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How To Treat Spider Bites

Yael Olek/University of Haifa, Getty Images

Last night I was bitten by a spider. I hate spiders!

Now that warmer weather is here, so are the bugs. This morning I woke up with a nagging little spider bite. Luckily it’s not serious, but it is painful and annoying. Here are some tips from the Mayo Clinic on treating these kinds of arachnid bites.


Try and identify the type of spider that bit you. Clean the site of the spider bite well with soap and water. Apply a cool compress over the spider bite location. If the bite is on an extremity, elevate it. Aspirin or acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) and antihistamines may be used to relieve minor signs and symptoms in adults. Use caution when giving aspirin to children or teenagers. Though aspirin is approved for use in children older than age 2, children and teenagers recovering from chickenpox or flu-like symptoms should never take aspirin. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns.


If you’re bitten by a Black Widow or Brown Recluse:

Cleanse the wound. Use soap and water to clean the wound and skin around the spider bite.

Slow the venom’s spread. If the spider bite is on an arm or a leg, tie a snug bandage above the bite and elevate the limb to help slow or halt the venom’s spread. Ensure that the bandage is not so tight that it cuts off circulation in your arm or leg.

Use a cold cloth at the spider bite location. Apply a cloth dampened with cold water or filled with ice.

Seek immediate medical attention. Treatment for the bite of a black widow may require an anti-venom medication. Doctors may treat a brown recluse spider bite with various medications.

Some symptoms of the more serious spider bites are:

  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Severe abdominal pain

However, if you notice that you have increased strength, no longer need glasses, can climb wals without mechanical assistance or can shoot webs out an orifice, get yourself a spandex suit, a mask and begin your crime fighting career!

Have a good night and don’t let the bed bugs – or spiders – bite!

(Information Provided By Mayo Clinic)

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