Paper co-authored by University of California, Riverside spider expert outlines expressions of skin conditions often misdiagnosed as brown recluse bites
RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) — Many skin conditions are misdiagnosed by doctors as brown recluse spider bites. This can lead to tragedy because about 40 medical conditions, including several deadly bacterial infections, can be confused with brown recluse bites.
Rick Vetter, a retired University of California, Riverside entomologist, along with lead author Dr. W. Van Stoecker and Dr. Jonathan Dyer, both dermatologists in Missouri who specialize in treating brown recluse bites, have co-authored a just-published paper in JAMA Dermatology that describes expressions of skin conditions that are often misdiagnosed as bites from this spider.
“People always tell you what a brown recluse bite looks like, so what I started emphasizing is, ‘This is what a brown recluse bite doesn’t look like,’” Vetter said. “That message really has the potential to save lives.”