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Spider Bites

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Summary

Though many people are afraid of spiders, they rarely bite people unless threatened. Most spider bites are harmless. Occasionally, spider bites can cause allergic reactions. And bites by the venomous black widow and brown recluse spiders can be very dangerous to people.

If you are bitten by a spider, you may see a reaction similar to that of a bee sting, including redness, pain and swelling at the site. To treat a spider bite:

  • Wash the area well with soap and water
  • Apply an ice pack or a wet compress to the area
  • Take over-the-counter pain medicine, if needed
  • Consider using antihistamines for severe swelling
  • Seek medical treatment for small children and adults with severe symptoms

Start Here

  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • (Nemours Foundation)
  • (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health)

Treatments and Therapies

  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)

Specifics

  • (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) - PDF
  • (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) - PDF

Clinical Trials

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

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