Woman Bit By Recluse Spider In Italy

Hospital_2013One woman had no way of knowing then that she’d just been bitten by a Mediterranean recluse spider, and that a chunk of her ear would soon be liquefied by the spider’s venom.

The 22-year-old woman soon sought treatment for her pain in an Italian hospital, where doctors prescribed an antihistamine. But the swelling in her face and pain in her ear didn’t get any better. Once she was back home in the Netherlands, the ear got worse, and portions of it turned black — a clear sign that the skin and cartilage cells were dead.

The dead tissue made it clear to doctors that the woman had been bitten by a Mediterranean recluse, a spider whose bite is known to destroy skin and underlying fat, causing “sunken-in” scars or “a disfigured ear, if you are very unlucky,” said Dr. Marieke van Wijk, a plastic surgeon in the Netherlands involved in the woman’s treatment.

Venom from recluse spiders, including the American brown recluse and its Mediterranean cousin, kills skin and fat with a mixture of chemicals, including substances that break down proteins

Source: The Weather Channel