It could be a day out in the garden or when you are cleaning out the corners in the attic, you notice a swollen red mark on your arm. A spider bite can give you instant pain sometimes, but there are a few instances when it could take hours to realize something isn’t right.
Spider bites feel very localized, sharp, and gradually builds up during the day. It is usually accompanied with sweating, itching, nausea, and chills.
In the US, the main culprits are black widow spiders and brown recluse spiders.
If you have been bitten by a spider, you need to identify the spider. Memorize the size, color, or any distinct pattern. This is critical for treatment. If possible, try to catch the spider, so a doctor could identify it later.
Home Remedies To Treat Spider Bites
In most cases, home-based remedies are enough for treatment. But it depends on the type of spider and severity of your symptoms. Get immediate medical help if you have been bitten by a brown recluse, hobo spider, black widow, tarantula, and Brazilian wandering spider. Here are a
The first thing you need to do is apply an ice pack to the bite. Ice is an excellent remedy to reduce inflammation and soreness. It cools down the wound and gives you instant relief.
- Wrap a few ice cubes in a cloth and place it directly on the wound. Do not keep ice on your skin for more than 15 minutes at a stretch. Make sure to apply ice on the skin using a cloth. Do not place ice directly on the skin.
Salt is an age-old remedy to get rid of spider venom. Researchers claim salt water is a more powerful cleansing solution than plain soap and water.1 Its antiseptic property can help treat spider bites.
- Add salt to water and dip a piece of cloth in it. Cover the bitten area with the salt soaked cloth for a few hours.
3. Baking Soda
Baking soda is a great remedy to stop itching from a spider bite. Also, experts claim baking soda helps to neutralize the venom as well as reduce pain and stinging associated with the bite.2
- One way is to mix equal parts of salt and baking soda with water to form a paste. Apply it on the bitten area. Wash it off after 5 minutes. You could repeat this a few times a day to give you relief from pain and itching.3
Activated charcoal is especially beneficial to treat bites by a brown recluse spider4
Using activated charcoal is another way to treat spider bites. It neutralizes the venom, speeds up healing, and reduces toxins released by the spider. Activated charcoal is also widely used to treat bee stings, fire ant bites, and scorpions.5
- Make a paste out of activated charcoal and water. Apply the paste to the affected area. Wrap a bandage around it and leave it on for 4 hours. Do the same procedure multiple times a day.
Turmeric is loaded with toxin-fighting compounds. Its
- Mix turmeric powder with olive oil. Spread the paste on the bitten spot and let it rest for an hour. Wash it off with lukewarm water. Repeat it several times a day.
6. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera gel can be used to heal bites from black widow spiders and white-tailed spiders.8
Aloe vera’s healing powers have no bounds on the skin. It’s anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and has a cooling effect on the bitten area.9
- Extract fresh aloe vera gel from the plant and spread a generous layer on the bitten area. Repeat this as much as you can.
People who have been bitten by spiders suggest potatoes can help reduce swelling and pain. One study found out potato peels contains compounds that are anti-inflammatory.10
- Slice a potato with their peels intact. Rub the slice on the affected area. Secure a bandage around it, making sure the potato flesh covers your bitten area. Change it every few hours.
8. Peppermint Oil
If you have a spider bite on your arm, peppermint oil can help. The oil can reduce swelling and itching from the bite – thanks to its anti-inflammatory feature. Peppermint oil is especially beneficial for black widow spider bites.
Mix a few drops of peppermint oil with olive oil. Apply the combined oil on the bitten area. Wash it off after 20 minutes. Repeat this several times a day.
Lemon juice is an excellent astringent. The acidic feature of a lemon neutralizes the venom and cleans up toxins. One study found out lemon juice extract is anti-inflammatory in nature.11
- One way to treat a spider bite is clean
Things You Need To Do Immediately After A Spider Bite
- Cleanse the area with water and soap or rubbing alcohol. This should help remove any bacteria and venom on the surface.
- Elevate the bitten area and tie a bandage below the bitten area. This slows down the spread of venom and reduces swelling.
- If you can’t identify the spider, go to a doctor.
- Once you see significant improvement, you could start applying honey on the affected area to reduce scars.
The above-mentioned remedies could take anywhere between 10-16 days for healing. But, if you have severe symptoms, like difficulty in breathing, abdominal cramps, excruciating pain, you need to see a doctor immediately.
|↑1||Flow Investigators. “A trial of wound irrigation in the initial management
|↑2||Home Remedies Rx: DIY Prescriptions When You Need Them Most. Althea Press – Callisto Media, 2015.|
|↑3||C. Jude, Todd. Herbal Home Remedies. B. Jain Publishers, 2002.|
|↑4, ↑5||C. Corriher, Sarah; Corriher, C. Thomas. Defy Your Doctor and Be Healed. Health Wyze Media, 2013.|
|↑6||Chainani-Wu, Nita. “Safety and anti-inflammatory activity of curcumin: a component of tumeric (Curcuma longa).” The Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine 9, no. 1 (2003): 161-168|
|↑7||Prasad, Sahdeo, and Bharat B. Aggarwal. “Turmeric, the golden spice.” (2011)|
|↑8||Humble, Jim V. The Miracle Mineral Solution of the 21st Century PART 2. Osmora Inc., 2011|
|↑9||Surjushe, Amar, Resham Vasani, and D. G. Saple. “Aloe vera: A short review.” Indian journal of dermatology
|↑10||Kenny, Olivia M., Catherine M. McCarthy, Nigel P. Brunton, Mohammad B. Hossain, Dilip K. Rai, Stuart G. Collins, Peter W. Jones, Anita R. Maguire, and Nora M. O’brien. “Anti-inflammatory properties of potato glycoalkaloids in stimulated Jurkat and Raw 264.7 mouse macrophages.” Life sciences 92, no. 13 (2013): 775-782|
|↑11||Maria Galati, Enza, Antonia Cavallaro, Tommaso Ainis, Maria Marcella Tripodo, Irene Bonaccorsi, Giuseppe Contartese, Maria Fernanda Taviano, and Vincenzo Fimiani. “Anti-inflammatory effect of lemon mucilage: in vivo and in vitro studies.” Immunopharmacology and immunotoxicology 27, no. 4 (2005): 661-670|