What is the best treatment for a black widow spider bite? Get insights on the symptoms, pictures, facts, first aid and best home remedies for a black or brown widow spider bite.
Black Widow Spider Bite
Of the 30,000 types of spiders, the black widow is probably the most well-known and many people fear it. However, spiders are often blamed for all kind of symptoms, from local itching to diffuse rashes, the fact is that spiders rarely bite humans, as well, most spider bites cannot even break the skin.
The large spider bites such as tarantulas are very painful. Although, in the temperate areas, the only spiders to be feared are the black widow not to forget the brown recluse.
Black widow spiders are easily recognizable. They are plump, black, and shiny, with an hourglass-shaped, red mark on their abdomens. Other times, this red mark may take a slightly different shape. In some cases, the black widow may have red markings on its back as well.
This type of spider gets its unique name because of its mating behavior. After mating, the females typically kill and then eat their male partners, leaving them as “widows”.
These spiders are not aggressive and only bite when they feel threatened. The bites commonly are not fatal, but they can still result some serious and irritating symptoms. If a black spider has bitten you, get an urgent medical attention as soon as possible.
This kind of spiders are found throughout the world. They are most common in the southern and western states. Black widow are nocturnal and, thus, are active at night. They prefer dark corners or crevices. They are also said to avoid human dwelling, but mostly you can find them in such areas as outhouses and garages. Only the female black widow spider bites humans, and she bites only when disturbed, especially while protecting her eggs.
How dangerous are black spider bites?
If a black widow spider bites you, do not pain! No one he ever died from a black widows spider bite in over ten years. Very often the black widow will dot inject any venom into the bit and no serious symptoms develop. Wash the wound gently with soap and water to help prevent infection
If muscle cramps develop, take the patient to the nearest hospital. Some victims, mostly young children, may be admitted overnight for observation and treatment.
Treatments are available for the symptoms caused by a black widow spider bite. Various medications are used to treat the muscle cramps, spasms and pain caused by a bite. Black widow spider antivenin is seldom necessary.
Black Widow Spider Bite Symptoms
If you are bitten by a black widow spider you may experience on or more of the symptoms listed below. Poison injected by the spider at the spider at the time of the bite causes the symptoms, not the bite itself.
Small children and the elderly are often more symptomatic and can have a more severe reaction to the venom of the black widow spider.
If you are not sure if you were bitten by a black widow spider, you should know that the following symptoms can be caused by or resemble other medical condition. Always consult a dermatologist for examination.
- Local pain, redness, burning and swelling at bite site
- abdominal pain and localized or serialized muscle cramps including stomach, shoulders, and neck
- Headache which may be partially due to a change in blood pressure
- Rash and itching
- Eyelid swelling
- Salivation, tearing of the eyes
- Weakness, tremors or paralysis especially in the legs
- Nausea and vomiting
- Chest pain
- Respiratory difficulties may follow
- High blood pressure
- A fever
- Dizziness and fainting
In some cases, black widow spider venom poisoning may result to seizures and even death. Death commonly does not appear in healthy adults. Young children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune symptoms are more susceptible to serious complications and death from a black widow spider bites.
In this cases, anyone who has been bitten, or who suspects they have been bitten by a black widow spider, should seek medical treatment immediately.
Black widow spiders are reclusive and not aggressive. They will never seek you out to bite you. In fact, they only bite in self-defense or when they feel threatened.
These spiders live in dark, hidden spots, such as in piles of rocks, leaves, or wood. Do not move or disturb these piles without wearing gloves, as you might unknowingly touch a black widow spider and get bitten.
You should as well wear gloves when you are moving things out of dark corners in garages or basements. Black widow spiders may live in these location.
The spiders mighty also hide in a variety of other dark places, such as:
- Inside your shoes, especially if they are stored somewhere dark
- In piles of unused blankets
- In the crevices of porch furniture
- Between stones in a rock wall
Black Widow Spider Bite Pictures Photos
The black widow spider is a venomous spider with a potentially dangerous bites. The bite may or may not be visible as one or two puncture wounds on the skin. A bite may initially go unnoticed and produce no symptoms. Some people feel pain soon after a black widow spider bite. The female spider can attack humans when they are provoked. The quick bite of the black widow spider has the power to paralyze large prey.
These pictures show some of the damage spider bites can cause when bites a human. Symptoms and symptom severity after a black widow spider attack you vary considerably. Those underlying health problems, the elderly, children, and those with compromised immune systems may suffer more severe consequences due to a black widow spider bite.
Can you die from a Black Widow Spider Bite
The female black widow spider, though it is the most venomous spider in North America, seldom causes death as it injects a very small amount of poison when it bites. Research shows that human mortality at well less that 1% from black widow spider bites.
Treatment for a black widow bites will vary depending on your health, symptoms, and the severity of the bite.
You may be given medication to help lower the high blood pressure that sometimes accompanies a black widow spider bite. If the bite is more severe, you may need muscle relaxants or antivenin, which is an antitoxin used to treat venomous bite. In most cases, you may even need to be admitted. The deadliest spider bite can present symptoms that only need medical attention immediately.
You should go to a doctor or emergency room right away if a black widow spider has bitten you. There are some steps you can take an urgently preceding your trip to the hospital or on the way to the hospital.
- Wash the bite thoroughly with soap
- Apply a wet or damp ice pack for 10 minutes at a time, with 10-minuets breaks in between.
- Elevate the location of the bite, if necessary. For example, if you were bitten on your hand, keep your arm over your head. You should get to a hospital as soon as possible.
A black widow spider bite is diagnosed through a physical examination and questions about the bite. You should be prepared to describe the spider, where and when the bite took place, and what you were doing at the time. Your doctor will also ask what your main symptoms are, when they began, and how they have developed, progressed, or changed since the bite.
What Happens When a Black Widow Spider Bites You
The venom from a black widow spider is poisonous. Symptoms of a reaction to the venom start about 30 minutes after the bite. Symptoms are usually mild and stop within a few days, but severe symptoms that last several days are possible. Venom can spread from the bite to other parts of the body. It can damage your muscles, nerves, or organs.
Signs and symptoms of a black widow spider bite
- A sharp pain like a pinprick, or pain than spreads from the bite area to other areas.
- Red, numb, tingling, stinging, or burning skin at the bite area
- Muscle cramps or spasms
- Nausea or vomiting
- A cold sweat
When you should contact your caregiver
- You have increased pain or a change in how your pain feels
- You have a fever or a headache
- Your wound is red, swollen. Or draining fluid
- Your eyes become sensitive to light
- You experience pain when you move the bitten body part, or the part is difficult to move
- You get tender lumps in your groin or armpits
- Your symptoms spread from the bite to other parts of your body
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care
When you should seek immediate health care
- You have severe abdominal pain
- Your wound turns blue or black and smell foul
- Your muscles become stiff and start to cramp spasm
- You have tremors or trouble breathing, talking, or walking
- Your heart is racing
- You have chest pain, tightness, or heaviness that may spread to your shoulders, arms, jaw, neck, or back.
Black Widow Spider Bite First Aid
- If possible, kill the spider and take it to the doctor with you.
- Wash the bite site with soap and water
- Apply an ice pack wrapped in a cloth over the bite area to relieve pain and swelling
- To help prevent an infection apply an antibiotic lotion or cream to the bite site
- Elevate if the is on a limb to prevent swelling
- Seek immediate emergency care
- The health care provider will examine and clean the wound
- The person with severe symptoms such as intense pain and cramping or high blood pressure, may be admitted to the hospital
You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregiver to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.
The above information in an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for treating black widow spider bites.
Black Widow Spider Bite Treatment
Spider are known to bite more likely if they are harmed or they are about to paralyze their prey. While some spider are aggressive, most spiders tend to hide and prefer dark and isolated places. Spiders often bite in self-defense, depending on your reaction to the bite you may have mild or severe symptoms. If you, are the person bitten, is experiencing more than mold pain or symptoms throughout your body seek medical treatment at the emergency department of a hospital.
Generally, black spider bites are treated with narcotics to bring relief from the pain. Also, get medical checkup if you are not sure whether the bite was from a poisonous spider. When treating spider bites, the main goal is to neutralize the bite and get rid of any toxins in the body. Many effective home remedies can ease the symptoms and promote healing. If symptoms remain after a few days, see a dermatologist.
- Ice pack
When bitten by a spider, the first thing you need to do is to clean the wound with mild soap and water. Then, apply an ice pack on the affected area. The cold temperature will help numb the nerve endings, soothe the itching sensation and reduce swelling and inflammation.
- Wrap a few ice cubes in a thin towel and place it on the affected area for 10 minutes at a time. Do this as needed during the initial 24 hours.
- You can also put the affected area under cool running water for few minutes.
Note: never put ice directly in the skin.
Baking soda is an effective treatment for spider bites. This alkaline substance can help draw out the venom, which will help reduce pain, itchiness and also inflammation.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda with 3 tablespoons of water.
- With the help of a cotton ball, apply this mixture on the affected area for 5 minutes.
- Wash the area with lukewarm water
- If the discomfort persists, repeat after a few hours
Salt is another easy remedy due to its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It can effectively draw the venom out of a spider bite to promote quick recovery. Adding to that, it reduces inflammation and redness.
- Wash the affected area thoroughly with lukewarm water.
- Sprinkle some table salt on a wet washcloth.
- Bandage this washcloth to the affected part for a couple of hours, then remove it.
- Do this for some few days.
Another easy and effective method is to use a starchy potato. It can bring down the itching and inflammation, largely due to its anti-irritating and soothing properties. In addition, it keeps the affected area moisturized to encourage speed the healing.
- Peel 1 large potato and wash it thoroughly.
- Grate the potato using grater.
- Put a handful of the wet potato shreds into a piece of thin cloth and tie it securely.
- Clean the affected area with rubbing alcohol, then put the potato poultice on it
- Clean it until the potato begins to dry.
- Discard the old potato poultice, and clean the area with warm water.
- Reapply a fresh poultice, repeating until the symptoms are gone.
You can also relieve minor symptoms of the black widow spider bites using aspirin. It can neutralize the venom to help quick recovery. Plus, its strong anti-inflammatory properties can effectively control swelling and as well inflammation.
- Soak 1 to 2 aspirin tablets in a little water to form a paste.
- Apply this paste on the affected location.
- Let it stay for some few hours, then wash it off with warm water
- Do this for at least 2 or more times for suitable results.
This spice is a natural painkiller containing anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and also antioxidant properties. It can promote recovery by reducing pain, swelling and inflammation as well.
- Mix 1 to 2 teaspoons of turmeric powder with enough olive oil to form a paste. Apply this past on the affected area. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water.
- Alternatively, mix 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder, a handful of thoroughly washed Indian lilac or neem leave it on for 20 minutes and then rinse it off with warm water
Repeat either of these remedies a few times for best results.
You can also use lemon juice to keep itching, swelling and inflammation at bay. Being a natural astringent, it also helps quickly dry out skin rashes caused by black widow spider bites as well as prevent infection.
- Extract the juice from a fresh lemon and apply it on the affected area using a cotton ball. Let it dry, then rinse it off with lukewarm water.
- Also, you can take a piece of lemon and rub it against the affected area for 2 to 3 minutes. Wait for another 5 minutes, the rinse it off.
Follow either of these remedies a few times a day.
Aloe plant is a magic plant which can help for treating spider bites. This gel has natural antiseptic as well as anti-inflammatory and soothing properties that can help reduce pain, swelling and itching. It can as well aid in faster healing by keeping the affected area moisturized.
- Thoroughly wash an aloe Vera leaf.
- Slit it open to extract the gel.
- Apply this fresh gel on the affected area.
- Reapply a few times a day for a few days.
Note: store the remaining gel in the refrigerator.
This herb exhibits anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties that helps to relieve pain, swelling and inflammation. It even soothes and calms itchiness caused by spider bites.
- Rub freshly extracted peppermint juice on the affected area. Leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes before rinsing it off with cool water. Repeat once or twice more, if necessary.
- As well, apply 1 or 2 drops of peppermint oil directly on the bitten area 2 or 3 times a day.
Note: always do a spot test before applying peppermint oil directly on skin.
Other important tips
- Monitor the bite for a couple of days to keep a check on how well the symptoms are healing.
- Try to memorize the appearance of the spider that has bitten you. By doing this will help in the treatment plan.
- To prevent black widow spider bites, wear a long sleeve shirt and pants, a hat, gloves and boots when handling stored boxes or firewood.
- Be more careful when cleaning out sheds, garages, basements, attics and crawl spaces.
- Inspect and shake out gardening tools that are not in use for a while.
- Keep spiders out of the house by installing tight-fitting screens on windows and doors.
- Discard old boxes, clothing and other unwanted items from storage areas.
- Remove piles of rocks from your garden area.
The complication usually associated with black widow bites are skin infections due to scratching. If you are bleeding, very red skin around the bite location that is hot to the touch, or you see pus coming from the bites, you should visit your doctor, and immediately get treated for an infection. In most cases, infections usually require an antibiotic cream. However the best way to avoid more complications is to stop scratching at the bites.
In general, it is important to stay far from biting insects infested areas. That is the first prevention caution you can take to avoid problems with your skin or bodily harm. If you know the areas you can seek help from specialists on pest control, so that you can carry out the necessary activities to keep off the insect bites manace.
- Black widow spider bite: http://www.emedicinehealth.com/black_widow_spider_bite/article_em.htm
- Pictures of black widow spider bites: http://www.emedicinehealth.com/image-gallery/black_widow_spider_bites_picture/images.htm
- What doesn’t kill you: http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2015/03/black_widow_bites_what_happens_can_it_kill_you_video.html
- Black widow spider bite treatment: http://www.webmd.com/first-aid/black-widow-spider-bite-treatment
- Spider bite symptoms: https://healdove.com/first-aid/Spider-Bites-Pictures-Symptoms-and-Treatment
- Poisoning due to black widow spider: http://www.healthline.com/health/black-widow-spider