Spiders do not intentionally bite a human, except they are provocative or in a dangerous situation, for example, if they are about to be stepped down, or if a person is sat on the top of the spider.
Most of the spider bites are harmless, but being bitten by a venomous spider can be a scary experience since, although rarely, the effects of its venom can be fatal.
The first thing you should do is seeking for medical help. But while waiting for the medical treatment, here are several things you have to do if you believe that you have been bitten by a venomous spider:
- Keep calm.
- Clean the bitten site. Wash the wound with soap and water.
- Put some drops of antibiotic ointment.
- Cool compress the bitten site. You can soak a towel or clean cloth into cold water, or you can make an ice compress by putting some ice cubes in the cloth and apply it to the wound.
- Stop any activity immediately and limit the movements. If available, use a splinting to immobilize the bitten area. But do not make it too tight, it may affect the blood circulation.
- Try to remember characteristics of the spider (or if it is possible, you or people around you can catch the spider): its color, its shape, and the patterns on its body. It is important for you to have a mental picture of the spider and describe it to the medical staff at the hospital so that it is easier to give a proper help.
- Do not move a lot, try to stay still. Moving around will make venom spread faster.
- Do not try to remove the venom by yourself.
- Do not cut or make any incision on the bitten area.
- Do not try to suck the venom.
Here are several facts you have to consider about the venomous spider and its venom:
- People often mistook another skin lesion as a “spider bite”. The main cause may the other insects or other skin infections.
- Not all of spider are venomous, and not all of venomous spider are injecting their venoms every time they bite a human.
- Even if they inject venom, some of venoms are less harmful to us. Since the venom is not designed to attack human and most spiders are not able to even to break the human skin with their fangs.
So how do you know that the one who bites you is really a venomous spider?
Several dangerous spiders have their own characteristics, so you can tell if the one which bites you is the venomous one or not by identifying its color, shape, and the patterns on its body.
Here are two types of venomous spider which are categorized as the dangerous ones and the characteristic of each:
- Black widow
This spider has a black color, small in size and has a red marking on its belly which looks like an hourglass.
- Brown recluse
This spider also is known as “violin spider” because it has a marking on its back which looks like a violin.
Note: If you believe that the one which bites you has the same characteristics as one of them, seek medical care immediately.
But if you have no idea about the spider, you still can identify it by looking for these symptoms:
- The redness spreading away from the bitten site
- There is a circle discoloration around the bitten site
- High blood pressure
- The local reaction such as itching, reddish, and pain are getting worse for more than 24 hours
- Abnormal sweating
- Breathing difficulty
- Muscle pain; and the other symptoms based on the spiders kind.
If you are still in doubt, you are highly recommended to take a physical examination in the local hospital and the doctor may ask you some questions about the spider and the symptoms of your wound to make sure whether you need an antivenom or not.
How serious the effects of a spider venom depends on the type of spider. For example, take note of how the venom of these 2 venomous spiders affect body;
- Black widow
Its venom attacks the nervous system, and if it is not treated, the venom may affect the whole body and be fatal for the children and old people. In extreme cases, it may lead to death.
- Brown recluse
The venom of brown recluse spider may cause tissue death, destruction of red blood cells, and kidney failure. In very rare case, it may lead a bitten person to coma and even worse: death.
Fortunately, even the fatal effects of a dangerous venom can be prevented if you get a medical help immediately.
For how long the spider venom stays in your body?
For the less harmful venom, they will affect your body in 72 hours, and after that, the venom will be disintegrated in your system. But for the dangerous venom of dangerous venomous spiders, the venom cannot be left to stay in your body any longer than 24 hours especially if the symptoms are getting worse, it may lead to a fatal effect.