Daily Health Headlines

Spider Bites (Including Black Widow and Brown Recluse)

👤by MedicineNet.com 0 comments 🕔Monday, October 10th, 2016

What should you do if you are bitten by a spider?

Wash the site of the spider bite well with soap and water. Apply a cool compress or ice pack over the spider bite location. Over-the-counter pain relievers may be used to relieve symptoms. (Remember, do not give aspirin to children; use acetaminophen or ibuprofen instead). Call the doctor or seek emergency treatment if the victim is a young child, if you think the bite may have been from a black widow or brown recluse spider, if any signs of an allergic reaction occur, if the bite area becomes infected, or if the victim develops a rash or severe illness. If possible, retrieve the spider and bring it with you to the health care practitioner so that it can be definitively identified. A tetanus booster shot may be necessary, depending upon the date of the patient's last immunization.

Spider bites facts

Most spiders are harmless; the two exceptions in the U.S. are the black widow and brown recluse spiders. Spider bites are actually rare occurrences, and most presumed cases of spider bites are likely due to another condition that mimics the symptoms of a spider bite. Bites from most (non-poisonous) spiders cause local redness, irritation, and pain that usually can be treated at home. Always seek emergency medical care for a presumed black widow or brown recluse spider bite.

What are the symptoms of spider bites?

Readers Comments 16 Share Your Story

Bites from most (non-poisonous) spiders cause local redness, irritation, and pain that usually can be treated at home using an over-the-counter pain reliever along with application of cooling packs or a wet cloth to relieve swelling. These local reactions usually resolve without treatment over a period of 7-10 days. Rarely, an individual can have an allergic reaction to a spider bite, even to a bite from a non-poisonous spider, but allergic reactions are more likely to be due to contact with a spider than from a spider bite.

Black widow spider bite symptoms

Readers Comments 3 Share Your Story

A black widow spider bite is said to feel like a pinprick, although victims may not realize that they have been bitten. Sometimes double fang marks may be seen at the location of the bite. The most common localized symptoms of a black widow spider bite are immediate pain, burning, swelling, and redness.

Picture of the underside of a black widow spider and an egg sack

Picture of a top view of a black widow spider

Brown recluse spider bite symptoms

Readers Comments 5 Share Your Story

The bite of a brown recluse spider leads to a mild stinging, followed by local redness and severe pain that usually develops within eight hours but may occur later. Some reports of brown recluse bites describe a blue or purple area around the bite, surrounded by a whitish ring and large red outer ring in a "bull's eye" pattern. A fluid-filled blister forms at the site and then sloughs off to reveal a deep ulcer that may turn black.

Picture of a brown recluse spider. Note the violin pattern on the cephalothorax and light-colored hairless abdomen.

Picture of a brown recluse spider

Picture of a brown recluse spider head close-up

Generalized symptoms of bites from black widow and brown recluse spiders may include:

fever, nausea, vomiting , headache, abdominal pain, joint pain or stiffness, overall feelings of malaise, rash, and muscle cramping or tension.

While black widow spider bites are hardly ever fatal, rare deaths have occurred from brown recluse spider bites and are more common in children than in adults.

If a spider was not observed inflicting the bite, it is difficult if not impossible to determine whether a spider bite occurred, since many conditions of the skin may produce the same symptoms as a spider bite. Streptococcal and Staphylococcal infections, early lesions of herpes simplex or zoster, burns, stings or bites from other arthropods or insects (including fleas, bedbugs, mosquitos, biting flies, ants, and ticks), thorn injury, and early Lyme disease all may be characterized by skin findings similar to those from a spider bite. Spiders rarely bite people, and only if threatened. People often thing they have spider bites when the irritation is from another cause.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/10/2016

Article Credits / Source

MedicineNet.com

MedicineNet.com provides up to the minute breaking health news. Click here to view this full article from MedicineNet.com.

View More Articles From MedicineNet.com 🌎View Article Website

Sponsored Product

Lunar Sleep for $1.95

Lunar Sleep for $1.95

People who have trouble sleeping typically have low levels of melatonin, so melatonin supplements seem like a logical fix for insomnia. There is a high demand for sleep aids, especially in the U.S. The National Health Interview Survey done in 2002, and again in 2007, found 1.6 million US adults were using complementary and alternative sleep aids for insomnia. Lunar Sleep was a top choice. Use Promo Code: Sleep2014 and only pay $1.95 S&H.

Get Lunar Sleep for $1.95

More Skin Articles

Valtrex (valacyclovir)

Valtrex (valacyclovir)0

home / skin center / skin a-z list / valacyclovir index / valtrex (valacyclovir) drug monograph Pharmacy Author: Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD Omudhome Ogbru, PharmDDr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in ...

Soriatane (acitretin)

Soriatane (acitretin)0

home / skin center / skin a-z list / acitretin-oral index / soriatane (acitretin) drug monograph Pharmacy Author: Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD Omudhome Ogbru, PharmDDr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in ...

Health Tip: Keep Hair Looking Healthy

Health Tip: Keep Hair Looking Healthy0

(HealthDay News) -- Hair treatments designed to improve your appearance may actually be damaging your coiffure. The American Academy of Dermatology suggests these healthy hair tips: If possible, use color that's no more than three shades ...

Tropical Bedbugs Creeping Back to Florida

Tropical Bedbugs Creeping Back to Florida0

FRIDAY, Nov. 11, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- There's more reason for Floridians to check their sofas and mattresses: Tropical bedbugs have been confirmed in the state for the first time in at least 60 years, scientists report. There has already ...

Hives (Urticaria & Angioedema)

Hives (Urticaria & Angioedema)0

Can Stress Cause Hives? Hives can also develop as a result of sun or cold exposure, infections, excessive perspiration, and emotional stress. The reason why stress seems to precipitate an outbreak of hives in many people is not ...

View More Skin Articles

0 Comments

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our Mailing List

Subscribe to our mailing list to get the latest health news as it breaks!

Your information will not be shared with anyone!