Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
 

Spider Bites

Spider Bites

Which spider bites are dangerous?

Most spiders found in the United States are harmless, with the exception of the black widow and the brown recluse spiders. Both of these spiders are found in warm climates.

What is a brown recluse spider?

The brown recluse spider, or violin spider, is about 1 inch long and has a violin shaped mark on its upper back. It is often found in warm, dry climates and prefers to stay in undisturbed areas such as basements, closets, and attics. It is not an aggressive spider, but will attack if trapped or held against the skin. No deaths have been reported in the U.S. from a brown recluse bite.

What are the symptoms of a brown recluse spider bite?

Venom from the brown recluse spider usually causes local tissue damage. The following are the most common symptoms of a bite from a brown recluse spider. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

The symptoms of a brown recluse spider bite may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis.

What is the treatment for a brown recluse spider bite?

Specific treatment for a brown recluse spider bite will be determined by your doctor. Treatment may include:

Prompt treatment is essential to avoid more serious complications, especially in children.

What is a black widow spider?

A black widow spider is a small, shiny, black, button-shaped spider with a red hourglass mark on its abdomen, and prefers warm climates. Black widow spider bites release a toxin that can cause damage to the nervous system, thus emergency medical treatment is necessary.

What are the symptoms of a black widow spider bite?

The following are the most common symptoms of a black widow spider bite. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

These symptoms of a black widow spider bite may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis.

What is the treatment for a black widow spider bite?

Specific treatment for a black widow spider bite will be determined by your doctor. Treatment may include:

Prompt treatment is essential to avoid more serious complications, especially in children.

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