We all know the story of the teenage boy who was bit by a radioactive spider
and gained superpowers. Sadly, the symptoms that we get from spider bites
are not as cool as those in the comic book. Spiders are generally poisonous,
but most of them are harmless to humans since their fangs are too small
or too weak to break our skin. You may get symptoms similar to any insect
bites, such itching, redness, or swelling, but it usually goes away pretty
quickly. In the United States, however, there are two venomous spiders
that you need to watch out for.
Black Widow Spider
The black widow spider has a shiny black exterior with a red mark on its
back. They are usually found in warm southern and western states lurking
under woodpiles or fallen leaves. At home, they usually thrive in the
dark corners of your attic or basement.
If you think a black widow has bitten you, look for two puncture marks
on your skin. The bite is usually painful with a burning sensation. Other
symptoms may include stomach cramps, leg cramps, weakness, sweating, and more.
Brown Recluse Spider
The brown recluse spider is described as having a violin-shaped marking
on its back. They are usually found in the South Central states, and typically
hide in dark, secluded spaces.
The bite of a brown recluse may be painless at first, but it will eventually
itch, hurt, and swell. When you get bitten, the bite area may develop
a white center surrounded by red rings, similar to a bull’s eye.
Without immediate treatment, the bite may form blisters followed by fever,
chills, and headache.
How to Treat a Spider Bite?
If you suspect that you have been bitten by a spider, you can apply first-aid
to prevent infections and reduce the initial itch and redness.
Here are some steps that you can take:
- Wash the bite area with soap and water
- Apply a cold compress to the bite area to reduce the swelling
- Try to elevate the bite area if possible
Spider bites are often mistaken for other insect bites and other skin infections
so it is important to keep an eye out on the bite area in the next 24
hours. If the pain in the bite area worsens, or you started to have other
symptoms, such as fever and chills, immediately seek medical help.
This article contains general information about medical conditions and
treatments. The information is not advice and should not be treated as
such. The information is not intended to replace the advice or diagnosis
of a physician.
If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should
consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.