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A 17-year-old male asked:

how dangerous are black widow spider bites? i have heard they are over exaggerated.

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Gerald Mandell
Nuclear Medicine 52 years experience
Varies: Although serious, a black widow bite is rarely lethal.Spider has red hourglass marking on its belly. Bite like a pinprick. Many times not noticed at first slight swelling and faint red marks, in few hours, intense pain and stiffness begin. Other signs and symptoms include: chills, fever, nausea and vomiting and severe abdominal pain.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
Agree w Dr. Mandell: Black widow spider bites can cause localized pain. This can lead to cramping of muscles in the area of the bite. Or there can be generalized cramping of muscles, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, chest pain, difficulty breathing and tremor. If pain is significant or you have generalized body symptoms- seek medical care. For severe symptoms call 911.

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Similar questions

A 35-year-old member asked:

Describe the features of a black widow spider bite.?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Gregory Hines
Family Medicine 24 years experience
Be seen: Poisonous spider bites generally cause a painful ulcerated area within hours of the bite. If he suspects a black widow or brown recluse spider bite, he should be seen.
A 35-year-old member asked:

Should I still go to work if I have black widow spider bite?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Colin Kerr
Family Medicine 44 years experience
Spider bite: Depending on the location of the spider bite, if you can perform your regular functions without bothering the affected area , you can. If, however, your usual duties involve repetitive pressure and contact with the injured tissue, you should not.
A 38-year-old member asked:

How should I treat black widow spider bite?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michael Ekizian
A Verified Doctor answered
A US doctor answered Learn more
Local care: The majority of patients who experience a widow spider bite require only local care of the lesion. Patients with severe envenomations could require supportive care and monitoring for complications. General measures following a bite including cleaning the area with soap and water and oral pain meds. Treatment of muscle spasm and tetanus prophylaxis may be indicated as well.
A 23-year-old member asked:

What's the significance of black widow spider bite?

2 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. David Miller
Dr. David Miller answered
Family Medicine 10 years experience
Painful muscle spasm: [from dynamed] symptoms of black widow spider bite include muscle rigidity, spasms, muscle cramping, abdominal pain, fever, leukocytosis, dizziness, weakness, thirst, nausea, hypertension, irritability, sometimes shock. Rarely fatal in young kids but often resolves without treatment. Found in dark, damp places, these spiders can be very aggressive if handled and should be given a wide berth!
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics 46 years experience
Dry storage units are another site favored by these creatures so be cautious when rummaging thru these dark units.
Mar 8, 2012
A 32-year-old member asked:

Are there things I can do for black widow spider bite at home?

1 doctor answer6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Omega Edwards
Infectious Disease 19 years experience
Sure it's a bite?: An infection with methicillin resistant staph aureus (MRSA) can also look like a spider bite. We call this type of skin infection "spider bite syndrome". I think you should go see your doctor.

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Last updated May 9, 2018
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