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Spider bites are not uncommon. It is easy to know that a spider has bitten you if you are lucky enough to have noticed the spider just when it has bitten you. However, the occurrence of this is quite uncertain and extremely rare. In most of the cases, a person doesn't realize that he or she has been bitten by a spider until several hours later. It, therefore, becomes necessary to understand how a spider bite looks and what steps you need to take to soothe the bitten area. In most cases, spider bites are harmless.
How Does A Spider Bite Look Like?
They appear to be quite similar to how an insect bite would look like in general. A slight bump appears on your skin. The area might be a bit swollen. It might be itchy and red. It doesn't hurt much, not more than a bee sting and that too just for about an hour or so (unless the spider is venomous).
The redness starts from the bitten site and moves outward. There could be drainage from the bite. The discolouration around the bitten site appears like a halo. There could be a tingling feeling.
What Are The Difficulties Associated With A Spider Bite?
A feeling of numbness along with a slight tingling sensation might begin to set in a couple of hours after the spider bite. There is likely to be a bit of pain around the bitten area. Muscle pain and cramping are also likely to occur.
How Do You Treat A Spider Bite At Home?
Treating a spider bite at home is simple. Just follow the below-mentioned steps and you would soon be relieved of all the after-effects of a spider bite. However, if you have the slightest of doubt that a venomous spider has bitten you, then seeking medical advice at the earliest is advisable.
Follow the below steps to treat a spider bite:
• Clean the area with soap and water.
• Apply an antibiotic cream.
• Wrap a cold, wet cloth around the bitten area.
• If you have been bitten on your leg or arm, raise it up.
• Antihistamine can relieve swelling.
• Acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be taken to reduce the pain.
Below are some of the home treatments for spider bites:
Use warm water and soap to clean the bitten area. Apply ice to the region. This helps in the prevention of swelling. Do it for 10 minutes. Apply ice several times in a day. This serves to be a natural and best treatment to treat a spider bite.
• Activated charcoal
This is known for its toxin-removing ability. Apply charcoal paste on the bitten area. It can help in drawing out any venom, if present. Let the paste sit in for an hour or two on the bitten region. You can keep doing this twice daily till the wound heals.
• Potato poultice
Potatoes are great at reducing inflammation. Grate a peeled potato and put in the shreds in a thin piece of cloth. Secure the contents using a rubber band. Place this on the bitten area. Let it remain until the potato dries up.
• Lavender oil
This essential oil can calm the inflammation caused due to the spider bite. Mix a few drops of lavender oil with coconut oil and apply it directly on the bite.
• Baking soda paste
Using baking soda to treat a spider bite is the most cost-effective method. Use baking soda and water to prepare a paste. Apply this on the bitten area multiple times till the symptoms start to fade off.
If the spider bite is on your leg or arm, keep the part elevated. Elevation can help in decreasing the swelling.
• Aloe vera
This helps in calming the itchiness and inflammation. You can apply this to the bitten area several times in a day.
• Witch Hazel
This is known for its skin-healing abilities due to its antioxidant and astringent attributes. The calming power of Witch Hazel makes it perfect for spider bite treatment.
What Are The Risk Factors And When To See A Doctor?
If there are symptoms beyond the bite such as serious pain or cramps, then you must visit the doctor right away. Moreover, things like trouble in breathing or throwing up after a spider bite might need immediate treatment.
Also, seek medical attention immediately if the bite doesn't seem to heal at all or if the redness spreads/there is drainage from the bitten site. When symptoms worsen, it could indicate that you have been bitten by a venomous spider, such as black widow, tarantula, brown recluse, etc.