Most spider bites are harmless. All spiders have some venom since this is how they kill their prey. However, most spider venom from a bite is too weak to cause significant injury to humans. Many times, spider bites go unnoticed by humans. What do spider bites look like?
Spider bites often become red and slightly swollen. They may be painful or cause itchiness. Not all spider bites look the same. A spider bite may be a small, reddish mark or bumps that can easily be overlooked. A severe spider bite may cause significant swelling and redness that spreads from the area of the bite.
Black widow spiders and brown recluse spiders have a bad reputation in the United States as deadly spiders. Though it is possible to die from a bite from a black widow spider, it is extremely rare. Black widow spider bites may cause muscle cramps, nausea, sweating, weakness, headache, difficulty breathing, and increased blood pressure. According to California Poison Control, people who experience muscle cramps after a black widow bite should be taken to the nearest emergency room. Brown recluse spider bites are not considered to be dangerous.
Some spider bites will not be very red at the bite, but cause a ring of redness around the bite. This is similar to the bulls eye rash associated with Lyme disease from tick bites. Since Lyme disease can be potentially fatal, all bulls eye-type rashes should receive immediate medical attention.
Like tick bites, the spider bite may turn black. In some cases, the bite may show two small, red dots, but in most cases the spider bite is too small for the separate fang punctures to be distinct. Typically, the redness will subside. If the redness spreads from the spider bite, the person should have the spider bite checked by a physician.
In addition to a bulls eye rash or increased redness, a person should seek medical attention if the person experiences dizziness, headache, or fever after being bitten by a spider. Any weakness or confusion after a spider bite also signals the need for medical attention. Drainage from the wound could indicate an infection.
The person should notify the doctor if there is increased soreness, drainage, or other signs of infection. Hives, wheezing, or shortness of breath in reaction to a spider bite could be an allergic reaction. This allergic reaction could become severe in a short period of time, so anyone experiencing these symptoms should get emergency medical attention.