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Infected Ulcer possibly from Spider Bite

Spider Bite or Not, This Wound is Infected


Updated February 01, 2010

Spider bite or MRSA
Image © Kenneth Walker

While this wound was attributed to a spider bite, there was no spider to identify. Whether or not the original break in the skin came from a spider, the wound is definitely infected. The patient sought help after 2 days (this image) because the wound was draining pus.

Getting help was the right thing to do. Evidence is growing that what many patients call "spider bites" are really methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections. MRSA can lead to dead tissue (necrotizing fasciitis) like that pictured here. MRSA is also fast becoming the most common diagnosis for skin lesions like these treated in the emergency department.

Have a spider bite you want to share? Submit a picture of your spider bite.

Want to talk about spider bites? Ask others and see more bites on the First Aid Forum.


Moran, G.J., et al."Methicillin-resistant S. aureus infections among patients in the emergency department." New England journal of medicine. 17 Aug 2006.

Baxtrom, C., et al."Common house spiders are not likely vectors of community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections." Journal of medical entomology. Sep 2006.

Pagac, B.B., et al."Skin lesions in barracks: consider community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection instead of spider bites." Military medicine. Sep 2006.

Young, L.M., and Price, C.S. "Community-Acquired Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Emerging as Important Cause of Necrotizing Fasciitis." Surgical infections. 9 Apr 2008.

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