Spider Bites - Type of Spider and Reaction

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What type of spider bit you, and did you have a reaction?

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Are spider bites dangerous?

Most spiders do not have mouth parts strong enough to penetrate human skin, and the majority of spiders found in the U.S. and are actually harmless. There are two notable exceptions, the black widow spider and the brown recluse spider, which are both dangerous to humans. Spider bites are fortunately uncommon. In many cases, presumed spider bites are actually due to another skin condition or an insect sting.

The black widow and brown recluse spiders are more common in the southern states of the U.S. They prefer warm, dry climates and undisturbed areas such as basements, closets, woodpiles, attics, or under sinks. The black widow spider is a small, black, shiny spider with a red hourglass marking on its belly. The brown recluse spider is sometimes termed a "violin spider." It is about an inch long and has a marking resembling a violin on the upper part of its back. Bites from both the black widow and brown recluse spiders are dangerous to humans and require prompt emergency medical care.

Return to Spider Bites (Including Black Widow and Brown Recluse)

See what others are saying

Comment from: NanCarole, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 15

I have been bitten 3 times by brown recluse spiders. Once in Arizona. I get reactions like hypertension, tiredness, and not feeling right. My doctors have said not to ice a spider bite. Icing will cause the venom to localize and cause damage to the skin. In Kansas where I was bitten twice, I was given an injection and put on Benadryl. I did alright with no major wound. In Arizona I was just given Benadryl and the doctor pricked open the top of the bite to drain it. And I did alright. Never do I ever ice spider bites and always, even when my son was bitten by a black widow, we have done just fine.

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Comment from: Tyerlilly, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 04

I was bitten by a spider, probably a brown recluse (I've had one bite me before) and treated it with drawing salve and antibiotic cream. The bite does not look infected but it's a week later and I am suddenly running 100 degrees F fever. I'm not sure it's related or if I caught the flu. I can't find any information as to how quickly a systemic reaction occurs.

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