Spider bites tend to get more heat than they deserve. Only a small percentage of spiders in the world can actually kill a person, while the rest have a bite than may not even get noticed. Most spider bites are mildly irritating at best, producing symptoms similar to the standard bug bite.
The severely venomous spiders, which there are only two in the United States, are the one to be concerned about. Whether they can kill you or not, all spiders are venomous, it just depends on how their venom reacts with your body. Every person is different and will have a different reaction to the venom. A spider’s venom is what they use to kill their prey, working to deteriorate their prey from the inside out. Some spider bites symptoms vary on the type of spider that bit you.
Harmless Spider Bites
Only a small number of spiders will actually bite a person, and even then the bite may go without notice. Most times, the bite amounts to a small red welt, that may develop itching, burning and a yellow or clear discharge. These tend to heal in under a week and a generally harmless. The only time a spider bite like this can become dangerous is if you scratch it, exposing the wound underneath. After that, infection can set in, which lead to severe complication for a rather minor issue.
Poisonous Spider Bites
Bites from spiders considered “poisonous,” those that can actually harm humans, are a little more severe. It is more the person’s reaction to the venom that is the cause for concern, which can lead to the person seeking medical attention.
There are only two types of spider in the United States that are dangerous to people, those being the brown recluse spider and the black widow spider. Both spiders are found more in the southern states. A reaction to the venom can be detected by immediate pain, swelling, redness and red lines radiating out from the bite site following the blood flow. Even without these, if you have been bitten by a spider you know is dangerous to people, then you should seek anti-venom and emergency medical attention.
Black Widow Spider Bite Symptoms
The black widow spider is a tiny, shiny, black spider which is most known for the red hourglass design on its stomach. It can be found in many basements and closets, and prefers warm dry, undisturbed areas. Their bite is known for almost immediate pain, followed by burning, swelling and redness. The bite will progressively get worse, and is a serious condition in both children and adults. Immediate medical treatment should be sought out.
Brown Recluse Spider Bite
The brown recluse spider is a small, short haired spider known for its bite only. Often considered more dangerous than the black widow, this spider can be found in basements and woodpiles, and tends to bite more often than the black widow.
The spider bite symptoms from a brown recluse include almost immediate pain and stinging, which gets worse over the next 8 hours. The bite itself will begin to turn purple, with white and red rings surrounding it. A blister may form over the bite, which will then turn into an abscess or ulcer. This is the necrotizing aspect of a spiders venom, and skin will start to die if medical attention immediately after you’ve realized you’ve been bitten.
Treatment Of A Spider Bite
Spider bites can be treated easily as long as it’s not a venomous spider. Most times, an over-the-counter pain medication, along with a cold compress and a little time does the trick. The cold compress tends to help with swelling and itching, while the pain reliever easily eliminates any pain that may be associated with the bite.
For venomous spider bites, medical attention should be sought. Don’t try to follow movie cliches and try to suck out the venom or cut your leg open to let it drain. That just makes things worse. Apply a tight bandage, or a restraining string, about four inches above the bite. A restraining string is a string tied around the body in order to restrict the flow of blood and venom. Neither of these should be tight enough to fully cut off the blood supply, but should be taught. You should still be able to slide a finger underneath easily. Add a cold compress to the bite area. This will help with the pain and swelling, and also slow down the flow of blood, and with it venom, in the area. Then, seek medical attention. It is the safest way to ensure you will come out of this situation in decent shape.
Even though it is rare, the bites of the brown recluse and black widow can be fatal. This is most common in the elderly, children, and those who don’t seek medical attention after they’ve noticed they’ve been bitten by something bad.