Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Spider bite? Doctor?

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 2 Replies
  • Posted By: Harmonium
  • April 15, 2009
  • 02:21 PM

Okay, I feel kinda silly posting about this because I consider it a 'small' matter.....

Two days ago, my right foot (dorsal) began itching like crazy. I wear socks all the time because they think I have Reynaud's and my feet get cold, so I didn't really look closely at it, I just scratched. I did notice a 'scab' directly where it was itching, but thought I just nicked the skin with my nail. Well, yesterday-- all day on and off, it itched like crazy again. This morning, I woke up with it itching.

Now I have thoroughly inspected the area and there is a maybe 1cm area that looks like the skin has been scratched off, surrounded by an inflammation-- circular, about and inch and a half diameter. The skin is raised in a bump with the 'scab' at the center. It's very itchy. I just put cortisone cream on it and the itching has died down.

So, my question is.....I feel like this is some kind of bug bite because that's what it seems to be. But 3 days? I don't normally have such a reaction to bugs, could this be a spider bite and if so, do I need to go and show my doc?

I have GA on my feet, so ascertaining the color of it is difficult. I also thought the 'bump' was just more of the adhesions that I get with GA, although the GA on my feet has been clearing up lately.

What do I do? Take a benadryl and not worry? Go see a doc? I should mention that I'm on 500mg Cephelexin (antibiotic) and have been for the past 2 weeks, with one day left all for a dental surgery. I don't' know if that comes into play.

So do I go to my doc for this (I have great insurance and normally don't hesitate, but I've seen too many docs lately for other things) or do I just treat it like a bite? Does it matter if it's a spider bite? What about the swelling?

Any help would be appreciated.

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  • Okay, I feel kinda silly posting about this because I consider it a 'small' matter.....Two days ago, my right foot (dorsal) began itching like crazy. I wear socks all the time because they think I have Reynaud's and my feet get cold, so I didn't really look closely at it, I just scratched. I did notice a 'scab' directly where it was itching, but thought I just nicked the skin with my nail. Well, yesterday-- all day on and off, it itched like crazy again. This morning, I woke up with it itching. Now I have thoroughly inspected the area and there is a maybe 1cm area that looks like the skin has been scratched off, surrounded by an inflammation-- circular, about and inch and a half diameter. The skin is raised in a bump with the 'scab' at the center. It's very itchy. I just put cortisone cream on it and the itching has died down. So, my question is.....I feel like this is some kind of bug bite because that's what it seems to be. But 3 days? I don't normally have such a reaction to bugs, could this be a spider bite and if so, do I need to go and show my doc? I have GA on my feet, so ascertaining the color of it is difficult. I also thought the 'bump' was just more of the adhesions that I get with GA, although the GA on my feet has been clearing up lately. What do I do? Take a benadryl and not worry? Go see a doc? I should mention that I'm on 500mg Cephelexin (antibiotic) and have been for the past 2 weeks, with one day left all for a dental surgery. I don't' know if that comes into play. So do I go to my doc for this (I have great insurance and normally don't hesitate, but I've seen too many docs lately for other things) or do I just treat it like a bite? Does it matter if it's a spider bite? What about the swelling? Any help would be appreciated.Hi Harmonium,You shouldn't feel at all silly posting this. It might turn out to be a small matter but I've seen some nasty cellulitis develop from spider bites.Look really closely at the center of the area...I've found a magnifying glass helpful at times. What you're looking for is a "two-dot" (close together) appearance in the center of the lesion. This is a classic sign of a spider bite (two fangs). If you aren't able to see anything there it's not super important...it DOES sound like a spider bite. But better to visually confirm it, if possible.The fact that it's approx, 1.5" in diameter AND has both redness and swelling is concerning. The post-dental Cephalexin that you've been taking MIGHT give some positive effect but I honestly don't think you'll have enough with only one day left. I've seen spider bites successfully treated with either oral Amoxicillin or Keflex...with either, usual dosage is generally 500mg three times daily for ten days. You'd have to see your GP for a prescription.In the meantime, draw a circle with pen around the reddened borders now. This is a good reference to determine if the bite is improving/worsening. Elevate your right foot at every opportunity and use ice a few times a day to help reduce swelling. Taking Benadryl is also not a bad idea as it, too will help reduce swelling. Acetaminophen or naproxen sodium are both good for pain.If you develop any systemic symptoms such as fever, chills, nausea...or see that the lesion is getting larger, see the Doc right away.Let us know how it goes!Best,John
    JonMac 165 Replies Flag this Response
  • Thanks JonMac, always good to hear from you. I did draw with a pen around it this morning.....it seems it has increased in severity throughout the day by about 1/2inch all the way around. It's lesion, I'm afraid, was caused by me scratching it-- so I can't tell even with the magnifying glass if there are two puncture marks or not. The itching has been kept at bay today with the benadryl and cortisone cream. It's working so well, I almost forgot about it, lol! The redness is in the classic bulls-eye pattern, with red in the center, then a whitish ring, then more red all around the epicenter. I did go upstate this past weekend, but I really don't think a tick got to me. I think it's a spider bite. There is no streaking up the leg, just around the bite redness/whitishness. I have gone ahead and made an appointment with my doc tomorrow afternoon. I figure better safe than sorry, due to the increase in swelling. I'll let you know what he says!
    Harmonium 322 Replies Flag this Response
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