Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Spider Bites Overview

What are spider bites?
A person with a spider bite has an injury to the skin from a spider that may, or may not, contain venom. Spider bites are very common, but death from a spider bite is extremely rare. The most common venomous spider bites in the US are black widow spider bites and brown recluse spider bites.

What are the symptoms of spider bites?
Common symptoms of a spider bite include mild pain, itching and burning around the bite. Additional symptoms may include abdominal pain, headache, muscle aches, excessive sweating, tremor, vomiting, and lymph node swelling.

How does the doctor treat spider bites?
Treatment for a spider bite may include wound care, cold compresses, antibiotics, tetanus vaccination, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain.

Continue to Spider Bites Incidence

Last Updated: Nov 16, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Spider Bites References
  1. Cohen J, Bush S. Case report: compartment syndrome after a suspected black widow spider bite. Ann Emerg Med. 2005 Apr;45(4):414-6. [15795721]
  2. Hawdon GM, Winkel KD. Spider bite. A rational approach. Aust Fam Physician. 1997 Dec;26(12):1380-5. [9470291]
  3. Mold JW, Thompson DM. Management of brown recluse spider bites in primary care. J Am Board Fam Pract. 2004 Sep-Oct;17(5):347-52. [15355948]
  4. Pantanowitz L, Guidozzi F. Management of snake and spider bite in pregnancy. Obstet Gynecol Surv. 1996 Oct;51(10):615-20. [8888039]
  5. Wendell RP. Brown recluse spiders: a review to help guide physicians in nonendemic areas. South Med J. 2003 May;96(5):486-90. [12911188]
  6. Wright SW, Wrenn KD, Murray L, Seger D. Clinical presentation and outcome of brown recluse spider bite. Ann Emerg Med. 1997 Jul;30(1):28-32. [9209221]
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