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A 37-year-old member asked:

what kind of spider bites should i be concerned about?

1 doctor answer7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
In US - 2 of: significance are black widow & brown recluse.

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A 64-year-old member asked:

What is the treatment for spider bite?

2 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Phillip Price
General Surgery 32 years experience
Time: Most spider bites cause only a small local allergic reaction. If this is all it is some anitbiotic ointment a bandaid and time (1 to 2 days) and it should be fine. If it looks like it is getting infected ( increasing redness, pain or not improving) you should see your doctor. Only a small minority of spider bites cause infection or serious skin injury.
Dr. Sahba Ferdowsi
General Practice 18 years experience
Great anwser. Wishing you all the very best.
Feb 16, 2012
Dr. Martin Raff
Dr. Martin Raff commented
Infectious Disease 56 years experience
Actually true spider bites are uncommon. More often than not these are community acquired MRSA skin infections which are incorrectly interpreted as having been due to a spider bite. The only two spiders in the USA which are a problem are the brown recluse and the black widow. Neither is seen with any frequency.
Mar 17, 2012
Dr. Peter Duic
Dr. Peter Duic commented
Emergency Medicine 9 years experience
This is the key take home point, per Dr. Raff. If you did not see the spider bite you, it most likely is not a spider bite. These poor insects are the victim of a large misconception. Most of what people blame on spiders are skin infections secondary to bacteria that enter the skin through a defect which may be from any kind of insect, a scratch or even a hair follicle.
Jul 27, 2012
A 35-year-old member asked:

How dangerous can a untreated spider bite be?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Pathology 44 years experience
Absolutely: And congratulations on a procedure that may very well have saved your life -- thanks to your own wise decision to be screened and take a proactive approach to your health. And now that you're asking about fitness, i'm very glad -- you're a model of proactive self-care. Congratulations.
A 53-year-old member asked:

How much should I worry about spider bite?

1 doctor answer3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Eric L. Weiss
Travel Medicine 37 years experience
Not a lot...: ...But, there are some dangerous spiders out there. In north america the more common are the black widow (pretty immediately painful bite) and the brown recluse (causes delayed local tissue destruction). These bites are relatively rare. Most "spider bites" can be treated with ice, rest, tylenol, (acetaminophen) and time. Sometimes an anti-histamine or topical steroid can also be helpful for symptoms.
Dr. Peter Duic
Dr. Peter Duic commented
Emergency Medicine 9 years experience
Spiders are likely blamed for many skin infections for which they are not the culprit. The black widow and brown recluse spiders certainly can have dangerous effects. The brown recluse in particular is frequently blamed for skin infections causing an abscess. These infections are more than likely caused by bacteria which lives on every persons skin and enters defects in the skin caused by scratches, wounds, insect bites of any kind, or hair follicles. Note the small image at http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMra041184 for the habitat of the brown recluse.
Jul 27, 2012
CA
A 24-year-old member asked:

How common is it for somebody to have problems from spider bites?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Eric L. Weiss
Travel Medicine 37 years experience
Not common...: ...But, there are some dangerous spiders out there. In north america the more common are the black widow (pretty immediately painful bite) and the brown recluse (causes delayed local tissue destruction). These bites are relatively rare. Most "spider bites" can be treated with ice, rest, tylenol, (acetaminophen) and time. Sometimes an anti-histamine or topical steroid can also be helpful for symptoms.
A member asked:

How long can I wait with spider bite to see if it goes away without seeing a doctor?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Colin Kerr
Family Medicine 44 years experience
Spider bite: Generally you can wait for several days or a week with an uncomplicated spider bite, by which time it will mostly have healed up. There is no specific treatment for most spider bites, and you just want to clean the wound and keep it clean and keep an eye out for infection or other complications.

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Last updated Aug 28, 2020

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