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Spider Bite Treatment, Symptoms, and Pictures

by Thursday, February 7, 2013

Spider bites can be deadly and painful. It’s important to be able to recognize spider bite symptoms quickly after they appear – and to prepared to treat them. Starting spider bite treatment early can make all the difference. By looking at some pictures of spider bites and reading a little advice you can be way ahead in the event of getting bit.

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I started thinking a little bit more about spider bites this weekend while I was enjoying  a nice warm morning at the car wash. I was relaxed and enjoying a coffee when all of a sudden I felt a slight tickling sensation across my right shoulder.  I reached over to the area quickly grabbed and twisted.

**Crunch**

I shuddered as I rolled the little invader out of my shirt.  To my horror it was a brown recluse.  I have stared a bull in the eyes and brushed off a coral snake but  spiders freak me out.  I don’t know why  but I have always been terrified of them.

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For everyone living in the U.S., I have good news:

There are ONLY three types of potentially deadly spider bites in the U.S.:

Brown Recluse spider bite

  • Brown Recluse spider bite
  • Hobo Spider bite
  • and the Black Widow spider bite

The brown recluse is found in the southern two-thirds of the country. It likes to hide in boxes, books, and other hard to reach places.

The hobo spider likes it out west. The black widow has been found in every state except Alaska.

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Here are a few on how to identify a spider bite.

1. Evaluate the Pain

If you feel pain when the spider bites, it’s likely a black widow spider bite, whose bite is often but not always painful. You may also develop severe body aches and fever.

A brown recluse spider bite is a slight sting at best. Most of the time you feel nothing. They hide in or under boxes, under your bed sheets, in your clothes. The first you know about it is the pain that develops several minutes to hours after the bite.

As a brown recluse spider bite progresses it takes a nasty turn.

recluse bite

This is the eschar—the black, leathery, dead tissue—that can form over the wound. T

A hobo spider’s bite feels similar to a brown recluse’s, and the pain also occurs minutes to hours after the bite.

2. Look at the Skin Damage

That’s the key to the brown recluse spider bite. You may not know when it bit you, but the bite area becomes red, blistered, or black. The area starts out small, and the redness spreads. A black spot of dead tissue develops in the middle of the redness. This dead tissue can be anything from small and superficial to deep and large—sometimes enough to warrant a skin graft when everything’s said and done. As the tissue dies, the area becomes very painful.

The hobo spider can cause skin damage, but less so than the brown recluse.

The black widow spider bite causes a red spot that’s sometimes hard to see. but while you may not see the spot another symptom will be much more obvious; It can cause plenty of muscle aches and cramping throughout the body for one to three weeks.

 

Poisonous Spider Bite Treatment:

If at all possible, get  to a doctor. If you can’t, consider the following:

If you think the spider was a brown recluse or hobo spider:

keep the wound cool and slow your breathing. This will help slow the venom’s spread: Apply ice, and keep the area at heart level or above.

Even though bites are rarely fatal secondary infections can quickly turn so. The next step you need to do is make sure you do everything possible to prevent infection.

As the black layer of dead skin (eschar) sloughs off, treat the wound as you would any other, by keeping it clean and covered and applying antibiotic ointment or honey. Some large wounds take several weeks to heal. If it starts looking infected, you’ll need oral antibiotics.

Treat the pain. Take an over-the-counter pain reliever.

If you think the spider was a black widow take a pain reliever like ibuprofen or aspirin for the muscle cramps.

Within minutes to hours, a black widow bite can lead to severe chest and abdominal pain mimicking appendicitis or a heart attack. It can make your blood pressure go up and may need to be treated. (Possible signs include an quickened pulse and a flushed face.)

If you can’t get to a doctor, rest to try to lower the blood pressure. In worst cases, anti-venom may be given.

The good news is  that thanks to anti-venom, it’s extremely  rare to die from a spider bite and those that do are typically caused by an allergic reaction or a severe secondary infection.

That being said, I am still terrified of spiders and on occasion shake out my sheets before hopping into bed.

Check out these great articles of natural home remedies for insect bites:

7 Home Remedies for Spider Bites

Spider Bites: How to Identify and Treat Them

5 Home Remedies for Chigger Bites

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80 Comments on "Spider Bite Treatment, Symptoms, and Pictures"

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James
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James
3 years 7 months ago
0 The best immediate treatment is to make a wet paste out of meat tenderizer and pile it up on the bite. The papaya enzyme will enter the bite and break down the venom before it has a chance to dissolve the tissue. The longer the tissue is in contact with the venom, the longer and more painful the recovery time. If the tissue does go necrotic black you must remove all traces of the black tissue every time you change a bandage. Keeping Neosporin on the bite will keep the bacterial invaders at bay. Using peppermint oil burns a… Read more »
peppermom
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peppermom
3 years 7 months ago
0

James you mentioned the meat tenderizer and the papaya enzyme. I was not clear about the papaya enzyme, do you take it or crush it and put it on the wound with the meat tenderizer? Great info I have always thought there had to be something that would neutralize the poison. Do you know anything about vinegar? I know if you put vinegar on a bite it stops itching does this mean it neutralizes poison also. Curious?

James
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James
3 years 7 months ago
0

Hi peppermom,
The meat tenderizer IS the papaya enzyme and it is paste that goes on the wound. Sorry I wasn’t clear about that!
-J-

Adam
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Adam
3 years 22 days ago
0

The meat tenderizer is Adolphs. Many of the others do not include the papaya.

MICK J
Guest
MICK J
1 year 8 months ago
1+

You were clear….

Hipockets
Guest
Hipockets
3 years 22 days ago
0

Got what I thought whs a Mosquito bite while driving. It swelled,itched terrible, Had a red mark,with several teeth marks nearby, Black in the middle. Every few days,would have other teeth marks and would swell again. Finally concluded it was a spider bite. Every 7-8 days,it would start over again, after the 2nd go around,I put Retin A on the bite and it healed in 2 days. It repeated again 2 times,I repeated the treatment. After 6 weeks,it’s gone,but I have a small scar’ This remedy is something I just dreamed up to suck the poison out,but it worked’

RKYMTNJC
Guest
RKYMTNJC
3 years 7 months ago
0 I was bit by a brown recluse last year. Thought it was a pimple, but did not act like a pimple. Went to the local health food store and the lady there took one look and identified it. They treat many each year. She put black salve (about a match head worth)and covered with a band-aid and told me to remove and clean lightly with peroxide. Clean and replace band-aid every day. After about 10-14 days the “sack” will come out and leave a hole. The hole will heal over time. There is some minor pain at the site… Read more »
RKYMTNJC
Guest
RKYMTNJC
3 years 7 months ago
0

Leave the Black salve on for 24 hrs. before cleaning. NOT NECESSARY to put mote on after 1st application. After the sack comes loose clean with peroxide. DO NOT TOUCH SACK! After the sack comes out and healing starts another application of black salve MAY be needed if the venom had spread father than realized. Venom can “tunnel” through the skin, so treat sooner rather than later.

Ellen
Guest
Ellen
3 years 22 days ago
0 My chiropractor got bit by a brown recluse spider. A friend of his told him to use DMSO on it. The DMSO took care of the problem. As a former rural mail carrier I have been bit many times by a variety of spiders. I did not see what bit me once, but by the time I got home I had a red streak about 8″ running up my leg. I put DMSO on it when I check about 30 minutes later it had turned pink. I applied the DMSO a second time and when I looked again it… Read more »
Hipockets
Guest
Hipockets
3 years 22 days ago
0

Where do you get DMSO nowdays???Remember years ago it was peopular for a lot of things’

Janet
Guest
Janet
3 years 22 days ago
0

Can get DMSO at my local health food store and also at APEX Hardware sold for farm animal use. Since it’s application is topical and not internal it should be safe for humans too.

Samantha
Guest
Samantha
3 years 22 days ago
0 We started using black salve in the tube decades ago. The first time we thought our son had a bee stinger in the side of his foot. Turned out to be a shard of glass that it drew out of the sore. Now we can only find the Ichthammol 20% in a jar at the feed and seed store. I got a 14 oz. jar for under $10.00 at a store called ‘The Stock Market’, in Conyers, GA, in Dec. 2009, and it’s still almost full. Works just as well and get a lot more for the money, a… Read more »
Andy
Guest
Andy
3 years 7 months ago
0 Got bit by a baby brown recluse back in the 70’s on Long Island, much further north than the map indicates. Entomologist at local aggie college identified it. Little to no damage to my skin as the spider was a juvenile. It bit me on the back of my left hand, between my thumb and index finger. I have to differ though about the pain mentioned. lt felt like someone was repeatedly jabbing me with a red hot needle. I had had my coat laying on the floor of a local luncheonette, beneath a pinball machine i was playing.… Read more »
Judy Woodman
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Judy Woodman
3 years 7 months ago
0 A couple of years ago my sister was bitten by a brown recluse & used Tea Tree Oil & something else she could not remember to heal it. A Doctor confirmed it was a brown recluse bite. Last summer I got bit by one on my stomach. Never felt the bite but felt the venom moving & watched it for a minute or two. Instantly started getting sick. I had some Tea Tree Oil & saturated my abdomen around the entire area that I felt the venom. I did that everytime it started to bother me & then gradually… Read more »
Justin
Guest
Justin
3 years 2 months ago
1+

you could feel and watch the venom move?

james
Guest
james
3 years 22 days ago
0

where can you get tea tree oil and black suave?

Hipockets
Guest
Hipockets
3 years 22 days ago
0

My hair dresser just recommended I get Tree Tea Oil,as I’m going bald and it’s suppose to stop the process. Put a few drops in regular (cheap shampoo’) spendier shampoos don’t work’Have’nt been able to get the oil yet as live 75 miles from town,but worth a try’ Everything I’ve seen on here, I’ll get lots as seems to be a miricle thing that works for lots of problems’

Jean
Guest
Jean
3 years 7 months ago
0 We live in OK and we a few years ago had purchased a “sparker” to relieve pain (it is essentially the part of a spark plug that causes the spark), they had taken them off the market for a while but have seen them on Heartland of America and other catalog books again). We discovered that it works very well for spider bites including fiddlebacks, as well as mosquito bites etc. A physician here in OK had started using a modified taser to treat fiddleback (local term for brown recluse spider as there is a “violin” shapped brown spot… Read more »
Janet
Guest
Janet
3 years 22 days ago
0

Plantain is great for bee stings too. Husband got into a nest of yellow jackets and was stung several times before he could get away from them. A paste of plantain applied to each sting took the pain out and stopped swelling.

RT
Guest
RT
3 years 7 months ago
0 Was bit by one of those little banana spiders (red one) and it hurt really bad. Put some “purification” oil on it and it did not get any worse but did last a day and no other problems with the bite. The purification oil is from Young Living Essential Oils and is recommended for spider bites. It is composed of 6 oils- Citronella,Lemongrass,Rosemary cineol,Melaleuca,Lavandin,Myrtle. These oils contain the following benefits: antiseptic,anti-bacterial,anti-spasmodic,purifying,vasodilator,sedative, anti-inflammatory,oxygen increasing,anti-infectious,detoxifier,tissue regenerator,expectorant. Have used it with with good results. I would recomend you use all remedies possible with spider bites and see a doctor quickly. This oil… Read more »
Greg
Guest
Greg
3 years 7 months ago
0

Missing from that list is a Yellow Sac Spider- It is in the brown recluse family- although not quite as poisonous.It is a tiny spider, but leaves a very nasty bite. A few years ago my son was bitten by a yellow sac spider several times over the course of a couple of months.

Chuck
Guest
Chuck
3 years 7 months ago
0 The “black salve” that was mentioned above was most likely ichthammol ointment. It comes in a variety of strengths. This too is a remedy left over from my childhood days. It is still carried by drug stores. I am looking at a tube of 20% strength. It is a drawing salve and will pull out splinters and help cure skin infections. It will draw a boil. Apply it to a dry bandage, cover the wound. Change it daily. It is useful if you have to be on the move and can’t sit for half an hour and soak an… Read more »
Wondering Woman
Guest
Wondering Woman
3 years 22 days ago
0 I believe the black salve mentioned above is different from ichthamol. It is made from the herb blood root For spider bites and snake bites, you can google electric shock therapy for snake bite. The original article I read on this advised not to use house current (use boat or car motor instead) for shocking around bite area. Not knowing how to disconnect spark plugs for using, I devised myself one that I keep in my dash by snipping the end you insert into the small appliance you want to run while in the car & stripping insulation off… Read more »
Wondering Woman
Guest
Wondering Woman
3 years 22 days ago
0 PS – Should have mentioned that article I read was in a sports magazine but written by a doctor practicing in a 3rd world country, who said he saw many snake bites and lost most of them because even when they brought the snake in with them, by the time they got the anti-venom needed, the patient had already died. He said he heard of a local bee keeper, who was still keeping bees, despite being allergic to bee stings and sought him out to ask him how he kept the bees from stinging him. The man’s answer was… Read more »
Samantha
Guest
Samantha
3 years 22 days ago
0 We started using black salve in the tube decades ago. The first time we thought our son had a bee stinger in the side of his foot. Turned out to be a shard of glass that it drew out of the sore. Now we can only find the Ichthammol 20% in a jar at the feed and seed store. I got a 14 oz. jar for under $10.00 at a store called ‘The Stock Market’, in Conyers, GA, in Dec. 2009, and it’s still almost full. Works just as well and get a lot more for the money, a… Read more »
John G.
Guest
John G.
3 years 7 months ago
0 40 years ago, while I was pursuing my Bachelors Degree in the Sciences, I took a Medical Entomology course. Dr. Penner, the instructor, chuckled when we got to Loxosceles reclusa, the Brown Recluse or Fiddle Back spider. The Joke was that the Medical Profession had NO CLUE how to treat it’s bite and insisted on just applying antibiotics and cutting away the dead tissue as the toxin migrated out and out and out and out and larger and larger and larger areas of necrotic tissue needed to be removed until, sometimes, a limb needed amputation. He then went on… Read more »
John G.
Guest
John G.
3 years 7 months ago
0

Sorry, five lines up from the bottom should read “3 days before you come OFF the antibiotics…” not of the antibiotics. And you could use vinegar instead of lemon or lime juice but it’s a stronger acid than the juices and could be diluted a bit. Good Luck Folks!

Judy
Guest
Judy
3 years 7 months ago
0

Thank you for this & for your candor on the Medical profession’s determination to push more & more drugs, anti-biotics, vaccines, etc. down us. I could write an entire book on this myself, especially in my dealings with some who call themselves Doctors. Thankfully there are some Doctors out there who still just want to do what is best for the patient & I have been blessed to find a few of them.

paul krawic
Guest
3 years 7 months ago
0

check out my comment to my reply of my comment below.

Shelley
Guest
Shelley
1 year 11 months ago
0 John G. I got a spider bite before going on a cruise. I live in ORegon so I doubt it was a brown recluse, but it was in an old dark attic. I didn’t think much of it, but now 6 days later on the cruise, the bite area has a 3″ wavy red line (poison streak) extending from the site of the bite and I have muscle aches, headache and very tired. I’m on a cruise in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. There is black tea and lemon on board. Is it too late? Should I pay… Read more »
claire
Guest
claire
1 year 8 months ago
0

Thanks I was bit by a yellow sac spider and I am going to try this as they have me on cephalexin amd I am still swelling after being on it a couple of days.

paul krawic
Guest
3 years 7 months ago
0 i was bitten by a black widow a few years ago and never sought treatment.yes the pain was brutal,but when i realized what had happened(i woke up with it,it got me in bed)i used an exacto knife with the fine point to cut the section between the 2 fang marks open and sqeezed from way down below.it had already killed a bit of tisuue which came out as red and yellow mush.when a spider bites it also injects digestive fluids,that’s how they eat,all liquid diet.i opened the cut a little deeper than the bottom of the crater fro the… Read more »
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