Undiagnosed Spider Bites

Another personal story from our forum – so many of these are just the same. If any of this rings a bell, and you haven’t been properly diagnosed, please find another doctor. And please feel free to join us in the MRSA Forum. Image from UC-SF.


It all started about 3 years ago, I started getting horrible boils on my skin. Mostly on my legs, thus the screen name, because I have lots of scars left from the infections. Most of them are about dime sized scars. I got them in other places, my arm, my chin, and twice in a place where you dont want a boil..

When I got an infection I would go to the Dr. or ER but was told it was just a boil, over, and over, normally they would give antibiotics and the boil would eventually drain on its own. In the mean time I was in agony, because the sizes of these boils were massive. Some as big around as an orange.

I have been told things from it was a spider bite to it is because I have sensitive skin and eczema so I am more prone to skin infections than the average person. This is true, I am more prone to skin infections but I had never had anything like this in my life.

One doctor even hinted it might be hygiene, which sent me home in tears. I know it was not hygiene, I am an extremely clean person, almost what you would call a germ/clean freak. I have to be because me and my oldest son have eczema, he also has allergies to dust mites and mold, so my home has to be kept clean and dust free.

Anyway I had these boils for a very long time. One would heal and another one would come. I have even had them come in the exact same spot more than once. They were huge and so painful, I would have a fever and chills, and went to the doctor over and over. I just figured it was my fate. They just kept comming back. None of the doctors ever took a culture, I had never heard of an MRSA, and had no idea what was going on with me. The funny thing is my hospital just got some high award for their service… I guess they are pretty good compared to witch doctors…. Rolling Eyes

Finally about a year ago, I got this “pimple” on my chin. It turned into a massive boil which swelled the whole bottom half of my face. My face was so swollen that my teeth were cutting into my lips. I could barely speak because my face was so swollen and tight. I went to a differnt doctor who took a culture and sent me home with some antibiotics. A day or two later they called and told me it was a MRSA and to go back to the pharmasist to get these other antibiotics. I took all of the antibiotics and so far I have been boil free for close to a year now.

This entry was posted in Awareness, CA-MRSA, Infection Prevention, MRSA, MRSA in the U.S., Staph images. Bookmark the permalink.

80 Responses to Undiagnosed Spider Bites

  1. Woosh says:

    SALT will kill almost any skin problem, especially any infection!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Himalayan salt is the best with 87 minerals in it, but I’ve even tried table salt on skin infections. I’d suggest making a hole in the boil, pimple (or popping it, although I think this leaves scars), and pour the salt in. You have to be able to take some pain for about 3-5 mnutes. The salt is killing the infection.

    Also try to tape slices of garlic on any sort of skin problem. Garlic is a natural antibiotic. It makes me very sad to hear all these stores that could have been solved with salt and/or garlic.

    Good luck!

  2. Cynthia Murphy says:

    I have had atopic dermatitis (eczema) on my palms for about five years. Recently I had a bad flare-up and shortly after that, a “spider bite” appeared on my middle finger, right hand.

    Doctor did not culture it, gave me amoxicillan and sent me on my way. It did finally clear up, but very slowly, over a few weeks’ time.

    About a month later I noticed a small pimple on the nape of my neck in my hairline. It quickly turned very large , red and painful. I went to the ER and they drained and packed it. The culture came back as MRSA. Was given Bactrim for 10 days and it cleared up quickly. Coincidentally (?), my hand eczema seemed to clear up at the same time.

    Since then, I got a very itchy eye infection. The skin reddened around the eye, with swollen and droopy eyelid. After 2 days it started to clear up, that was on a Thursday. On Friday morning, both of my armpits swelled, with painful boils on both swellings.
    At the same time, my hand eczema was back and worse than ever. Doctor prescribed another 10 day course of Bactrim. I am on the third day, and swellings are down and boils clearing. Once again, amazingly, my hand eczema is cleared up!

    Of course, I worry that I will complete this prescription and the MRSA will reappear. I am also really intrigued about is how the Bactrim seems to clear up my atopic dermatitis.

    I’m seeing the dermatologist next week, but I have no intention of telling him that the Bactrim seemed to help my hands. Generally, doctors are very threatened by patients’ input. I have also learned that if you want your doctor to really shut down, tell him you’ve been researching online.

    Has anyone else had similar situation regarding Bactrim having an effect on eczema?

  3. Elwood Hall says:

    Well I am so glad I found this site. I have had the same spider bite looking things now for a couple of years. Finally in Jan. I had one so bad on my right index finger I had to go to the ER. The ER doctor was going to numb it and lance it but since it was in such a bad area that has a lot of nerves she sent me over to a hand specialist. He numbed it again and lanced it and gave me three scripts. One was for pain, one was for itching, and the other was the antibiotic Clydamyacin. He did take a culture too and it came back 3 days later as MRSA. He told me to continue the antibiotic as it was the only one to clear up the effects of MRSA. After about 4 days though I started developing bad diareaha and bad stomach cramps. I called the doctor back after researching the side affects of the antibiotic. The side affects were very scary as it said it could shut your colon down and possibly be fatal. So when the doctor called me back he said to stop taking the antibiotic immediately. And that I should be all right as the sore on my finger was clearing up. Well the sore on my finger did eventually clear up, but a couple of weeks ago I started itching something fierce. I called the doctor back and all he said to take was some Benadryl. Well I have been taking that and it is doing nothing but getting worse. I am trying to get a hold of the doctor again now to see if maybe I wasn’t on the antibiotic long enough to help clear this up. I am trying to find out if this Bactrim DS is what I need to take to clear this up. This constant itching is keeping me awake all day long. Anybody have any other website or links for more info on this please email me at bernieh48@aol.com thanks so much.

  4. haysmama says:

    my 2 yr old daughter has been battling this same problem for about a yr now its horriable ive gone to my peditritan over and over agin and they were telling me that it was infected bug bites….i just got back from the er cause she has one the size of a soft ball on the back of her thigh and mind you shes only two so imagian how big and painful it must be….they told me at the er that it has nothing to do with a bug bite and that its called merca a infection im still a little confused i was told i was a virus that every one carrier but only a few show signs of it… so dose this mean this will keep recurring her whole life????im scared and i hurt for her how can i help her???

  5. JG says:

    I also have eczema and I have tried esteroidal ointments and antibiotics. I realized that none of them work. The eczema reappears every time the weather changes but it heals quickly if I apply any lotion right after I wash my hands. If anybody else notice the appeareance of the eczema with weather changes please comment on that.

  6. crystal says:

    I want to know what if anythign you took for it I think this is the same as my sister in law she had one on her stomach and now on her lower back. The one on the stomach was very big went to ER and they sent her home after a few days I was able to get it to pop and leak out for a week now it seem to be fine, it was to the point she couldn’t walk it hurt her so badly. Now there the one on her back look just alike and is hot and red she said it feel’s like a sunburn. HELP PLEASE

  7. Chef Derek says:

    hi all, I live in NC and the one thing we have here is SPIDERS!!!!every kind you can imagine from northern and southern climates, we get them all. I spray my house, inside and out, every 3 months with home defense max….and when i do not, like tonight, my kids wind up getting these huge spider bites and they get infected….it is absolutely crazy! i am highly allergic to poison oak,ivy and sumac, but have never seen shin lesions like this. makes me feel horrible too when i forget, and then last night i got bit on my eyelid! talk about misery! anyway, i keep steroid cream on hand bc of eczema and that seems to work pretty quick.
    good luck!

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  11. Sisao says:

    Six months ago I had a boil on my buttocks. I had it lanced and it was MRSA. I was given Bactrim, and one other antibiotic. Two days later I was in the ER with a high fever, chills, and pain all over my body. Three days of tests, pain and anti-nausea drugs and antibiotics found nothing but a small MRSA infection. I was put on Bactrim and sent home. 24 hours later I was back in the ER with my blood pressure crashing and little kidney output. It turns out that I was now allergic to Bactrim! So, no more SULFA-BASED antibiotics were used. ER docs worked feverishly to restore my blood pressure and kidney function. Two days later I was sent home, with a non-sulfa-based antibiotic.

    Now, I’ve had three additional cysts occur virtually overnight. One on my face that left me in pain beyond my threshold for almost 4 days. My nose and face around it was so swollen and I could not touch my nose due to the pain. Finally, it subsided after a MRSA swab was done and more of my antibiotics were administered. Two months later I found a lump in my left armpit that grew from a pimple to a walnut size almost over night. The doc called in some antibiotics for me and It slowly left inside of a week.

    Today a month later I’m being treated for another large cyst on the other side of my buttocks. In two days it went from the size of a grape to the size of a golf ball. Now it is hard as a rock and I can hardly sit down. My doctor (who I really trust) has opened it up twice with minimal puss available for a specimen. However, like the other cysts, with antibiotics it is very slowly being absorbed by my body.

    The worry I have comes from not knowing, when showering in the morning, what little bumps or pimples I will find next.
    I am using Hibicleans in the shower and MRSA ointment on the wounds. I am neurotically hygienic with regard to keeping my body and my home clean. My wife thought she had a spider-bite on her arm that came up as MRSA. Three weeks later she had a scheduled operation on her foot. Before the operation they took blood and skin samples and found nothing.

    Sadly, during this past year even my little dog has gotten two severe skin infections! So, I have the vet checking her and I’m having her washed and groomed with antibacterial soap and oatmeal soap so SHE is not re-infected.

    This is a perplexing and challenging infection. I am a grandfather and in perfect health otherwise. I exercise, I eat well, and I enjoy my daily employment. Some days however, my cysts make me self-conscience as I would NEVER want to infect another person through my lack of wound care and hygiene.

    I hope and pray that between us all, we will encourage the research community and our doctors to be more aggressive in their pursuit of this MRSA monster.

  12. john says:

    I also have mrsa. :-( got it about. 5 yrs ago. The first one was very bad had aboil. About the size of a baseball on my lower cheek. The core was about the size of a nickle. I had to go to the er n had surgery to remove it. One of the worst pains I ever have had. it was very Deep. The worst part was the packing even though it was numbed it hurt like hell. He was cutting and tugging. Ouuuch. Anyways I have a very little scar now. Thank god cuzz itwas on my face. No discoloration. So have hope ur scars may not b permanent. Also.2 months ago I haad an outbreak on myinner thighs. Cause I would pop them and another would pop up. This stuff spreads like fire if u dont cover it up ans clean properly. I would suggest u not pop it but doing so seems to relieve pain. Just dont touch the pus. As its contagious. Cover it up and dont let it leak on u. I hate u mrsa …. and FINISH ALL YOUR MEDS not doing so is how msra was created ….

  13. Tayler says:

    I have these… bumps all over my legs, i thought they where just like razor bumps untill they got worse, like this one is purple with a whole in the middle and its swollen and red around it and it hurts like a bitch. Sooo spider bite? boil? and wtf do i do if it mrsa, whatever? Because im scared.

  14. Casandre Trine says:

    Have any of you been tested for invasive systemic Candida?
    I have similar boils but supposedly negative for MRSA.
    If you have Candida, antibiotics will make the Candida grow, throughout your body. Turmeric is often used to combat Candida and inflammation.

  15. momthang says:

    Non-confirmed mrsa near bikini line. 4 weeks doxycycline, but knot beneath purple scar isn’t resolving. Is this still mrsa?

  16. Joey says:

    I Get these things only on my left leg… Whats that about? They usually start as what I think are pimples so I give em a lil squeeze and then from then on they grow like crazy and leave scars. Pretty painful. Dont want to go to a doctor because I usually just take some anti-biotics and they go away with in a few days. But, this is what really worries me… My glands in my pelvic area start to become sore and tender whenever I get these bumps. I have only had about 4 in a year and a half. Anyone else get the gland soreness?

  17. Jmom says:

    Great web site, it’s good to know I’m not alone…however this is my first MRSA sore and I thought it would be my last. Reading all of your post about dealing with this for years worries me.I had back surgery almost 9 weeks ago and have been wearing a removable brace ever since (only 3 more weeks to go) The back surgery went great my 6 in incision was completely healed within 3 weeks, I heal fast and never seem to scar. 6 weeks after surgery I went on a eight hour road trip. My Dr. told me I was to wear my brace at all times When we arrived at our vacation home we went strait to bed. The next morning I woke up with the worst pain in and on my hip, it looked as if I had been bit by it spider. It has blistered and popped during the night in the center was a bright red dot with the outside having a flaming red ring, it was a purfect bullseye and did it ever burn. My sister, an M.D. said it was from my brace rubbing on it and it was infected, she put me on Keflek 4 times a day for 2 weeks. 3 days later the sore bigger than a quarter and a bright pink open wound with the area around it flaming red, swollen, redness around the soar was now the size of a baseball w/ a 6 inch red line runnig off it. My sister took one look and said “it’s MRSA”. She immediately called in Bactrim DS twice a day for 2 weeks. I felt like crap at this point..feverish, tired, pain and burning at the site of the sore, my eyes were blood shot and I was nauseous and having heart palpitations. I never told my sister about my other symptoms..I was getting over a bug before we come in so I thought it was from that. 3 more days later red line gone but redness around sore flaming red and sore now a purplish-black, now my sister adds Clindamycin twice a day for 2 more weeks, she told me I was maxed out at this point and next step is hospital. 11 days from start back home, see ID doc who tells me it’s probably spider bite, staf yes, MRSA no, runs no test and tells me to stop all my antibiotics because it has a nice scab on it! Stop for 24 hrs and right back where I started. Call my sister who tells me to go back on Bactrim and Clindamycin now as well as an additional 2 weeks of Bactrim for stopping. Week later see ID doc for my follow-up, now he thinks it’s MRSA, takes blood, gives me scrip for 2 more weeks of Bactrim, may be longer if I need it. It still hurts and looks only slightly better, my fever is mild at about 99.8, no results on blood work yet. What is it with this darnMRSA will it never go away? Just so you know my brace never rubbed it again, I couldn’t wear it once I got the sore and the moment I returned home my spinal surgen had them cut the side out over my right hip so there is no way it could rub on or near my ulceration. Other than my back I’m in perfect health, don’t drink or do drugs. Anyone know how long this can go on for? 24 days and still on antibiotics.

  18. sarah says:

    I am having the same prob right now I have been to the er twice and had a dr appt 4 times in the past 2 weeks. Finally someone took a culture and now I am waiting to hrear back. I cant go on not knowing whats wrong with me. I feel so gross and plus its summer so i am in shorts showing them off.ugh

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  20. Sophie E says:


    I have been having the same problem for around 3 years now. I get the spots mainly arond my legs/groin. I have had many different courses of anti biotics but none seem to work. I haven’t had one for around 8 months but one has just popped up, it’s SO painful. Couldn’t even go to work today and it’s taking everything in me not to POP it.

    Previously I was getting them regularly, two people caught them from me after sharing towels. After many visits to the doctors the only thing which ended up working for me was:

    – A nasal ointment, as that can be where MRSA lives.

    – Using Hibiscrub (a very strong cleanser often used before people go for surgery) when I shower so it doesn’t go to other areas!

    This worked up until now, so I will be using that method again, fingers crossed.

  21. Sophie E says:

    Also Joey, my glands always flair up when I get them, it’s pretty normal. The doctors were pressing them down when I went today, it hurt.

  22. Leanne says:

    If the boils are primarily under your arms, breasts, thighs or buttocks and you’ve have them long term with no cure, they may be hidradenitis supparativa. Seriously, google it. My mother has it and it is very rare but can easily be confused with MRSA. I’d look into hormone treatment such as Yasmin or Spironolactone to control it. Good luck.

  23. tern says:

    i have a huge boil in my butt and i’m in an unbearable pain

    i’m taking cloxacillin

    i hope it goes away soon

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  25. ahci yane says:

    last week i was diagnosed with MRSA…today my daughter is having 2 redness circles on the front, my wife told me that is swelling…

    can you help me how i will handle this situation?
    i have finished my 5 days nasal oitment 3 time a day and i have to go tommorow for check up hopping that it will go…
    thanks for any advise…

  26. Sophie E says:


    From my experience the best methods were:

    – do not not share towels
    – wash with Hibi scrub
    – use nose ointment
    – don’t touch the boils and keep them covered with a full dressing
    – wash your close at a high temperature after wearing them every day
    – wear clothes in bed
    – clean all of your door handles and the whole house where possible including bed sheets, sofas etc
    – carry strong hand sanitizer and use it regularly
    – it may be a good idea for everyone in the house to go to the doctors to be treated

    Remember most people carry this bacteria throughout life anyway, sometime spots, ingrown hairs, cuts can get infected. So eliminating the bacteria as best as possible is the only thing you can do. I haven’t had a flare up for around 8 months now.

    Obviously, I am not a doctor!! But these are the things which I was recommended to do and found effective.


  27. Sophie E says:

    *Sorry, wash your CLOTHES – not close.

  28. Kenyata says:

    I contracted MRSA also, through 3 large boils on my back. I’m 27 now and in my teenage years would get boils alot. Being a diabetic I thought it was normal to get them because of this. I would get them,take care of them with a warm compress, and they would pop and drain. I got a large tattoo on my back, which led to the boils. I ended up having to go to the hospital after walking around with them for a week and a half, i could no longer take it. The surgeons said they thought they were just going to go in and cut and drain. But after getting inside it was really bad. I had 4 surgeries to clean up all the dead tissue and had a stay of 2wks in the hospital. I now have a device called a wound vac on me to help me heal. My wounds were pretty large and deep, but i’m healing very good, even though the process hurts like hell, but i’m dealing. Somedays are better than others. I had heard of MRSA before, but never imagined that i would get it. Always thought you get boils, they pop, drain and thats it.

  29. Cynthia says:

    After having several outbreaks that were bad about 2 yrs ago, I still occasionally get another one popping up, especially on my fingers and toes. I always cover them immediately which does seem to help and never pop them. One thing I notice is ever since I had boils in my armpits the swelling there has never gone away completely. I feel like I always carry the mrsa and it just is lingering, waiting to cause another boil somewhere. Does anyone else have this continued swelling in armpits or other lymph glands?

  30. Michael says:

    Your solution:

    Internally attack the bacteria and externally.

    1. Use Desert Essence Castle Liquid soap in the shower.
    2. Take Grapeseed extract daily.
    3. Full vitamin B complex daily.
    4. Flaxseed oil daily.
    5. Echinacea daily.
    6. Green tea extract daily.
    7. COq10 Daily.
    8. Acai berry extract daily.
    9. Quit smoking. (If you do).
    10. Quit drinking if you do.
    11. Buy “Emo Aid” and apply topically three times per day with q-tip.
    12. Use epson salt and warm compress daily for 30 minutes 2 x per day.
    13. Take something to relax at night, l-lysine — stress releases cortisol which creates boils.
    14. Dilute Tea Tree oil with 1 part witch hazel and one part olive oil and apply 2x per day.
    15. Topical steroid cream once per day USP .1%

    This will zap them for good and they won’t come back.

    Keep taking internal supplements daily. You can find Emu Aid online and all other ingredients at Whole Foods.


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