Note: If you get bitten by a poisonous spider like a black widow or brown recluse spider, seek immediate medical attention. Also, get medical help if you are not sure whether the bite was from a posionous spider.
Spiders do not feed on humans like some biting insects. Spiders usually bite as a defense mechanism. Most spider bites, medically known as arachnidism, are not a matter of concern.
They can cause mild symptoms like limited inflammation, redness, pain and itching. Depending on the type of spider, the symptoms may last a few hours to several days or even weeks.
However, bites from poisonous spiders like black widow or brown recluse spiders that generally live in undisturbed areas are dangerous.
In such cases, it is recommended to get medical help, especially if you experience symptoms like severe swelling, intense pain and stiffness, muscle spasms, fever and chills, abdominal pain, vomiting, difficulty breathing and lightheadedness.
At times, the bite may not appear to be serious immediately but may become severe after some time.
When treating spider bites, the main goal is to neutralize the bite and get rid of any toxins in the body. Many effective home remedies can ease the symptoms and promote healing. If symptoms remain after a few days, see a doctor.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for spider bites.
1. Ice Pack
When bitten by a spider, the first thing you need to do is clean the wound with mild soap and water. Then, apply an ice pack on the affected area. The cold temperature will help numb the nerve endings, soothe the itching sensation and reduce swelling and inflammation.
- Wrap a few ice cubes in a thin towel and place it on the affected area for 10 minutes at a time. Repeat as needed during the initial 24 hours.
- You can also put the affected area under cool running water for a few minutes.
Note: Never put ice directly on the skin.
2. Baking Soda
Baking soda is an effective treatment for spider bites. This alkaline substance can help draw out the venom, which will help reduce pain, itching and inflammation.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda with 3 teaspoons of water.
- With the help of a cotton ball, apply this mixture on the affected area for 5 minutes.
- Wash the area with lukewarm water.
- If the discomfort persists, repeat after a few hours.
Salt is another easy remedy due to its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It can effectively draw the venom out of a spider bite to promote quick recovery. In addition, it reduces inflammation and redness.
- Wash the affected area thoroughly with lukewarm water.
- Sprinkle some table salt on a wet washcloth. (You can also use kosher or sea salt.)
- Bandage this washcloth to the affected part for a couple of hours, then remove it.
- Reapply as needed.
4. Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal is another treatment option. It has an innate absorption property that helps draw out and remove toxic substances from the body. After the toxic substance is out of the body, inflammation and tenderness reduce automatically.
- Make a paste of some activated charcoal using a little water. Apply it on the affected area after cleaning it thoroughly with warm water. To keep the paste in place, put a bandage over it. Repeat every 3 hours for the first day to neutralize the toxin. If needed, follow the remedy the next day also.
- You can also take activated charcoal capsules, after consulting a doctor.
Another easy and effective method is to use a starchy potato. It can bring down the itching and inflammation, largely due to its anti-irritating and soothing properties. In addition, it keeps the affected area moisturized to encourage quick healing.
- Peel 1 large potato and wash it thoroughly.
- Grate the potato using a grater.
- Put a handful of the wet potato shreds into a piece of thin cloth and tie it securely.
- Clean the affected area with rubbing alcohol, then put the potato poultice on it.
- Leave it until the potato begins to dry.
- Discard the old potato poultice, and clean the area with warm water.
- Reapply a fresh poultice, repeating until the symptoms are gone.
You can also relieve minor symptoms of spider bites using aspirin. It can neutralize the venom to promote quick recovery. In addition, its strong anti-inflammatory properties can effectively control swelling and inflammation.
- Soak 1 to 2 aspirin tablets in a little water to form a paste.
- Apply this paste on the affected area.
- Leave it on for a couple of hours, then wash it off with lukewarm water.
- Repeat 1 or 2 more times, if needed.