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How do I Choose the Best Spider Bite Medicine?

By Angela Crout-Mitchell
Updated Feb 03, 2024
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Choosing the correct spider bite medicine involves determining the severity of the bite and what type of spider caused it. Home treatments include applying ice to the bite site as well as using topical antibiotic ointment. More severe spider bites will require a visit to the doctor and potentially, a scraping procedure to aid in healing. In most cases, spider bites can be treated at home with little or no medical intervention; it is important, however, to know when to seek medical help. Certain symptoms such as blurred vision, vomiting and nausea, and stomach cramping signal a serious bite infection and indicate that the patient should seek emergency medical care.

Sometimes, especially with minor bites, the most effective spider bite medicine is a cold cloth or ice pack applied to the skin. It is recommended to place a cloth between the skin and the ice pack to reduce the possibility of further damaging the skin. This technique helps reduce painful swelling and should be done after the bite has been cleaned with soap and water and carefully dried. Spider bites often cause some pain and discomfort, and many people use over-the-counter pain killers to relieve those symptoms. If home treatments are not effective, the patient should make an appointment to see their doctor as soon as possible.

Spider bite medicine is also in the form of ointments and creams. It is not unusual for antibiotic creams to be applied to the bite area to prevent or heal infections caused by the venom. The skin should be clean and dry before application and may be covered with a bandage to protect it from outside contaminants. It is common practice for pain relievers and oral antihistamines to be taken as well. These treatments help reduce pain, swelling, and the itching common in spider bite reactions.

In most situations, spider bites are relatively minor and can be treated easily, though there are cases that require medical care. For serious or severely infected spider bites, a doctor sometimes scrapes the surface of the bite, removing the hard outer scab. He or she then allows the infection to drain as much as possible and applies a prescription strength antibiotic cream to the bite. The procedure allows the spider bite medicine to be more deeply absorbed into the infection area. In the case of an extremely venomous spider bite, the bitten person may require surgery to repair damaged tissue, along with other treatments to enhance healing.

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Discussion Comments
By geekish — On Aug 05, 2011

@snickerish - I used to call my husband in for spider duty until he himself got a spider bite and now is afraid of them as much as I am!

He now wants me to keep spider medicine on hand on a "just in case" basis.

And to think some people have spiders as pets!

By snickerish — On Aug 04, 2011

This gives more ammo to the reason I am not a fan of spiders, they can be quite poisonous!

I have yet to get a spider bite but I was curious about a small bite on my leg not too big but kind of hard around the area.

But for the most part I avoid bites with my secret weapon - my husband. Does anyone else have to call their husbands in to kill the spider or as my husband does "release" the spider back in to the wild?

By manykitties2 — On Aug 04, 2011

You would be surprised how many spiders are actually poisonous, so it is a really good idea to get your bite checked out if you start to feel sick.

One of the most common spiders in the USA is the brown recluse spider which can be spotted through much of the south and near the Gulf of Mexico. Though it has been found as far north as Canada. It is quite small and loves to hide out in woodpiles and dark places like garages.

A brown recluse spider bite can actually be deadly if left untreated. It's a huge problem because usually people don't feel the initial bite. What gives the brown recluse spider away though is that its bite leaves a target shape mark on the skin which grows as the poison spreads.

Doctors can give you medicine that will take care of the bite and they can remove the poison. To get treated you must see a professional as over the counter medication just won't work.

By lonelygod — On Aug 04, 2011

Spider bites can get infected really easily so you have to make sure that you clean the area really well.

I was cleaning out our garage last summer and got bit by a spider who was holed up in our gardening tools. The bite actually didn't hurt that much at first and I just swatted the spider off, but later that night I noticed my bite was looking really red and inflamed.

I ended up cleaning the area with an alcohol swab and putting a cool cloth on it to bring down the swelling. It worked, but the bite still looked really nasty so I ended up going to the doctors for some antibiotic cream. After a few days of the cream the skin around the bite finally looked normal.

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