[lifestyle] what to do with a spider bite

I know this topic is a bit gross (I won’t be posting any photos!) but when I realized I had a spider bite and started Googling to learn what to do with it, I was startled by the amount of “Go straight to the hospital! YOU HAVE STAPH!” and misinformation out there. So I would like to share my experience and hopefully calm a few of you. Nonetheless, after receiving the bite, if you experience fever, chills, nausea and vomiting, or severe abdominal pain, you should go to the hospital or call your doctor. However, most cases of spider bites– like mine– are not like that at all.

Some signs that you have a spider bite and not a mosquito bite– multiple bite marks (I had three), swelling feels ‘hard’ and ‘painful’, and bite area feels very hot to the touch. The area of inflammation can also be pretty large, as you often receive multiple bites at once. Also, take season into account: I got my bite in early spring, when mosquitoes generally are not out. You should also consider location when assessing the deadliness of the spider– I received my bite in Massachusetts, where the most dangerous spiders are rare.

In the first 24 hours, the bite begins to swell, and it is very painful when you press on it. In the next 24 hours, the bite begins to be incredibly hot to the touch and itchy to boot– you can use a damp towel or an ice-pack to cool it down. I personally used some lotion; you can also use Calamine. However, in this set of 24 hours, the bite’s inflammation should begin to subside and the bite area should get smaller. If it is not getting better– you should again, go to the hospital or call your doctor. In the third day, the bite should cease to be painful, but the bite area can turn into a brilliant shade of red, which will subside as the bite area heals itself. In around a week, it should clear up! Be vigilant not to itch it; it will heal more quickly if you resist.

disclaimer I am not a doctor, so if you are unsure about anything, please refer to your local hospital or personal doctor for more guidance.

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