There are around 650 species of spider in the UK and all of them can bite – though only 12 have been recorded as being able to bite humans, according to the Natural History Museum website.
Their fangs are big enough to penetrate human skin and their bite can certainly be felt, it’s not usually a cause for concern.
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What do spider bites look like
And despite what you may have heard, even where brown recluses are present, they rarely bite, he adds. To identify a brown recluse, look for six eyes arranged in pairs. (Although getting close enough to see the eye pattern on a spider sounds, frankly, terrifying.)
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How can you tell if a spider bite is poisonous?
Per Cleveland Clinic, other whole-body symptoms of a black widow bite may include:
Some redness, itching, stinging and swelling may occur but symptoms are usually minor and easily treated.
Justin Arnold, DO, MPH, is the medical director of Florida Poison Information Center Tampa and an associate professor at the University of South Florida.
Spider bites: All you need to know
Brown recluse bites do happen though, and when they do, they are often accompanied by “sharp, burning pain,” Dr. Arnold explains. Within several hours, the bite area becomes discolored and forms an ulcer that can take several weeks to heal. In addition to the wound, individuals can also develop fevers, muscle aches, and in rare cases, severe anemia as a result of the venom.
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What does a spider bite look like?
If you head to the emergency room immediately, you should be okay. “There are approximately 2,200 bites reported each year, but there has not been a death related to a widow spider in the U.S. since 1983,” says Marc Potzler, a board-certified entomologist and technical services manager with Ehrlich Pest Control.
More serious cases could see broken skin and small bubbles of pus.
Paru Chaudhari, MD, is a dermatologist with over a decade of experience. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology and a member of the Women’s Dermatologic Society. She is also a co-founder of Mor Ventures Inc, which creates science-backed skin care for families.
What Does A Spider Bite Look Like? These Photos Can Help You Identify Different Types
The brown recluse cannot bite a human without “some form of counter pressure,” per the CDC—say, you slip your foot into a shoe and trap it. However, its bite can be extremely painful should you happen to get one. “In the case of 90% of brown recluse bites, reactions are not severe, but they can be,” Troyano says. “If the spider’s bite includes a large enough dose of hemotoxic venom, it can cause necrotic wounds or lesions that can take months to heal or require surgical repair.” This can appear as a white blister or discolored ulcer and cause other system-wide symptoms like muscle aches and a fever.
Russell says spider bites don’t require anything more than you’d do for a mosquito bite or bee sting, like washing the wound and using hydrocortisone cream. You can also apply ice to the bite itself to minimize swelling. And, if you find that your bite is itchy, Dr. Kman recommends taking an antihistamine like Benadryl or Zyrtec.
✔️ Possible itching: This symptom depends on how you personally react to an insect bite, but some spider bites can cause the release of the compound histamine in your body, and that can cause itching, says Nick Kman, M.D., an emergency medicine physician at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
Not Sure If You Have a Spider Bite? These Pictures Can Help You Figure It Out
MERCIFULLY, very few of the UK’s hundreds of spider species are recorded to have ever bitten people.
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What do spider bites look like?
Sickness, sweating and dizziness can also occur, and if infected, bites can result in a severe allergic reaction.
The same steps apply to bites caused by venomous spiders as well.