Home Health A-Z Spider Bites: All You Need to Know

Spider Bites: All You Need to Know

Verified By Apollo General Physician August 28, 2021 8869 0
Spider Bite


Spiders are often a source of intrigue and fear due to the medical harm caused by a spider bite. Spider bites are uncommon and usually cause only redness, swelling, and pain at the site of the bite.. You can take simple steps to protect yourself from spider bites.

Is Spider Bite Dangerous?

Most spider bites rarely cause any serious problem. They are generally harmless, and very few spiders have fangs long enough to enter the human skin.Only some spider varieties such as the widow spiders, with about 30 species, and recluse spiders, with more than 140 species worldwide cause serious issues like headaches, painful muscle cramps, and breathlessness. The severe symptoms of a spider bite may be as a result of venom injected by the spider. Such situations may require immediate medical care. Spiders make venom, but their fangs are too small to penetrate the human skin. Spider bites may cause pain, redness, and swelling in the affected areas.

Signs and Symptoms

A spider bite may cause swelling, inflammation, and redness. It appears as a red, itchy, and painful bump on the skin just like any other bug bite. Other symptoms of severe spider bites (such as from black widow) are cramping in the abdomen, sweating, nausea, fever, chills, skin blisters, and pain.

Who Might Get a Spider Bite?

Some people can be at risk of getting a spider bite due to their jobs and activities. However, anyone can easily come in contact with a spider. Individuals like hikers, janitors, machine operators, outdoor workers, children playing outdoors, farmers, and groundskeepers are at high risk of getting a spider bite due to exposure to the outer environment.

Know the Risk Factors

Dangerous spiders like black widows are generally found in garages, unused pots in gardens, closets, sheds, and cupboards in cold weather. They prefer dark and dry places.

 When to See a Doctor?

Contact your doctor if you feel severe symptoms of spider bite, such as fever, chills, restlessness, and fatigue. Seek medical help immediately if your symptoms don’t get better. Emergency services can be accessed at Apollo Hospitals.

Call 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment

What are the complications of a Spider Bite?

Dangerous spider bites can lead to wounds and ulcers that are often difficult to heal. Children and older adults may require immediate hospitalization. The complications of a spider bite are:

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Heart problems
  • Severe muscle cramping
  • Pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Signs of infection
  • Yellow discharge from the bite region.

What Should You Do If a Spider Bites You?

Follow the usual first-aid measures for a spider bite. Most spider bites are treated at home .Remove the stinger from your skin.

  • Wash the site of the bite thoroughly with warm water and soap.
  • Apply an ice pack or cold washcloth to reduce swelling.
  • Use topical anti-histamine creams and oral pain relievers to combat pain.
  • Soak the bite area in salt water solution several times a day.
  • Clean the spider bite with povidone-iodine to protect the skin from further infection.
  • Seek medical help immediately if your wound or ulcer is deep or if you have severe symptoms.

How Can You Protect Yourself from Spider Bite?

To protect yourself from spider bites:

  • Clean  sheds, garages, and basements to avoid spiders from living there.
  • Declutter your surroundings as spiders may find their spots within these areas.
  • Use insect repellents such as DEET to keep spiders away.
  • Take precautions like wearing long sleeves, long pants, tucked socks, boots, and gloves outdoors or during gardening.
  • Treat clothing with permethrin to repel spiders.
  • Destroy   spider webs to prevent re-entry.


Most spider bites are harmless. A bite can lead to the formation of a red, itchy, and painful bump. If a dangerous species of spider bites you and  causes serious symptoms, seek medical attention immediately. Spiders like hobo, brown recluse and black widow can lead to harmful symptoms such as heart palpitations, difficulty in breathing, nausea, vomiting, fever, and chills.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are spider bites serious?

Most of the spiders do not harm. Some spiders can cause serious symptoms and may require immediate medical help.

I got a spider bite recently. Am I at risk of other complications?

If you experience severe and worsening symptoms beyond the affected bite area, you may be at the risk of complications due to a spider bite. Some spiders like a hobo and black widow can be dangerous and may cause a deep wound or ulceration and cause systemic symptoms.

What are the signs of complications?

Identify the complications of spider bites by observing the symptoms like headache, nausea, fever, chills, muscle cramps, difficulty in breathing, and heart palpitations.

Verified By Apollo General Physician

Our expert general medicine specialists verify the clinical accuracy of the content to deliver the most trusted source of information, making the management of health an empowering experience.

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