Almost everyone has had to deal with a spider bite. Most of these bites aren’t likely to harm you (or give you super spidey powers), because 90% of spiders in the United States and across North America aren’t poisonous. But if you are one of the unlucky few to come into contact with a venomous spider or your bite just happens to become infected, you may be wondering what your next steps should be. Keep reading to learn how to treat an infected spider bite!
What Does a Spider Bite Look Like?
Unless you literally saw the spider bite or simply recall seeing one in your room earlier in the day, odds are that you won’t be able to tell the difference between a spider bite and a bee sting or another bug bite! Still, here are some indicators to look out for:
- A small, red bump or welt
- Itching or pain around the affected area
If you have a badly infected bite, you may begin experiencing more severe symptoms:
- Difficult breathing
- Muscle pain or cramping
- Blistering of the affected area
- Anxiety or restlessness
- High blood pressure
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Allergic reactions
- Severe skin infections
Which Spiders Are Poisonous?
If you aren’t an arachnophile, you probably won’t be able to tell one kind of spider from another. Even so, you may want to look into common poisonous spiders in your area if your bite hasn’t shown any improvement for a long time or your symptoms start getting worse. Here are some well-known, extremely dangerous spiders that you should be aware of:
- Brown recluse
- Black widow
- Hobo spiders
- Brazilian wandering spider
- Camel spider
- Wolf spider
Bites from these types of spiders should not be taken lightly! Black Widow and Brown Recluse spider bites can be life-threatening, as well as those of other venomous spiders. Seek medical attention if you suspect that you’ve been bitten by one of these.
How Do You Treat an Infected Spider Bite at Home?
Assuming you weren’t bitten by a poisonous spider, you should be perfectly able to treat the bite at home. As soon as you become aware of the bite, you should elevate the area to reduce swelling and apply ice if possible. Taking an antihistamine (Zyrtec or Benadryl) should also provide some relief for the itching. Be careful not to allow the area to become infected by practicing good hygiene on the area with soap and water and, if there are minor signs of infection or blistering, apply an antibiotic ointment like Neosporin.
How Long Does It Take for a Spider Bite to Heal?
In most cases, you can expect a spider bite from a non-venomous spider to heal within a week. However, the skin at the center of the bite can often turn into an open sore or ulcer that gets continually bigger until the surrounding skin dies. This ulcer shouldn’t persist in growing for more than two weeks, with full healing potentially taking a month or more.
When Should I Be Concerned About a Spider Bite?
Not all spider bites are created equally, and it’s important that you pay close attention to your bite to ensure that you don’t let a poisonous or infected bite go untreated. It’s crazy to think that a creature so small can cause so much damage, but you may find yourself needing to seek treatment.
If you begin exhibiting signs of going into full-body shock, having trouble breathing, or if the bite has gotten progressively worse, call 911 or visit an emergency room immediately. It may seem silly to go to the ER for a spider bite, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Visit Village Emergency Centers
Spider bites range from harmless to life-threatening, and it can oftentimes be hard to know when to worry. If you are concerned about a spider bite, are unsure about the signs and symptoms of an infected spider bite, or have any other emergency, visit us today! At Village Emergency Centers, we are fully equipped to deal with all kinds of medical emergencies. Our mission is to provide affordable, 24/7 care to the Greater Houston Area! Make an appointment online or call us today. We’ll be happy to help you.