Most spiders in the United States are harmless; however, black widow and brown recluse spider bites may need medical treatment. Symptoms of a harmless spider bite generally include pain, redness, and irritation.
Signs and symptoms of black widow spider bite include pain immediately, redness, burning, and swelling at the site of the bite. Sometimes the person will feel a pinprick or double fang marks.
Brown recluse spider bite symptoms and signs are a mild sting, followed by severe pain and local redness. These symptoms usually develop within eight hours or more after the bite. Black widow and brown recluse spider bites have similar symptoms, for example, nausea, vomiting, fever, headache, and abdominal or joint pain.
Generally, brown recluse and black widow spider bites need immediate medical treatment. If you think that you or someone you know has been bitten by a brown recluse or black widow spider, go to your nearest Urgent Care or Emergency Department for medical treatment.Read more: Spider Bites (Black Widow and Brown Recluse) Article
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Bad Bugs: Identify Insects and Bug Bites
What do bug bites look like? How do you treat bug bites? Why do bug bites burn? See spider bite pictures and learn how to...
What Is a Staph Infection? Causes, Symptoms, Treatments
Do you know what a staph infection is? What about golden staph? Learn about the causes, symptoms, and treatments of staph...
8 First Aid Kit Essentials for Scrapes, Cuts, Bug Bites, and More
Are you always prepared for a first aid crisis? See which basic first aid items to pack to treat minor scrapes, cuts, and stings...
Spider Bites: Black Widow vs. Brown Recluse First Aid
Know your spiders and stay safe. Learn to ID a black widow spider and a brown recluse spider though this photo guide. See medical...
Picture of Brown Recluse Spider Bite
The brown recluse spider, also known as the violin spider, is most commonly found in the Midwestern and southern states of the...
Summer Skin Risks: Sunburn, Bug Bites & Poison Ivy
When it comes to summer, there plenty of hazards under the sun! Take the Summer Skin Hazards Quiz and clue in on the dangers to...
Spider Bites: How to Identify, What They Look Like, and Treatment
Do you know what a spider bite looks like? Which spider bites can be fatal? How long does it take to recover from a spider bite?...
Picture of Black Widow Spider Bites
The black widow spider produces a protein venom that affects the victim's nervous system. See a picture of Black Widow Spider...
Picture of Brown Recluse Spider Bites
Brown recluse spider bites often go unnoticed initially because they are usually painless bites. See a picture of Brown Recluse...
Summer Skin Dangers: Burns, Bites, Stings, and More
Summer can be hazardous to your skin if you come in contact with jellyfish, stingrays, henna tattoos, poison ivy, oak, sumac,...
IMAGESSee a picture of spider bites as well as other bites and infestations See Images
Related Disease Conditions
The word "rash" means an outbreak of red bumps on the body. The way people use this term, "a rash" can refer to many different skin conditions. The most common of these are scaly patches of skin and red, itchy bumps or patches all over the place.
Ticks are known transmitters of disease to humans and animals. Tick-borne diseases include Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Q fever, tularemia, babesiosis, and Southern tick-associated rash illness. Infected ticks spread disease once they've bitten a host, allowing the pathogens in their saliva and mouth get into the host's skin and blood. Tick bites are typically painless, but the site of the bite may later itch, burn, turn red, and feel painful. Individuals allergic to tick bites may develop a rash, swelling, shortness of breath, numbness, or paralysis. Tick bite treatment involves cleaning and applying antibiotic cream.
Muscle cramps are involuntarily and forcibly contracted muscles that do not relax. Extremely common, any muscles that have voluntary control, including some organs, are subject to cramp. Since there is such variety in the types of muscle cramps that can occur, many causes and preventative medications are known. Stretching is the most common way to stop or prevent most muscle cramps.
Staph (Staphylococcus) Infection
Staphylococcus or staph is a group of bacteria that can cause a multitude of diseases. Staph infections can cause illness directly by infection or indirectly by the toxins they produce. Symptoms and signs of a staph infection include redness, swelling, pain, and drainage of pus. Minor skin infections are treated with an antibiotic ointment, while more serious infections are treated with intravenous antibiotics.
How To Tell the Difference Between a Spider Bite and a Mosquito Bite
Learn how tell the difference between a spider bite and a mosquito bite and how to care for each.
Abdominal pain can have many causes that range from mild to severe. Some of these causes include bloating, gas, colitis, endometriosis, food poisoning, GERD, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), ovarian cysts, abdominal adhesions, diverticulitis, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, gallbladder disease, liver disease, and cancers. Signs and symptoms of the more serious causes include dehydration, bloody or black tarry stools, severe abdominal pain, pain with no urination or painful urination. Treatment for abdominal pain depends upon the cause.
Headaches can be divided into two categories: primary headaches and secondary headaches. Migraine headaches, tension headaches, and cluster headaches are considered primary headaches. Secondary headaches are caused by disease. Headache symptoms vary with the headache type. Over-the-counter pain relievers provide short-term relief for most headaches.
Bed Bugs Bites
Bed bugs (from the insect family Cimicidae) are small, reddish-brown tick-like insects that feed by sucking the blood of mammals. They are often found in poorly sanitized areas or in crowded living quarters.
Although a fever technically is any body temperature above the normal of 98.6 F (37 C), in practice, a person is usually not considered to have a significant fever until the temperature is above 100.4 F (38 C). Fever is part of the body's own disease-fighting arsenal; rising body temperatures apparently are capable of killing off many disease-producing organisms.
MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) bacteria causes skin infections with the following signs and symptoms: cellulitis, abscesses, carbuncles, impetigo, styes, and boils. Normal skin tissue doesn't usually allow MRSA infection to develop. Individuals with depressed immune systems and people with cuts, abrasions, or chronic skin disease are more susceptible to MRSA infection.
Nausea and Vomiting
Nausea and vomiting are symptoms of many conditions including motion sickness, pregnancy, emotional stress, gallbladder disease, and other illnesses. Learn about causes, treatment, and when to be concerned.
Foreign Objects or Insects in the Ear
Objects or insects in the ear can be placed in the ear by patients themselves or an insect crawling in the ear. Earwax can also cause ear problems if Q-tips are overused to clean the ears. Symptoms of an object in the ear are inflammation and sensitivity, redness, or discharge of pus or blood. When to seek medical care for an object or insect in the ear is included in the article information.
Tetanus is an often-fatal disease caused by nerve toxins produced by the common bacteria Clostridium tetani. In a 7-day period after infection, a person experiences muscle spasms, restlessness, headache, irritability, then lockjaw, and the lungs stop functioning. Tetanus is treatable with antibiotics and drainage. Sedation is often give to stop muscle spasms.
When Should You Go To the Doctor for a Spider Bite?
Learn what medical treatments can help with your spider bite symptoms and speed up your spider bite recovery.
Anaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction that affects a number of different areas of the body at one time, and can be fatal. Causes of anaphylaxis can be food allergy, latex allergy, allergy to insect or but stings/bites, asthma, or other materials or conditions. Symptoms include flushing, itching, hives, anxiety, rapid or irregular pulse. Severe symptoms may be throat and tongue swelling, swallowing, and difficulty breathing. Some disorders appear similar to anaphylaxis such as fainting, panic attacks, blood clots in the lungs, heart attacks, and septic shock. If you think that you may be having an anaphylactic reaction, seek emergency care or call 911 immediately.
COVID-19 (Coronavirus, 2019-nCoV)
Infection with COVID-19 (2019 novel coronavirus, 2019-nCoV) causes respiratory problems in humans. Transmission of COVID-19 occurs mainly through contact with respiratory sections from an infected person, however, fecal contamination may also spread the virus. Symptoms start off flu-like and progress to coughing, fever, shortness of breath, shaking chills, headache, loss of sense of taste and/or smell, muscle pain, and sore throat. Treatment focuses on supportive care and symptom relief. COVID-19 vaccines are available.
Bug Bites and Stings
Bug bites and stings have been known to transmit insect-borne illnesses such as West Nile virus, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and Lyme disease. Though most reactions to insect bites and stings are mild, some reactions may be life-threatening. Preventing bug bites and stings with insect repellant, wearing the proper protective attire, and not wearing heavily scented perfumes when in grassy, wooded, and brushy areas is key.
Insect Sting Allergies
The majority of stinging insects in the United States are from bees, yellow jackets, hornets, wasps, and fire ants. Severity of reactions to stings varies greatly. Avoidance and prompt treatment are essential. In selected cases, allergy injection therapy is highly effective.
First Aid: Why You Need a First Aid Kit and CPR
First aid is providing medical assistance to someone a sick or injured person. The type of first aid depends on their condition. Preparedness is key to first aid, like having basic medical emergency kits in your home, car, boat, or RV. Many minor injuries may require first aid, including cuts, puncture wounds, sprains, strains, and nosebleeds. Examples of more critical first aid emergencies include heart attacks, strokes, seizures, and heatstroke.
How Do You Know if You Have Been Bitten By a Spider?
What is a spider bite? Learn the signs of a spider bite and what to do if you've been bitten by a spider.
What to Know About Spider Bites: Identification and Symptoms
There are many species of spiders around the world such as the jumping spider, wolf spider, brown recluse, black widow, hobo spider, tarantulas, false black widow, camel spider, etc. Most spiders don’t bite unless they are threatened. If you are bitten, take a photo of the spider or take the spider (even dead) to the doctor to help identify it and correlate it with your symptoms.
Local ResourcesFind a local Doctor in your town
Treatment & Diagnosis
Medications & Supplements
- aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid, Bayer, Ecotrin, and others)
- acetaminophen (Tylenol, Tylenol Arthritis Pain, Tylenol Ext, Little Fevers Children's Fever/Pain)
- ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Nuprin)
- Acetaminophen vs. Ibuprofen for Pain (Differences in Side Effects and Dosage)
- Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) vs. Naproxen (Aleve)
- Aspirin vs. NSAIDs (Side Effect and Use Differences)
- OTC Pain Relievers and Fever Reducers
- EpiPen (epinephrine auto-injector)
- rabies vaccine
Prevention & Wellness
- Health Tip: Treating Spider Bites
- You're Unlikely to Get a Skin Infection From a Spider's Bite, Review Finds
- Brown Recluse Spider Bites on the Rise, Expert Warns
- Guard Your Kids Against Bug Bites This Summer
- Want to Beat Spider Phobia? Talk About It
- Deadly Black Widow Spider Edged Aside in California
- Spider Phobia: Brain Scan Shows Cure in 1 Session