Jump to content

Spider bites...


I was wondering if spider bites can cause cellulitis?

jessiern, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I beleive any breakage in the skin integrity can cause cellulitis

I'm perfectly aware of that but my question specifically adresses the spider bites..I mean realistically how many times do you see a person cutting themselves with a kitchen knife while cutting tomatoes and get infected with cellulitis? Not too often,rarely I think...I think other factors must be present.,that favor the infection...also are there any other types of skin infections except that can be mistakenly taken as cellulitis,thank you....?

Edited by Blackheartednurse

Lacie, BSN, RN

Specializes in jack of all trades.

Oh yes!! My son has had severe cellulitis of his lower forearm requiring medrol dose pack and strong round of antibiotics. All from a spider bite. Then later he had a tick head stuck just under the skin of his abdomen and we didnt know it. Cellulitis set in and it had to be removed in outpatient surgery. Brown Recluse will cause immediate cellulitis most of time also.

I have heard that often what are mistaken for spider bites are actually staph infections,,,if conditions are right, they can result in a full blown cellulitis.


Specializes in ER. Has 3 years experience.

The old spider bite- which usually ends up being MRSA. At least in my ER.

Lacie, BSN, RN

Specializes in jack of all trades.

My sons was definitely spider (brown recluse) we were able to kill it and take it with us to the ER at the time of the bite. Living in Florida Brown Recluse can be encountered just about anywhere. Even with the immediate treatment his arm became very inflammed and we dealt with the cellulitis for several weeks. Granted many of the situations of cellulitis get chalked up to spiker bites and turn out to be other issues but the poster was specific in her question. Yes spider bites can result in cellulitis and be severe. In the second case with the tick head, it was confirmed by after being sent to lab and confirmed as the cause. If my son could find a tree or a bush to get under he did when he was younger. He now sprays himself down real good before anymore hiking/repelling trips of which is where he acquired both instances of cellulitis.


Specializes in med surg, ccu, icu, nursg home, md offic. Has 20 years experience.

I was wondering if spider bites can cause cellulitis?

Or course they can cause cellulitis.


Specializes in Med Surg.

Even though it's rare for a person to be bitten by one, tarantulas can be pretty filthy and their "fangs" make a good size wound. I was bitten by one (being stupid) as a teen and while I didn't get cellulitis, the doctor had me get a tetnus shot and told my mother to watch for signs of "blood poisoning".

Dalzac, LPN, LVN, RN

Specializes in CCU,ICU,ER retired.

When my son was 2 and a half he was bitten by a brown recluse that had crawled into his diaper and bit him on the butt and got a huge case of celluitis, nearly killed him. It actually left a scar like a hole in his tush. He was so sick. So yes spider bites can cause celluitis. The funny thing now is his girlfriend mentioned how terrible it was that he had been shot in the butt when he was in the army' I thought I was gonna die laughing when I heard her:yeah:

BrnEyedGirl, BSN, MSN, RN, APRN

Specializes in Cardiac, ER. Has 18 years experience.

also are there any other types of skin infections except that can be mistakenly taken as cellulitis,thank you....?

I think by definition any skin infection could be cellulitis,....cellulitis is just a generic descriptive term for the infection, the cause could be one of millions of different bacteria.

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych. Has 20 years experience.

I got cellulitis from a brown recluse spider bite way back when I was in my late teens. I've also had MRSA cellulitis three times as an adult and to this day I don't know how I got it. However, in many cases what appears to be a spider bite really is a staph infection, and at least in my neck of the woods, it's usually MRSA.


Specializes in ED, Med-Surg, Psych, Oncology, Hospice. Has 30 years experience.

I agree with the "spider bites" ending up MRSA. We had a real run on these last year ... traced to dirty wrestling mats at high school. Prisons seem to have a lot of "spider bites" leading to cellulitis though it's pretty well known to be staph and MRSA

diane227, LPN, RN

Specializes in Management, Emergency, Psych, Med Surg. Has 32 years experience.

The venom from certain types of spider bites can destroy a lot of tissue. The venom causes tissue necrosis. The tissue where the venom has spread with die will require surgical intervention for removal. If all the tissue is not removed, the venom will continue to spread and more tissue destruction will occur. I have seen patients with huge amounts of tissue loss secondary to spider bites. Many people do not realize that they have been bitten until they begin to show symptoms of tissue destruction.