Most spider bites are not poisonous to humans and heal with proper care and cleaning. Only a few spiders are considered dangerous and strong enough to pierce the skin. The black widow spiders and brown recluse spiders are venomous and dangerous to humans.
Black widow spider
The black widow spiders have a distinctive red hourglass mark in their belly. A bite from this spider can be painless and there is only minimal swelling and a faint mark initially. Nevertheless, the symptoms can become serious within a few hours and includes significant pain and stiffness. The systemic symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, fever and abdominal pain can also occur.
Brown recluse spider
These spiders have a violin-shaped mark on the back. A brown recluse spider only has 3 pairs of eyes instead of the usual 4 pairs. If bitten, there is a stinging sensation followed by significant pain and redness.
Over time, the bite site expands and develops into a deep ulcer. The systemic symptoms include nausea and fever. In some instances, a bite can be deadly especially among children.
Indications of spider bites
If bitten by a spider, the area around the bite might be warm, inflamed and red. There is also a painful and/or itchy lump.
When bitten by a venomous spider, some might suffer from more symptoms once the venom reaches the bloodstream. Remember that the severity of the symptoms depends on the sensitivity of the body to the venom and if there are underlying conditions that makes the individual susceptible. Some complications such as kidney failure, coma and even death can occur in severe cases.
Most cases of spider bites can be managed at home. The initial step is to clean the affected area using water and soap and elevate the affected limb to slow down the spread of the venom.
You can provide the individual with antihistamines, acetaminophen or aspirin to reduce symptoms such as pain, inflammation and itchiness. If possible, try to identify the spider. If it is brown recluse spider or black widow, call for a doctor right away or bring the individual to the nearest healthcare facility to prevent any complications.