Spider in web

Getting a Spider Bite

When I was a kid, we used to play in the empty lot next door. The grass would get about three feet tall so we would build tunnels and hideouts and play all day.

One night after tunneling through the grass, my leg started to hurt. There was a big red bite on my shin that bothered me a lot more than a mosquito bite. And it itched – a lot.

By the next morning, I had a knot on my shin and it was getting hard to walk.

My mom said it was a spider bite and not to worry. And most spider bites are not a big deal.

Doctors advise cleaning the wound with soap and water, applying an ice pack or cool, wet cloth, taking some Tylenol, Advil, or Motrin, and elevating the wound site, if possible. If the bite itches, take some antihistamine, like a Benadryl.

When to Seek Medical Attention 

The time to worry is if you are bitten by a black widow or brown recluse. In some cases, you see the spider and know, but, like in my case, there’s no telling what kind of spider bit me.

But the symptoms will be a lot more serious.

If the bite starts to hurt a lot, blisters, or develops a blue or purple area or a red ring around the bite, that’s when you need to see a doctor. Other serious symptoms are stomach cramps, chills, fever, rash, headache, or nausea, which could mean the person should seek medical attention. If the person is having a hard time breathing, get help fast.

Most spiders in the United States are non-venomous, but even non-venomous spider bites can cause an allergic reaction. If the swelling is spreading, it’s time to get medical attention.

By Amanda Rogers for Surepoint Medical Center

Photo by Florian Schmetz on Unsplash

Amanda Rogers is a freelance writer based in Fort Worth, Texas

Surepoint Emergency Center is a modern emergency medical facility open 24/7/365. As an alternative to the traditional hospital ER experience, we offer convenience and minimal wait time, along with highly-trained emergency medical staff and state-of-the-art equipment.

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