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A Boil in a Remote Land

Submit an Entry: Spider Bite Pictures from Spider Bite Victims

By JW van der Ryst

Updated February 21, 2010

A Boil in a Remote Land


Tell us where your bite is (arm, leg, nose, whatever)

Just above knee at the back of leg

Why I think it's a spider bite

Did not see the spider, but after a nights sleep me and my spouse were both bitten, and then this bite area developed into something monstrous!

What happened

It started small -- blister like (yellow white) -- after a few hours the blisters was surrounded by reddish and swollen flesh, which was hard when you touched it. This area just increased in everything, a swollen reddish area and even the small blister became more yellow and bigger.

After 5 days, this looked like something very ripe, ready to pop!

The local doctor in Mansa, Zambia diagnosed this to be a BOIL and that it should be cut and pushed out! I believe this action just aggravated the sore, (I don't know what should have been done) but this sore then properly increased in everything!

Here is a photo of day 8, where this sore is at today (at the time of submission). This is a very remote area where we stay and I am afraid of the local advise! At the moment we are cleaning the area 4 times a day with Savlon antiseptic cleanser, and keep it closed with antiseptic cream and a bandage.


  • The internet is a wonderful medium to look up anything which you are not certain about, especially concerning medical advice!
  • Will definitely post some hopefully relieving pics of wound after hopefully a few days

Rod Brouhard, EMT – P , About.com First Aid, says:

This reader is concerned with the care he's getting and in such a remote place and quite frankly, I don't blame him. Unfortunately, boils come from many causes and figuring out if it is an infection vs a spider bite requires a lab test to look for bacteria. In the case of some infections -- like MRSA -- cutting and draining the boil or blister is an important step.

The reader doesn't say if the local doctor prescribed antibiotics or if antibiotics are even a possibility. In less remote areas, a physician would likely test a boil for infection and give antibiotics as well as cut and drain it. Cutting into a boil or blister should only be done by a physician using sterile technique to avoid spreading the infection (if there is one).

Any opinions expressed here are for educational purposes only and are not intended for diagnosis.

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