Skin Lesions Often Misdiagnosed as Spider
THURSDAY, July 14 (HealthDay News) -- Misinformation about
venomous spiders and spider bites often leads emergency department
and primary care physicians to falsely blame the eight-legged
creatures for "necrotic" skin lesions, new research indicates.
Necrotic lesions are those in which the tissues of the body die
due to a lack of blood and oxygen, and the condition is
The report pointed out that necrotic lesions on the skin are
typically not the result of spider bites and often have more common
causes, such as staph infections or Lyme disease, which is caused
by bacteria carried by deer ticks.
As a result of these misdiagnoses, many patients are being given
unnecessary antivenom and are not receiving appropriate treatment
in a timely fashion, which puts their lives at risk, warned the
authors of the Seminar, published online July 14 in
At the same time, the authors, Dr. Geoffrey Isbister from the
University of Newcastle in New South Wales, Australia, and Hui Wen
Fan from Instituto Butantan in Sao Paulo, Brazil, also stated that
venomous spider bites, such as from the brown recluse spider, are
not being recognized fast enough because symptoms do not appear
Although there are more than 41,000 species of spider, most
spider bites are harmless and do not require treatment. The team
concluded that additional research should focus on the reporting of
definite cases of spider bites to help avoid causing potentially
dangerous allergic reactions to antivenom in patients, and to help
doctors properly diagnose and treat necrotic lesions.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides
more information on
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