10 Home Remedies for Spider Bites
Warm and pleasant feelings are the last thing most people experience when we see a spider. For most of us, the 8 legged, hairy, creepy crawlers are associated with some sort of negative feelings. Some people are terrified by even the smallest of house spiders, so it probably won’t help to know that there are 61 spiders just hanging out in the average North American home, and that the average person swallows 8 spiders per year (or so says the urban myth).
Luckily, despite spiders outnumbering humans in just about every household, spider bites are quite rare and usually not dangerous. Unless you live in a sub-tropical/tropical climate, the majority of spider bites won’t be very discernable from other common bug bites.
Out of the 3000 or so species of spider in North America, most of them aren’t dangerous. Most spiders that are venomous don’t even have the ability to puncture human skin. Although it’s important to note, there are a few species that can cause some serious health conditions, but most spider bites will only end up giving a person mild symptoms.
How to identify a spider bite?
Most often we won’t see the spider that bit us, so it’s good to know what to look for when identifying a spider bite:
- Two small bite marks next to each other in the centre of the swelling (this won’t always be apparent)
- Skin damage
- Itching or rash
- Pain around the area of the bite
- Blister that is red/purple
When to see a doctor/go to the hospital?
On the rare occasion that you get a bad spider bite, look out for these symptoms. If you experience any of these, a visit to the emergency room is highly recommended:
- Difficulty breathing
- Swollen lymph nodes/glands
- High blood pressure
Spider bites usually take longer to heal than bites from other insects, and they can also affect skin tissue more. If you don’t experience any serious symptoms, you can treat a spider bite at home. Here area 10 home remedies for spider bites:
#1 – Cold compress A spider bite causes swelling, so it’s a good idea to reduce that as soon as possible, cold is one of the most common ways of reducing swelling. Ice works quite well as an analgesic, and it helps reduce pain as well.
As soon as you notice the spider bite, apply a cold pack/icepack to the bite. Make sure to never apply ice or an icepack directly to the skin, wrap it in a clean cloth and then apply. Place the cold compress over the spider bite for about 15 minutes and repeat as needed until the swelling and pain subside.
#2 – Elevate If you were bitten on the arm or leg, it’s a good idea to keep that limb elevated. This slows down blood flow to the area and helps keep the swelling down. This works great if you apply a cold compress at the same time.
#3 – Aloe vera Aloe vera gel has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. This may help reduce swelling and help eliminate an infection that is commonly associated with spider bites.
Take some aloe vera gel and apply it to the spider bite and the immediate area around it. Gently massage the gel into the skin for about five minutes. You can repeat this two to three times per day until your symptoms subside.
#4 – Baking soda Baking soda has an infinite amount of household uses, including many home remedies. It’s often used as a natural solution for inflammation and itchiness, it’s also antiseptic, so it helps prevent any further infections that are common with spider bites.
Mix a teaspoon of baking soda with a few drops of water, mix until you form a thick paste. Apply that paste over the spider bite and the immediate area and leave it on until it dries. Rinse the dried paste off with water. You can repeat this two times per day.
#5 -Witch hazel Witch hazel is a powerful anti-inflammatory that is great to use on spider bites. The active components in witch hazel are tannins, and this is what is responsible for the anti-inflammatory properties.
Dab a cotton swab in some witch hazel and apply it to the spider bite. Let it dry and repeat this three to four times per day until the swelling goes away.
#6 – Lavender oil Lavender oil is another great anti-inflammatory and possesses analgesic properties. This can help reduce swelling and help manage pain.
Mix a few drops of lavender oil with an equal amount of coconut oil. Dab a cotton ball in this mixture and apply it to the spider bite. You can repeat this three to four times per day until your symptoms go away.
#7 – Chamomile oil Chamomile can help reduce swelling and help speed up healing, due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Mix two to three drops of chamomile oil with and equal amount of coconut oil and apply to your spider bite. Repeat this three to four times per day.
#8 – Potatoes Potatoes have anti-inflammatory properties and area a great first response to a spider bite because it’s something most of us have on hand at home. Potatoes will help reduce inflammation due to a spider bite.
Grate two or three potatoes, place the grated potatoes into a sterile gauze and place over your spider bite. You can repeat this once or twice per day until your symptoms subside.
#9 – Turmeric paste Turmeric contains curcumin, and it has strong anti-inflammatory properties. Using turmeric is an effective way of reducing spider bite symptoms.
Mix a teaspoon of turmeric with a small amount of water until your form a thick, uniform paste. Apply that over the spider bite and allow it to dry. You can repeat this three to four times per day until your symptoms subside.
#10 – Activated charcoal Activated charcoal is an effective remedy for spider bites because the charcoal reduces the effect of the spider’s poison.
Mix equal parts water and charcoal until your form a thick paste. Apply over the spider bite and leave on for about an hour. Rinse off and repeat two times per day.
Natural home remedies are a great way of tackling spider bites. Many of us have at least one of these home remedies on hand at home already, that means you can start the healing process right away.
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Spider Bites References and Spider Bites Information
- Riot Fest: https://riotfest.org/2017/03/spiders-found-100-homes-eat-us/#:~:text=Spiders%20are%20literally%20everywhere.,can%20be%20found%20per%20home.
- Web MD: https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/ss/slideshow-spider-bites
- Science Direct: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0885392494901503
- US National Library of Medicine: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2763764/
- US National Library of Medicine: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4631220/
- US National Library of Medicine: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3834722/
- Science Direct: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0378874103002344
- US National Library of Medicine: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5796020/
- Plants Journal: https://www.plantsjournal.com/vol1Issue1/Issue_jan_2013/3.pdf
- Pub Med: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27213821/
- Farmer’s Almanac: https://www.farmersalmanac.com/activated-charcoal-19456#:~:text=Spider%20bites%2C%20bee%20stings%2C%20and,poultice%20must%20be%20changed%20frequently.