Spider bites are relatively rare. However, spiders may bite when they feel threatened, such as when they are wedged between a part of the human body and an object. Most spider bites are harmless, as spider venom is not thought to be toxic to humans. Generally, a spider will not bite multiple members of the same household. Some spider bites are painful, while other bites are painless. A spider bite will usually resolve on its own within 7-10 days. The skin site should be watched, as spider bites can get infected.
COMMON SYMPTOMS OF A SPIDER BITE:
• Raised, red bump(s) • Mild, moderate, or severe pain
• Pain a few hours after the bite
• Vision changes
• Kidney failure
• Skin tissue death
RARE SYMPTOMS OF A SPIDER BITE:
• Flu-like symptoms, including fevers, sweating, nausea, and vomiting
• Increases in blood pressure
• Life-threatening allergic reaction
• Abnormal heart rate or rhythm
• Muscle aches
• Excessive saliva
• Muscle contractions
• Chest pain
• Belly pain
• Death is possible
HOME TREATMENT OF A SPIDER BITE:
• Wash the skin with soap and water.
• Apply an ice pack to the bite for 15 minutes at a time. Wrap the ice pack in a towel to protect the skin.
• Keep the bitten area raised above the level of the heart, if possible.
• Take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication, such as Ibuprofen.
• Collect the spider if possible or try to remember what the spider looked like so that the type of spider can be determined.
WHEN TO SEE A DOCTOR FOR A SPIDER BITE:
• Tetanus shot, particularly if last tetanus shot was more than 5 years ago
• Antibiotics if there are signs of infection, including but not limited to: fevers, redness, swelling, pain, and pus
• Prescription medications to treat pain, inflammation, nausea, vomiting, muscle spasms, and muscle contractions. In rare cases, epinephrine may be given for a life-threatening allergic reaction.
• Anti-venom to treat severe symptoms (such as muscle pain and spasms). Need for anti-venom is based on symptoms
• Hospitalization for pain control if the pain is severe and surgery to remove any dead skin tissue