Home Remedies

6 Effective Home Remedies For Spider Bites

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6 Effective Home Remedies For Spider Bites Hyderabd040-395603080 July 29, 2019

Growing up, we all probably thought that a spider bite would morph us into the superhero of the block! But now, we know better, don’t we? It takes a real spider bite to snap you back to reality and look for ways to get rid of the pain. It is very often that you hear of complaints of bug bites from family or friends who have been on a recent trek. Research shows that between 2001-2010, about 20.8% of cases of non-canine bites were caused by arachnids (1).

If the bite looks serious and causes severe symptoms, the person must be rushed to the hospital. In the case of a milder reaction to spider or bug bites, you may use any of the remedies listed in this article to manage the symptoms.

Spider Bites – An Overview

In most cases, spider bites are usually harmless. Most people mistake other bug bites for spider bites. Some patients have also mistaken certain skin infections to be a spider bite.

Very few known species of spiders are poisonous and can cause harm to humans. The most well known of these species are the black widow spider and the brown recluse spider.

Spider bites that are slightly more serious can cause redness, itching, and swelling. However, if you are bitten by a black widow spider, you will experience abdominal cramps. Brown recluse spider bites cause a sharp pain.

If you have a severe bite, the skin around the bite will slowly turn purple, and blisters may appear.

What Does A Spider Bite Look Like?

What Does A Spider Bite Look Like Pinit

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Typically, you won’t notice a spider bite until a few hours after being bitten. It becomes easier to treat a spider bite if you can identify the spider that bit you. You can identify a spider bite on your skin if you see any of these:

  • Inflammation or swelling
  • Red rashes

Inhabiting areas where spiders are naturally found (especially dark places, including areas under rocks) can put you at a greater risk of spider bites. In the following section, we will look at the symptoms of a spider bite.

Symptoms Of Spider Bites

Spider bites are characterized by:

  • Red rashes
  • Itching
  • Muscular pain accompanied by cramps
  • Excessive sweating
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Confusion
  • Restlessness

Spider bites take a longer time to heal as compared to other insect bites. It is essential to keep the bite clean to reduce the risk of infection.

What To Do If A Spider Bites You?

It is always easier to treat a spider bite if you know the type of spider that caused it. Once you identify the bite, you must try to reduce the pain by applying a cold compress to it. You must rush to the hospital if the bite is accompanied by symptoms like nausea, cramping, and difficulty in breathing.

Let us now look into the steps taken by medical professionals to treat spider bite.

Medical Treatment

In case you need to seek medical intervention to treat the spider bite, your doctor will take the following steps:

  • They will clean the wound with soap and water.
  • The doctor will observe the wound for potential infection.
  • After cleaning the wound, the doctor will apply an antiseptic ointment.
  • A tetanus booster may also be recommended if you haven’t had it in the last five years.
  • They may prescribe antibiotics to fight infection.

If the bite is mild, you can try treating it at home. The following remedies can help.

How To Treat Spider Bites At Home

1. Cold Compress Or Ice Pack

Cold Compress Or Ice Pack Pinit

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Spider bites cause swelling and pain. Ice can work as an analgesic, and the cold pack might help reduce pain and inflammation in the affected area (2).

You Will Need
  • A cold compress or ice pack
  • A bowl of water
What You Have To Do
  1. If you are using an ice pack, prepare some ice in your freezer.
  2. Place an ice pack on the affected area for 15 minutes daily.
How Often You Should Do This

Repeat as needed until the pain subsides.

2. Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe Vera Gel Pinit

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Research shows that aloe vera exhibits anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties (3). This may help reduce the swelling and the infection related to spider bites.

You Will Need

1 teaspoon of aloe vera gel

What You Have To Do
  1. Take aloe vera gel on your fingers or a cotton ball and apply to the affected area.
  2. Massage this gel gently into the affected area for 5 minutes.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this 2 times daily.

3. Baking Soda

Baking Soda Pinit

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Baking soda is a commonly used natural solution for itchiness and inflammation (4), (5). It can also be used to prevent further infection that may surface with a spider bite.

You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • Water (as required)
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix one teaspoon of baking soda with three to four drops of water to make a thick paste.
  2. Apply it to the affected area and leave it on for 10 minutes.
  3. Rinse thoroughly with water.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this once daily until the redness and itching subside.

4. Witch Hazel

Witch Hazel Pinit

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Witch hazel contains tannins, which are bioactive ingredients that possess anti-inflammatory properties (6). Thus, it could be used to manage the inflammation caused by the spider bite.

You Will Need
  • Witch hazel extract
  • Sterile cotton ball or Q-tip
What You Have To Do
  1. Take a cotton ball or Q-tip and dab some witch hazel on it.
  2. Apply it to the spider bite and leave it to dry.
How Often You Should Do This

You may apply this to the affected area 3-4 times daily until the swelling reduces.

5. Essential Oils

(a) Lavender Oil

Lavender Oil Pinit

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Lavender oil possesses anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties (7), (8). This can help in reducing the swelling and pain around the spider bite.

You Will Need
  • A sterile cotton ball or gauze
  • 2-3 drops of lavender oil
  • A few drops of a carrier oil (coconut oil)
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix two to three drops of lavender oil with a few drops of coconut oil in a bowl.
  2. Dip a sterile cotton ball in this mixture and place it on the infected site.
How Often You Should Do This

You may use this remedy 3-4 times daily.

b) Chamomile Oil

Chamomile Oil Pinit

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Chamomile oil has anti-inflammatory properties (9). This can help reduce the swelling caused by the spider bite and promote faster healing.

You Will Need
  • A sterile cotton ball or gauze
  • 2-3 drops of chamomile oil
  • A few drops of a carrier oil (coconut oil)
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix two to three drops of chamomile oil with coconut oil.
  2. Dab a sterile cotton ball with this mixture.
  3. Place it on the affected area.
How Often You Should Do This

You can repeat this remedy 3-4 times daily.

6. Potato Poultice

Potato Poultice Pinit

iStock

Potato exhibits anti-inflammatory properties (11). Hence, it may help reduce inflammation that surfaces with a spider bite.

You Will Need
  • A sterile gauze
  • 2-3 potatoes
What You Have To Do
  1. Wash the potatoes and grate them.
  2. Take a sterile gauze and add the grated potato on it.
  3. Place it on the spider bite.
How Often You Should Do This

You can repeat this remedy 1-2 times daily.

Spider bites are most likely to happen if you go on a trek or travel to heavily forested areas. Treating mild spider bites could be easy, but prevention is always better.

How To Prevent Spider Bites

  • If you are in a wooded area, make sure that you are wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and gloves.
  • Spray insect repellants on your trekking clothes.
  • If you are at home, make sure that you clear out the cobwebs thoroughly.

These remedies can help you manage the symptoms of spider bites. However, we urge you to consult your doctor if the symptoms persist or the bite appears grave.

Did you ever have a spider bite? How did you treat it? Let us know by sharing your experience in the box below.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

When to see a doctor?

If the spider bite looks serious and is accompanied by symptoms like nausea and vomiting, restlessness, fatigue, etc., you must rush to the hospital.

How long do spider bites take to heal?

Spider bites, if serious, typically take about 6-8 weeks to heal completely. A mild spider bite will take about 1-3 weeks to heal.

How to tell if a brown recluse spider has bitten you?

If a brown recluse spider has bitten you, your skin will turn red at the site of the bite within a day or two. An itching sensation will accompany this. In a few days, the skin surrounding the bite becomes sore and will slowly turn purple.

How do you know when a spider bite is bad?

A spider bite can be deemed serious if the redness near the bite becomes severe after the first 24 hours. If the pain increases and you start to notice the site of the bite developing blisters, you must seek medical help immediately.

References

  1. National Estimates of Noncanine Bite and Sting Injuries Treated in US Hospital Emergency Departments, 2001–2010‘, Wilderness and Environmental Medicine, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  2. Heated Debates: Hot-Water Immersion or Ice Packs as First Aid for Cnidarian Envenomations?‘ Toxins, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  3. ALOE VERA: A SHORT REVIEW‘, Indian Journal of Dermatology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  4. Home Remedy Use Among African American and White Older Adults‘, Journal of the National Medical Association, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  5. Antibacterial activity of baking soda.‘, Compendium of Continuing Education in Dentistry, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  6. Medicinal plants used in treatment of inflammatory skin diseases‘, Advances in Dermatology and Allergology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  7. Effect of Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) Essential Oil on Acute Inflammatory Response‘, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  8. Anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of the leaf extracts and essential oil of Lavandula angustifolia Mill.‘, Journal of Ethnopharmacology, ScienceDirect.
  9. Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils‘, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  10. Health Benefits and Cons of Solanum tuberosum‘, Journal of Medicinal Plants Studies.
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Atulya Satishkumar