If you think you’ve been bitten by a spider, but didn’t see the spider bite you, the bug-bite lesion you’ve attributed to a spider is more likely a MRSA infection.
MRSA is methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, a germ that commonly infects the skin and occasionally infects the heart, lungs, blood, and bones.
If you’re young and healthy and have a good immune system, you may decide to give an alleged spider bite a day or two to go away. Draw a circle around the border of the lesion with a ballpoint pen, so you’ll know for sure if it’s enlarging. If it is, see your doctor.
But, if you’re chronically ill or don’t have a good immune system, call your doctor for an appointment without delay.
Though penicillin cannot be used to treat this infection, the good news is that other antibiotics are effective. Doxycycline and trimethoprim-sulfa (Septra, Bactrim) are usually effective and cost under $5 at most pharmacies.
Treating this infection early is MUCH more cost-effective than waiting until you need IV antibiotics and/or hospitalization, or worse yet, a funeral.
For a slide show about MRSA including pictures of MRSA skin lesions, visit:
- MRSA – All Information (umm.edu)