Spider Bite Treatment
Spider bite treatment depends on the type of spider that bit you. Most spiders are harmless to humans, but the United States is home to two dangerous types: the brown recluse and the black widow. These spiders prefer warm climates and are usually found in southern states.
If you think you were bitten by a brown recluse or black widow, check to see if these spiders are common in your region of the country. If you suspect a spider bite of any kind, here are some common treatment items and a short step-by-step treatment guide.
You will need:
- Soap and water
- First aid bandages
- Wash cloth or dish towel
- Cold water or ice cubes
- Pain relievers
- Prescription medications, if needed
- Tetanus booster, if needed
- Identify the spider. If possible, identify the spider that bit you. Medical care may be required for black widow and brown recluse spider bites.
- Cleanse the wound. Clean the skin where the spider bit you. Soap and water is adequate to cleanse the wound and clean the skin around the bite.
- Slow the spread of venom. If the bite is on your arm or leg, elevate the limb. This can halt or slow the spread of venom. For a brown recluse or black widow spider bite, tie a bandage above the bite. The bandage should be snug, but not too tight.
- Apply an ice pack or cool compress. Apply an ice pack or cool compress over the spider bite. Use a washcloth or dish towel dampened with cold water or filled with ice cubes.
- Take a pain reliever. Relieve minor spider bite symptoms with a pain reliever, such as aspirin or acetaminophen. Antihistamines can also help.
- Seek medical care, if needed. Treatment for black widow spider bites may require anti-venom medication. Medical professionals often use medications to treat brown recluse bites as well. Some pider bites may require a tetanus shot.