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Itching ankle, scabbing, bleeding, painful, no fever, redness, swelling. Done icing. Spider bite or allergy?

Jul 2012
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Practicing since : 1993
Answered : 1196 Questions
Hi, I am a 40 yr old mother of three. Must have gotten bit by something on my right ankle because its been itching for a day or two. Really busy and have not paid that much attention to it. A few nights ago, I was cutting the branches off a large thorny bush near our front door. It was fairly dark and I was in flip flops. Maybe I got bit then. Last night I was shot vacuuming the car and looked down and noticed a large scab- presumably from itching it so much. Incidentally, the shot vac rolled across the large scab a few times and was bleeding down my foot. Just soaped it up and rinsed it off. Its been a long day and been on feet most of it. Tonight, it started hurting while I was walking around house earlier. My son woke me up about an hour ago and when I walked downstairs, the pain was much worse and my right ankle and the area around it is quite swollen and throbbing. I am now sitting down with an ice pack on it and I have no fever. Not sure what to do. Could I have been bitten by a spider or did I infect it from the shot vac or both? It's been about an hour now since I started this inquiry. It is still the same and red around the scab where I was itching. I'm also starting to have mild itching everywhere as if were having an allergic reaction to something. I do not have a history of allergic reactions to anything or any medicine. Is this something that will just go away and the swelling will go down eventually? What could be causing such swelling?
Posted Mon, 3 Sep 2012 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Praveen Rodrigues 3 hours later
Thanks for writing in.
I read your detailed history; an attached photograph would be nice.
It does appear that either you were 'bitten' by an 'insect' or the 'thorns' from the bush may have scratched you & subsequently it appears that you have developed an infection & allergic hypersensitivity reaction. I suggest you get it looked at by a GP/dermatologist at the earliest.
If you have access to a local pharmacy, please apply a topical potent steroid-antibiotic combination cream at the earliest that should be easy to get OTC (over the counter). In addition, please take an oral non-sedative antihistamine that you may be able to acquire similarly or at supermarkets of the Fexofenadine or levo-cetrizine group. You can take 180 mg fexofenadine or 10 mg levocetrizine one tablet once a day.
An oral tablet of ibuprofen (assuming you dont have any allergies to medications) in a dose of 400-600mg three times/day after meals (depending on your body weight) may also help.
If it does not respond in 24 hrs, then please go across to an emergency room & GET A PRESCRIPTION for antibiotics &/or a tetanus 0.5ml shot (assuming it was the thorns).
Dont panic importantly. You have been through far worse & a mother of am sure you are calm & collected.
Hope this information is useful & let me know if I can be of any more help.
Dr Praveen Rodrigues
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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