Q:

What is the treatment for spider bites?

A:

Quick Answer

The most common treatment for spider bites involves cleaning the area with soap and water, using cold packs to reduce discomfort and watching for signs of infection, according to Mayo Clinic. Unless the patient has an allergic reaction, this treatment is common even with black widow or brown recluse bites.

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What is the treatment for spider bites?
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Full Answer

Using soap and water clears any excess venom from the site of the bite, as stated by Mayo Clinic. Even when the spider is not venomous, swelling and pain are still possible. Cold packs alleviate both of those symptoms. If the spider bite appears on a hand, foot, arm or leg, elevating the area of the bite reduces inflammation even further.

If pain persists, it is acceptable to take over-the-counter pain medication, reports Mayo Clinic, which recommends keeping an eye on the bite for any signs of infection. The doctor is likely to prescribe antibiotics in case of an infection, and he is also likely to recommend a tetanus shot if the victim has gone five or more years without one.

In the case of a black widow bite, anti-venom is sometimes necessary if the bite causes severe pain or any life-threatening signs. The anti-venom is injected into a thigh muscle or enters the body intravenously. Some people have severe allergic reactions to anti-venom, so it's wise to have medical supervision during its use, notes Mayo Clinic.

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