The most common reactions to spider bites are minor swelling, redness, pain and itchiness. Non-venomous spider bites may produce pain and itchiness on the affected area that will last for two to eight hours.
However, some spider bits may have long lasting or even lifetime effects, as all spiders with the exception of three kinds are able to produce venom. Their venom is either neurotoxic venom or necrotic venom.
Spider Bite Symptoms
Neurotoxic venom attacks the individual’s nervous system and can lead to temporary or lifelong paralysis, seizures, coma and possibly even death. These systemic manifestations will occur within twelve to thirty-six hours after being bitten. If these are left untreated or if more complications develop, death can ultimately result in the next few days.
Spider Bite Reactions
Necrotic venom causes damage to the tissue surrounded the bite. Initially, there maybe no pain felt but as the wound grows pain maybe felt. Some bites will further develop into a clear or hemorrhagic vesicle twenty-four to seventy-two hours after the individual is bitten, as is the case with the Brown Recluse spider.
Other severe reactions that cause medical complications from spider bites include anaphylactic shock, difficulty of breathing, confusion and lightheadedness, nausea and hives, which all last for the next few hours following the spider attack.
Why Do Spiders Bite?
A spider bite occurs when there is a forced interaction between a spider and another organism other than their prey. Evidently, spider bites are not to be taken lightly because of the immediate and lasting effects that are described above. Therefore, it is important to note the characteristics of the spider such as color, presence of stripes, etc for easy identification. Knowing the species and consulting the nearest hospital will help determine the treatment necessary and prevent further complications.
Arnold MD, FAAEM, FACMT, Thomas C . “Spider Envenomation, Brown Recluse.” eMedicine. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Jan. 2011. <emedicine.medscape.com/article/772295-overview>.
DIAZ , JAMES H. . “The Global Epidemiology, Syndromic Classification, Management and Prevention of Spider Bites.” American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 71.2 (2004): 239-250. Print.