What do spider bites look like? Experts share important warning signs

Identifying a black widow is easy: It has a shiny, jet black exterior with a bright-red, hourglass-shaped marking on the underside of its abdomen. Unfortunately, black widow spiders do like to hang out in homes, particularly in the southern and western parts of the U.S.

E- exudative: Recluse bites may form a small fluid-filled blister at the bite site soon after the bite. But, in general, recluse bites are usually dry. If a skin lesion is exuding pus, blood or fluids, that indicates something other than spiders is the cause. A skin ulcer that is oozing or causing local swelling could be from a bacterial infection. The resistant MRSA is very common in human populations worldwide.

“Most spider bites are going to be just an itchy rash, maybe some blistering and swelling at the site, and they don’t even report to the doctor,” Levoska says. “Most people will just manage these bites at home.”

What does a spider bite look like pictures and symptoms

Spider Bites: What You Need to Know

Oral and topical OTC treatments will usually help cut down on recovery time, minimize any discomfort, and heal the bite within a week, but remember: If you develop a rapidly growing skin rash or have difficulty breathing, you should go to the emergency room ASAP, stresses Dr. Zeichner. These types of bites are rare, but brown recluse, black widow, and hobo spider bites can be deadly, so if you suspect one bit you, seek medical treatment immediately. You may need antibiotics, prescription pain relievers, or antivenin.

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“It’s also important to know what to look for in darker skin tones, says Rajani Katta, MD, a board-certified dermatologist who serves as voluntary clinical faculty of both the Baylor College of Medicine and the McGovern Medical School, University of Texas Houston. “For myself, and my patients with more deeply pigmented skin, the redness from an insect bite can be more subtle,” she explains. “Instead of a bright red color, I’ll often see more of a faint redness, or a reddish-brown color.”

Not Sure If You Have a Spider Bite? These Pictures Can Help You Figure It Out

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They’re pretty much just like an insect bite. For the most part, you can’t tell a spider bit you just from your symptoms. You’ll get a little bump on your skin. It might get red, itchy, and swell up a bit. It might hurt, but no more than a bee sting and usually not for more than an hour or so. That’s basically it — unless you’re bitten by a venomous spider.

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What Do Bites Look Like?

Waking up to a painful mystery welt on your body can be quite the harrowing feeling—especially when a dozen potential culprits start running through your mind. Did a mosquito land on your leg during last night’s bonfire? Have bed bugs invaded? Or—perhaps the scariest possibility—did an unwelcome arachnid make a snack out of you? Believe it or not, spider bites aren’t as common as you might think, but they do happen.

Reactions to a brown recluse spider bite can also vary based on the health and age of the person who is bitten, Troyano says. For an elderly or diabetic person who may be immunocompromised, healing from a bite may be more difficult than for someone with a healthier immune system.

What Does A Spider Bite Look Like? These Photos Can Help You Identify Different Types

“The two types of venomous spiders that are really of medical concern are black widow spiders and brown recluse spiders,” Gangloff-Kaufmann explains.

If she is worried about a more serious spider bite, Dr. Katta will often mark the boundaries of the rash around the bite, and then check those boundaries on a daily basis.

“Weeping” blisters at the site (they look puffy and fluid-filled), is yet another red flag. Small blisters on their own, with no other symptoms, don’t necessarily need special care. But if a blister opens, it becomes at risk for infection, says Dr. Arnold, so don’t try to pop them! If you think you may have an infection at the bite site, whether from cellulitis or open blisters, it’s best to have your doctor take a look.

What do spider bites look like? Experts share important warning signs

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Medscape: “Medically Significant Spider Bites: Keys to Diagnosis and Treatment.”

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What to Do

Black widow bites are also rare “but can be extremely dangerous, even deadly,” Troyano says. If you’re bitten by a black widow, you’ll notice two distinct puncture marks and might feel burning, redness, and swelling at the bite site—and this can eventually spread to other parts of your body, the CDC says.

A spider bite on its own isn’t necessarily a cause for concern.

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