Redness and Swelling
Within seconds of envenomation, the body will begin to respond. In a similar fashion to how it will respond to a mosquito bite or bee sting, the body will flood the site with histamines, causing redness and swelling. As the effect of the venom progresses, the swelling and redness will spread outwards from the site and may result in tight skin that’s warm to the touch, and stiff or immobile joints. The swelling of tissue is especially prominent and dangerous with cyto and hemotoxic venoms and may be severe and widespread enough to cause tissue death on its own by constricting an extremity’s blood vessels to the point the muscle is unable to receive oxygen and dies. Such an event is a medical emergency in and of itself, and may result in permanent loss of function in the limb or even amputation. Excessive redness and swelling can also be a sign of allergic reaction and impending anaphylactic shock, also a medical emergency in its own right.