Can the same urticating hair stab you twice?

grammopolice

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I've got a nice rash going from enclosure maintenance for a juvenile Grammostola pulchra, my first tarantula. I washed my hands before I noticed, so even though I removed some with tape, and was able to pull a few out, I still see a lot under my skin.

I assume they'll work their way out eventually. But when they do, if I don't notice and carefully dispose of them, can they just re-embed? Or are they too dull/damaged to be a problem at that point?
 

viper69

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I've got a nice rash going from enclosure maintenance for a juvenile Grammostola pulchra, my first tarantula. I washed my hands before I noticed, so even though I removed some with tape, and was able to pull a few out, I still see a lot under my skin.

I assume they'll work their way out eventually. But when they do, if I don't notice and carefully dispose of them, can they just re-embed? Or are they too dull/damaged to be a problem at that point?
Honestly I’ve never been able to see them, only the rash. How are you visualizing them?
I’ve only seen electron micrographs.

Once the rash goes away, you’re fine. Until UrS hit you again. I suspect old ones can’t hurt you because they may be embedded in dead skin.
 

Smotzer

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I dont actually know if the same one could re-embed once it has been removed, I would assume that once its out it is out, but I dont know how it really works so maybe it could, I dont know that we have any data on thhis effect.
 

grammopolice

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Honestly I’ve never been able to see them, only the rash. How are you visualizing them?
I’ve only seen electron micrographs.
Honestly, I noticed the rash and just looked carefully. They're small, and I certainly can't see the bristly parts of the hair, but the hairs are definitely visible. I was able to remove some with tape.
 

sasker

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but the hairs are definitely visible.
Urticating hairs are super tiny. They are more like fibers or dust than actual hairs. Even when not embedded in skin, they are very hard to spot, unless there is a bunch of them lumped together. Are you sure you didn't see your own hairs growing out of your skin?
 

grammopolice

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Urticating hairs are super tiny. They are more like fibers or dust than actual hairs. Even when not embedded in skin, they are very hard to spot, unless there is a bunch of them lumped together. Are you sure you didn't see your own hairs growing out of your skin?
I can see why you'd check on that, especially since I'm so inexperienced. But they are very small, just a couple of millimeters, and thin. When not embedded, they can be carefully removed without plucking. When embedded, still nothing like pulling a hair out by the roots.

They were definitely much more like fibers or dust, but much more uniform. Some I could see just under my epidermis, like tiny splinters, some were partially embedded, some weren't. The rash was immediately after enclosure maintenance, so I don't think it was a different source. They look like pictures or videos of kicked setae.

I 100% get that most people wouldn't notice them. I have bad allergies + OCD tendencies, which means I looked very closely for a long time. I realize anxiety undermines my certainty to a degree, but given the timing, symptoms, and physical attributes, I'm confident that's what I saw.
 

sasker

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I have never been properly haired by any of my tarantulas, or I am just not really affected by the hairs that much. I have a slight itch sometimes when I do maintenance, but I have never seen a skin reaction. Therefore, I cannot say from my own experience that I have not seen any urticating hairs sticking out of my skin. However, I am still skeptical that they are visible. I can't see the hairs of a stinging nettle either after they brushed up against my skin. These urticating satae are indeed not a few millimeters long.
 

Duke1907

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I know this is an older thread, but I feel compelled to comnent.
Assume that they can reattach and take steps to ensure you get rid of them the first time. Also In the future wear some latex gloves, a disposable mask, safety glasses. If you're reacting that badly to secondary contact, please try to never get them in your eyes or inhale them. That could be catastrophic indeed!
Not telling you what to do, just kinda my two cents, a few suggestions for future reference.
And thanks for the thread... I'm a noob with a G pulchra that hasn't fully developed any hairs yet (at least when I last saw saw the blasted thing lol) and I feel that I myself need to be extra careful. Their hairs aren't supposed to be too bad compared to some others as far as I know but there's always the possibility of allergies. I happen to be allergic to cat hairs...if I pet one then rub my eyes or touch my face, my eyes will puff up and itch like crazy. So if I'm like that with cats, urticating setae from a tarantula may really give me some grief.
 

sasker

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I know this is an older thread, but I feel compelled to comnent.
It is not really that old. It started yesterday, and today folks commented. Thanks for your contribution! :)

It is better to be safe than sorry, so there is no reason not to take additional measures. Especially if you need to remove the substrate after a rehouse, it is recommended to wear latex gloves. It really depends per species and genus how severe the hairs are, but also per person. I don't think that a cat allergy automatically means you can't handle urticating hairs very well either. The allergens do not compare. I believe the proteins that some people are allergic to is in the saliva of the cat, although I am not completely sure of that.
 

Duke1907

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It is not really that old. It started yesterday, and today folks commented. Thanks for your contribution! :)

It is better to be safe than sorry, so there is no reason not to take additional measures. Especially if you need to remove the substrate after a rehouse, it is recommended to wear latex gloves. It really depends per species and genus how severe the hairs are, but also per person. I don't think that a cat allergy automatically means you can't handle urticating hairs very well either. The allergens do not compare. I believe the proteins that some people are allergic to is in the saliva of the cat, although I am not completely sure of that.
Thank you! That is REALLY good to know and I've learned something. 👍
 

grammopolice

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Couple of millimeters is already quite big for urticating hair.
These urticating satae are indeed not a few millimeters long.
Everyone is pretty unanimous on this point, so I reread an article on setae. You're right, it looks like 1.8 is the absolute max, and they're usually quite a bit smaller.


I definitely had a rash after maintenance, and I definitely found those specs, some of which were embedded, but I have to be wrong about them being hairs. So maybe I am reacting to hairs, but if so, whatever I could see wasn't related. (Coconut fiber?)

That doesn't seem like it should be better, but it does mean I won't be staring at my arms and hands for hours with a flashlight and tape. And the mystery is making me more curious, which means I'm less anxious.

Thanks to everyone for sharing responses, and I apologize for being stubborn.

I know this is an older thread, but I feel compelled to comnent.
Assume that they can reattach and take steps to ensure you get rid of them the first time. Also In the future wear some latex gloves, a disposable mask, safety glasses. If you're reacting that badly to secondary contact, please try to never get them in your eyes or inhale them. That could be catastrophic indeed!
I'm allergic to latex :D. I did wear one nitrile glove, like a goober, trying to be thrifty without the second glove. I got the rash on the other hand. Lesson learned!
 

Edan bandoot

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Everyone is pretty unanimous on this point, so I reread an article on setae. You're right, it looks like 1.8 is the absolute max, and they're usually quite a bit smaller.


I definitely had a rash after maintenance, and I definitely found those specs, some of which were embedded, but I have to be wrong about them being hairs. So maybe I am reacting to hairs, but if so, whatever I could see wasn't related. (Coconut fiber?)

That doesn't seem like it should be better, but it does mean I won't be staring at my arms and hands for hours with a flashlight and tape. And the mystery is making me more curious, which means I'm less anxious.

Thanks to everyone for sharing responses, and I apologize for being stubborn.



I'm allergic to latex :D. I did wear one nitrile glove, like a goober, trying to be thrifty without the second glove. I got the rash on the other hand. Lesson learned!
i have allergies to everything south of the sun and i also get itchy while doing maitenence, no skin reactions though
 
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