Spider Bite

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Though many people are afraid of spiders, they rarely bite people unless threatened. Dr. Edward Hill tells us about what to do if you are bitten by a spider in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

There are at least 50,000 spider species and even though spiders do a great deal of good for our environment, they are greatly feared by most of the population.

Spider bites can be treated in the same way as bee stings. Keep the area clean to prevent infection. Apply an ice pack wrapped in a towel. Take medication for pain.

Antihistamines can help the pain and itching, and hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion may help with redness and itching.

As with a bee sting, watch for signs of infection or flu-like symptoms and call your doctor if they develop.

If you suspect you may have been bitten by a black widow or brown recluse spider, head for the emergency room.

Symptoms vary, but include a deep blue or purple area around the bite, surrounded by a whitish ring and a large outer red ring. You may develop a headache, fever, abdominal pain and a general feeling of sickness. You may notice a body rash, muscle spasms or muscle stiffness.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.