Spider bites

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If you are bitten by non-poisonous spiders, it results to irritation, redness and pain that can be easily treated by home with first aid measures such as over-the-counter pain medications along with the application of cold packs to minimize the swelling. These local reactions from spider bites typically resolve without treatment after 7-10 days. In rare cases, an individual can suffer from an allergic reaction due to contact instead of a bite.

Symptoms of a black widow spider bite

A spider bite from a black widow spider is similar to a prick from a pin and most individuals are not aware that they have been bitten. In some cases, the double fang marks can be seen at the bite location. The characteristic localized symptoms for this spider include immediate pain, swelling and redness.

Symptoms of a brown recluse spider bite

If an individual is bitten by a brown recluse spider, it results to mild stinging followed by localized redness and severe pain that typically develops within 8 hours but can occur later. The area around the spider bite is bluish or purple in color along with a white-colored ring and reddish outer ring pattern. A blister with fluid develops and sloughs off to reveal a deep ulcer that can turn black.

General symptoms of a black widow and brown recluse spider bites

spider bites
Muscle cramps is one of the symptoms of spider bites.
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Abdominal pain
  • Joint stiffness or pain
  • Rashes
  • Fatigue or malaise
  • Muscle cramps

In case the spider was not seen inflicting the bite, it can be difficult or even impossible to determine whether a spider bite actually occurred since many skin conditions can produce similar symptoms with a spider bite. Take note that spiders rarely bite and only do so if they are threatened.

How dangerous are spider bites?

It is good to note that most spiders do not have mouth parts that are strong enough to pierce the human skin. There are two exceptions – the brown recluse spider and black widow spider. Both are considered dangerous to humans since bites from these spiders are life-threatening and require immediate emergency medical care.

What to do if an individual is bitter by a spider?

You have to perform these first aid measures if an individual is bitten by a spider.

  • Wash the bite site with water and soap.
  • Apply a cold compress or ice pack on the bite site.
  • Provide over-the-counter pain medications to relieve the symptoms.
  • Call your doctor or go directly to the emergency department if the victim is a child.
  • If possible, catch the spider and take it with you to the hospital so that it will be identified.

Steps to perform for spider bites from a brown recluse or black widow spider

  • Wash the bite site with soap and water
  • Elevate the bite site to minimize the spread of the venom
  • Using a bandage, tie it snugly above the bite site to slow down the spread of the venom, but avoid making it too tight since it will disrupt the circulation of blood.
  • Call for emergency assistance so that an anti-venom medication is given.

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