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January 1987

Spider Bites

Author Affiliations

Division of Dermatology Vanderbilt University and Veterans Administration Medical Centers 1310 24th Ave 5 Nashville, TN 37203

Arch Dermatol. 1987;123(1):41-43. doi:10.1001/archderm.1987.01660250047015

Since most arthropods are usually harmless or beneficial to mankind, it may at first be hard to understand why araneophobia, the irrational fear of spiders, is so common.1-4 The roots of this fear are deep-seated and unlikely to be overcome in most people. Therefore, bites by arthropods are often brought to the attention of dermatologists by anxious patients who fear they have been bitten by a "vicious" spider. In this issue of the Archives, Wong et al2 review the current knowledge about spiders causing medically and diagnostically important envenomations, or "bites." The intent of this editorial is to highlight concepts important in treatment as well as in patient education and prevention, especially with regard to Loxosceles reclusa.

ECOLOGICAL NICHES  There are more than 100 000 species of spiders, each of which has become adapted to its environment in creative and presumably environmentally useful ways. When humans intrude on the

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