Spider bite – it’s something that lovers of agriculture and horticulture, as well as tourists and fans of outdoor vacation can have.
How a spider bite looks like
How to distinguish a simple scratch, which is usual for garden work or hikes, from the bite of an arthropod? First of all, you need to know what it looks like and how it is felt:
The first sensation is similar to a thin needle prick. Quite often people do not feel the bite.
A small speck of white (the size of nickels) is immediately formed at the injury site. The edges of the white spots are often pink or red.
After a few minutes (5 – 20), the symptoms begin to grow.
There are sudden pain in the muscles, possible convulsions.
Face strongly reddens, it can swell.
A spider bite depends on its type:
Tarantula and some other kinds bite looks like a small spherical spot (swelling). The skin around the puncture is in the form of a swollen blister, its color is often pale, with reddish edges. After an hour or two a blister may burst, turning into a wound. If the blister is not treated in time, for an hour it can be transformed into erosive wound (ulcer).
The bite of brown recluse spider also looks like a blister surrounded by a bluish-purple , white and red border of irregular shape. Often a bite is called “bull’s eye” or “target” , because patterns of bite are similar to these images. The blister rapidly increases in size, bursts and forms a wound, like an ulcer.
Black widow bite is often visually unobtrusive. It feels like a flea or mosquito bite, there may be a microscopic speck of red color, which disappears immediately.
Symptoms of a spider bite
Brown recluse spider bites are most common in the United States. Some bites are initially painless, but the strong and encompassing the entire limb pain develops within 30-60 min in all cases. Erythema and ecchymosis appear in the area of the bite, pruritus is possible. Itching can also spread throughout the body. Often there is the central blister (“bull’s eye”). Central blister becomes large, filled with blood, bursts and there is an ulcer with black scab, it disappears in the end. Most bites leave a small scar, but some may leave a deep wound. All previously registered deaths are due to systemic effects of venom (eg, fever, chills, nausea and vomiting, arthralgia, myalgia, rash, seizures, hypotension, DIC, thrombocytopenia, hemolysis, renal failure).
Symptoms of a spider bite can be varied. If you know or even suspect that you took a bite and you can not differentiate it from the bite of an insect, it is better to seek medical advice. Also the doctor is needed when you see the following symptoms:
The purple, bluish place with dots, surrounded by white, then red ring, is formed around the point of bite. This is a clear sign of attack of poisonous recluse spider.
The body of the person is covered with a rash .
Muscle spasms and convulsions appear in the legs and arms.
There is a feeling of numbness at the injury site. The site of bite is slightly thickened. This is caused by the black widow attack.
Symptoms like pain in the right upper quadrant are a clear sign of a bite of the black widow. Such pain is very similar to the attack of the inflamed appendix.
There is growing headache, temperature rises sharply, aches in the joints, general weakness.
Urine may have strange color, often pink or even red.
Black widow bites
The female is usually much larger in size than the male of black widow, it was called black widow not by accident – after mating, the female relentlessly devours the male.
Black widow spider bite is considered one of the most dangerous, sometimes fatal, among all the bites from arthropods. The wound is almost invisible, it feels like a slight prick, symptoms appear not immediately, but after a couple of hours. Black widow bites usually cause an immediate feeling of sharp bite.
Within an hour the poisoning can cause local pain, sweating, erythema and piloerection at the bite site. The pain can be blunt and sharp. Latrodectism is systemic syndrome, caused by neurotoxic venom components. It includes agitation, anxiety, sweating, headache, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, hypertension, hypersalivation, general weakness, widespread erythematous rash, itching, ptosis, edema of the eyelids and limbs, shortness of breath, increase in temperature of the skin in the affected area, as well as painful cramps and tension of the abdominal muscles, shoulders, chest and back. Abdominal pain can be severe and similar to pain of appendicitis. Latrodectism is rare and usually occurs in children or elderly patients with chronic diseases. Deaths are extremely rare. Symptoms disappear within 1-3 days , but residual cramps, paresthesia, anxiety and weakness may persist for several weeks or months.
The most effective way to neutralize the bite of the black widow spider is a special serum that is not always available, especially in the first hours after the attack.
Tarantula is strongly associated with poisonous spiders, but this view is exaggerated. Indeed tarantula spider bite can cause some painful symptoms, but deaths are rare and are associated with other internal pathologies.
Tarantula lives in the pits, sometimes reaching up to one meter. It is almost impossible to meet it at a daytime, as it is nocturnal predator. The tarantula is dangerous especially for insects. But the tarantula spider bite causes pain and a burning sensation in humans. Tarantula bites are extremely rare and are not poisonous, but the angry spider can throw needle-like hairs that fall as foreign bodies in the skin or eyes and can cause urticaria, angioedema, bronchospasm, hypotension in sensitive people.
Developing local swelling around the wound may form small rash. Large tarantula bite is accompanied by pyrexia, headache, paresthesia, general weakness . Death is rare and is associated with a common allergic reaction to the toxins and anaphylactic shock. A simple bite of the tarantula spider disappears completely in 3-5 days.
Cross tee spider bite
The spider is found everywhere, this is one of the most common types of arthropod in the world. The name of the spider is due to a characteristic mark on the body – there is a clearly visible pattern in the form of a cross on the abdomen. Coloring can vary depending on the environment – spider can mask, waiting for the prey. Cross tee spider bite can be dangerous for many animals, because the venom contains a temperature-stable hemolysin (the substance completely destroys red blood cells) . However, not all animals are susceptible to this venom (large dogs, sheep, cows, horses).
The spider bite is not a lethal threat for a human, however, it causes headaches, aching joints, burning sensation. The bite site may have some swelling for a few days.
Recluse spider bite
Recluse spider bite is extremely dangerous for both man and animals. They live mainly in the U.S. states, as well as in Australia, where they were imported from the United States with goods. The distinctive visual pattern is a drawing on the back resembling a violin. These spiders are small, so people often do not even notice them in the house or outdoors. Spiders prefer to hide in old boxes under the cabinets, in the crevices of walls and floors.
The bite is almost invisible and does not cause even the slightest sensation of pain. Damage symptoms develop only on the second day, when the poison has spread throughout the body. There is intense itching, swelling and visible seal. The tumor is then ulcerate, soft tissues begin to die. An ulcer is difficult to treat, necrosis affects the very deepest layers of the skin. In addition to the external manifestations, recluse spider bite is typically accompanied by flu-like symptoms – fever, joint aches, runny nose, cough and general weakness . Isolated cases of severe intoxication can interfere with the kidneys, the heart and lead to death.
Home spider bites
Home spiders are divided into several types – black, gray, brown and others. The most popular is Badumna insignis, who prefers to live inside the home in window frames, walls, logs or tree trunks, and quietly weaves its web. Home spider bites are extremely rare, a person needs to try hard to get a such trauma. If the trouble has happened, the bite really hurts, but the pain is tolerable.
Also there is a slight bulge, symptoms of dizziness, nausea and high temperature. There is no severe intoxication, it is enough to apply ice or a cold compress, usually all traces disappear within a day.
Diagnosis of spider bites
Patients often mistakenly suspect spider bite. The diagnosis is usually based on the story of the patient and the physical symptoms, but is seldom confirmed, since it requires witnesses, spider identification and exclusion of other causes. There are some insects that are similar to spider: ants, fleas, bedbugs, ticks, flies and beetles.
Also it can be:
- Skin lesions
- Infectious diseases
- Panic attack.
Severe cases may be similar to appendicitis, rabies or tetanus. Spider can be identified by the location and appearance. Black widow lives outdoors in sheltered places (a pile of stones, bundles of wood, haystack) and has a red or orange hourglass design on the abdomen. Brown spiders live indoors in protected areas (such as clothing, furniture, under baseboards), there is an image in the form of a violin on the dorsal side of the thorax.
The consequences of spider bite
The most dangerous consequences are tissue necrosis, wound infection.
The effects can be summarized as follows:
The mild consequences:
- Tolerant pain at the area of bite
- Flushing of the skin
- A small tumor in the area of the puncture
- Itching, burning
The effects are felt throughout the week:
- Edema and swelling for 3-5 days
- Itching and redness
- Transient seizures
- Drowsiness and general malaise
The severe consequences:
- The sharp pain is spreading rapidly throughout the body
- Rapidly growing tumor
- Generalized seizures
- Disorder of the gastrointestinal tract, diarrhea
- Constant drowsiness, weakness, steady decrease in blood pressure
- Renal failure
The consequences of spider bite can be much less dangerous if you have an appropriate care.
How to treat a spider bite
Help should be appropriate for the type of venom and symptoms. It is not always possible to identify the arachnid, such as Black Widow, as the signs of a puncture appear after a few hours when the spider was gone. However, defining the appearance of the skin puncture can provide the necessary, appropriate care for bites of spiders.
Put a cold compress, better ice at the puncture site.
Children under 16 years of age and older people need immediate hospitalization.
In case of black widow attack, use specific serum intravenously.
Make antihistaminic therapy.
In severe cases, accompanied by cardiac or renal failure, use cardiac drugs (intravenously), respiratory analeptic agents and steroids.
Treatment of the necrotic ulcers is rather long in a hospital.
Help should be immediate, a choice of a method or sequence of actions depends on the kind of spider.
Treatment is the same for all species of spider bites – sanitation, analgesia, elevated position of the limb, tetanus prophylaxis. These measures help to cope successfully with the majority of local reactions . Ulceration should be processed daily with antibiotic ointment. Ulceration is treated with antihistamines, topical corticosteroids. Surgical excision should be postponed until the delimitation of areas of necrosis (a process can take weeks).
What to do if bitten by a spider?
If the bite by the Black Widow or spider-hermit is timely inspected and treated, rehabilitation is not required. However, due to strong overall weakening of the body and intoxication you need to to strengthen the immune system and make the vitamin therapy . Also, sometimes there is a gastro- intestinal symptoms and diarrhea. In this case it is necessary to exclude protein foods. Neurotoxic venom that can cause functional disorders of the central nervous system, so a lot of fluid and bed rest is desired.
You should know what to do when a spider bites :
If the bite is characterized as too dangerous , the injury should be washed with running water, preferably with soap to avoid possible infection of the wound.
You should immobilize the bitten limb to reduce the possibility of spreading the poison.
Make an elastic bandage a little above the bite. Thus you localize area of spreading of poison. The bandage should not be too tight so as not to disrupt the blood supply to the limb.
Drink plenty of fluid, it will speed up the elimination of toxins.
Take paracetamol or antihistamines.
If the symptoms do not subside – call an ambulance or see a doctor. You should hurry in the following cases:
If a spider bites a child (under 16 years).
Symptoms of a bite are developing rapidly, the condition is deteriorating.
If you know (or suspect) that it was Black Widow or brown recluse spider. Treatment of these bites require the introduction of serum (antidote).