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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 10553
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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I killed a brown recluse spider and I think its venom oozed

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I killed a brown recluse spider and I think its venom oozed out onto the floor. It also may have gotten onto my clothing. What is the risk if brown recluse venom gets on one's skin, clothing or eyes?
Hi. I'm Dr. Rick and I have two decades of ophthalmology experience. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.

You will be fine. The poison needs to get into your body via a bite of the spider. Just having it on the floor, clothing,skin or eyes really will not hurt you.

Also, one spider has only a tiny volume of poison so, if you mashed it dead against the floor there is not enough venom in its body to splash around anyway...this would also be true if you had killed it on your clothes or even your bare skin.

So. What is the take home message? You are safe. No need to worry.

Does this make sense to you?

I hope this information was helpful for you. But I do work for tips so I want to make sure you are happy with me before rating me. If you have another question on this or a related issue feel free to fire away. You may also receive an email survey after our chat, if you don’t feel that I have earned a “10” rating in all areas, please let me know what I can do to meet your expectations.

Thanks in advance,

Dr. Rick MD FACS
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

OK. So even recluse venom directly in the eyes would not have an effect?


Does this particular venom change in composition if left exposed to the air for several days? Or if in contact with hand sanitizer?



Also unrelated question, why is there often a $1 increase to the price of my JustAnswer questions that are supposedly only $14 (but cost $15?)

I've never had a patient splash brown recluse venom in their eyes, nor have I ever heard of it in journal articles or at meetings.

But, just thinking about it, I do not believe it would cause any serious damage as your tears would immediately dilute the venom, washing it away. In addition, your eyeball has many layers of defense against toxins, such as the epithelium and stroma.

The venom is destroyed when left exposed to air and hand sanitizer would immediately destroy the venom and render it inert.

I'm not sure. This question shows $14 value on my screen. You would have to contact customer service about that issue I'm afraid.

Don't forget to mash the positive feedback button for me...the one labeled "excellent" is the most fun to push by far ;)

It's safe for you to press the positive feedback button now if you so desire. And, never fear, even after you press that button I don't go up in a puff of smoke -- I'll still be right here to continue helping you, but, as I do work for tips, I want to make sure you are happy before rating me.

Good Night

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks! How long does venom remain active when exposed to air - 5 hours? And does water and dryer-machine heat affect it?


After this, I will hit the Excellent rating. Thank you!

I would think only a few moments when exposed to air.

Washer and drier would destroy it.

You will be fine.

Pressing the Excellent feedback button is fun. Don't you agree?
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