Brown recluse spiders (Loxosceles reclusa) are responsible for virtually all documented cases of spider bites leading to significant necrosis. The actual spider bite often goes unnoticed for as long as 4 to 6 hours, which makes diagnosis and, therefore, appropriate treatment, difficult. The spider bite generally results in either a necrotic wound or systemic symptoms that can lead to hemolysis. The patient described in this article experienced both complications. Dapsone and hyperbaric oxygen therapy brought the adverse response to the bite under control. The patient was hospitalized for 7 days during treatment for hemolysis and an extensive, necrotic wound. Efforts are underway to develop an assay to provide a definitive diagnosis for the brown recluse spider bite, but none is yet commercially available. Antivenom is scarce; capture of the offending spider appears to be most helpful in the diagnosis and proper treatment of spider bites.
Wilson, Hagood, Prather, , , , , , (2005). Brown recluse spider bites: a complex problem wound. A brief review and case study. Ostomy/wound management, 2005 Mar;51(3):59-66. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15984400