER doc said there was not much he could do for it, that it would get worse looking before it got better, that the swelling/inflammation was not allowing the blood to flow to the wound, so the flesh was dying. He prescribed antibiotics. After he had finished with his diagnosis, I pulled out the pages I printed and asked him about giving my husband the cortisone (Dexamethasone) shots that the article spoke of, since there was nothing else he knew to do. He flatly refused and wouldn't even look over the article. VERY frustrating! We left and came home to sleep til the pharmacy opened next am. Before bed as I was dressing the wound again, my husband recalled that our Dr. had a while back prescribed some cortisone cream for a rash he had on his hand. Figuring it couldn't hurt, I cleaned the wound as usual with apple cider vinegar (it helps keep the skin alkaline, preventing the acidic environment needed for infection to proliferate) then applied the cortisone cream around the open wound, but NOT on it, and bandaged lightly as the wound was still oozing. We woke up several hours later to find most all the swelling was gone from his lower leg/ankle and the surrounding area that had been so purple/red had faded considerably. The Dr. told us the flesh around the wound was dying, and would fall off, due to the inflammation not allowing the blood to flow and regenerate the wound to heal. BUT, after applying the cream for the last 4 days, the swelling has gone down, and the wound formed a scab that fell off naturally to reveal new, pink skin underneath. The original "crater" of the bite is filling in and closing up quickly. I thought that perhaps if someone else runs into a stubborn Dr that refuses to give the cortisone shots, our experience might help them as well. The name of the cream we used was Betamethasone Dipropionate 0.05%. It was prescription, but I would think that any cortisone cream would have some healing effects to allow the swelling to go down and the blood to flow to the would to facilitate healing. This is the 4th time he has been bitten here in Oklahoma, if there is a next time we will be sure to take a Benadryl and apply cortisone cream ASAP! We never did get the antibiotics Rx filled (he gave us 2 kinds- one was Clindamycin, no way was he taking that! ), I applied iodine to the open part of the wound twice a day, I read on Earthclinic that it was used for infections before antibiotics were discovered, and it has healed much quicker than before I was applying it. I hope perhaps this will help someone else who has a bad spider bite.
I had a recluse spider bite. My daghter had used thinnly sliced onion as a poultice for bruises so I thought it might pull the poison out of bite. Tried it, only had red onion but used it overnight and next morning was almost gone. Healed real nice. no Dr bill, no antiboitics.
Several years ago I got a brown recluse bite. I had pretty much figured out what it was. I used charcoal poultices on it the first day but was disturbed by a red streak going up my arm (the bite was on the upper forearm near the inside elbow). I went to a doctor who confirmed that it was a brown recluse bite and gave me a prescription for an antibiotic and prednisone. He allayed my fears that it was blood poisoning and the streak was in the lymph system.
I had read an article at my chiropractor about healing a brown recluse bite with electrical acupuncture. I called him and asked if he knew who did that. He did and I got an appointment and had the treatment. He also gave me the homeopathic ledum palustre. In three days the bite was healed, though I still have a small scar where it was. Oh, the doctor also told me "and when it breaks open, use hydrogen peroxide on it. " It never did break open. I also never filled the prescriptions since I knew they would do nothing for the bite.
Since then I learned about plantago major (plantain - a common weed in these parts) healing a brown recluse bite. I had opportunity a year and a half ago to use it after a couple of friends had with great success. I kept a poultice of the crushed leaf on the bite, changing it every 4-6 hours. The bite was healed in 5 days. I had more trouble with the tape that I held the poultice on with (it was on my inside thigh) as it reacted with my skin and caused sores all around the bite. I tried several types of bandaids and tapes and had problems with all of them. It was worth it though to have the bite healed.
Raw cabbage was an extremely powerful remedy in curing me of two infected Violin Spider bites on my legs (one on the thigh, one on the knee). Just grating a small portion of raw cabbage onto a bandage and leaving it overnight helped to draw out the poisin and heal the infection where other herbal remedies had failed, and my only recommended recourse otherwise would have been antibiotics, which I was loathe to take.
I really hate getting sick which goes without saying. However my agonizing desire to beat the bite fueled me to seek out advice for a spider bite.One night when I was sleeping a nocturnal hunting brown recluse spider must have decided to crawl under my neck for warmth. In that moment I was sleeping on the floor mattress to escape the snoring from a dear friend of mine. Anyway I must have rolled over & crushed it unknowingly in my sleep and caused the little fellow to release a nasty amount of venom with his bite. I felt very itchy and felt what only seemed like a pin prick the very next morning in the back of my neck. After placing black soap on the skin, (not the commercial kind but the real kind) this usually comes in plastic or a ball of thick paste to stop the itchy break outs on my arm. The slight rashes on my arm went away with the soap. However I noticed that the bite on my neck was in fact more affected as the source. I began poking at them to release the fluid & swelling. This was very painful, So I took an alieve gelcap prior to this procedure as it would slightly ease the process. However I wanted to find natural ways to make it go away. I am a musician & voice over artist/T.V. host. I'm no doctor, but I appreciate the gifts of nature for cooking & all it's healing properties as well. So I found this website. (Earth Clinic). After reading some of the articles, I began trying the garlic clove taped directly to the back of my neck. There was a strong tingle that gave me much satisfaction knowing that it was working to cure the problem. I later tried the baking soda and it reduced the swelling greatly & the puss from the damaged tissue began to run out from the lava lesion caused by the bite. I had to repeat these once or twice a day often throwing in a peroxide rinse occasionally while squeezing out the remaining puss. Right before my eyes I could see the wound quickly healing. My glands had become swollen from the bite & about 2 or 3 days later they returned to normal as well. I threw back a couple of doses of a prescription antibiotic just for good measure. And all I had left was a scab which I applied Hibiclens which was terrific causing rapid skin reformation.
All that was left was to exfoliate the damaged skin with black soap & a gentle scrubber and then apply coca butter after drying. These natural cures are wonderful. God really knew what He was doing when He placed them here for us. If it had not been for these cures. This accident would have gotten much worse & would have been dragged out to at least 8 to 10 weeks instead of the 2 weeks I endured.
My thanks goes out to Earth Clinic (folk remedies) for this wonderful & valuable information.
the Artist "Nosakhere" (Papa Soul)
When I was in high school I was bitten by (I believe) a brown recluse. I went to the doctor with in a couple of days but they didn't know what type of bite it was or what to do about it. A family friend suggested I take a Potato and slice it. then clean the top of the bite so it's open and put the potato on it. The starch in the potato will draw out the venom. I tried it and it worked great!! The other thing the family friend suggested was to crush up flax seeds in a mortar and pestle until it was like a paste and put that on top of the bite. The flax seed would do the same as the potato.