Black widow spiders usually live in dark places like attics, garages, closets or woodpiles. In the US, they are usually found in the places with warm weather, like Southern California or Central Valley. The female species is regarded as dangerous to us humans. The spider is black and shiny in color with a rounded tail segment. The total length including its legs measures from half inch to an inch. The skin on the under-belly will have red or orange colored markings in the shape of hourglass. Now that you know what a black widow spider looks like, it is important to know the symptoms of a black widow spider bite, if you are bitten by one.
The area bitten by the spider will look pale and appear surrounded by a reddish colored ring. After the bite, the first symptom is cramp and severe muscular pain within 2 hours of being bitten. The cramps will be felt in the back, abdomen, thighs and shoulders. These symptoms appear in elders, children or those who suffer from elevated blood pressure.
Their bite is not venomous and no serious symptom will result. The infected portion will have to be washed well to avert infection.
The symptoms usually vary from one individual to another. But some common symptoms include; headaches, itching, appearance of rashes, anxiety, sweating, restlessness, vomiting, nausea, secretion of tears from the eyes, salivation, development of tremors, weakness or paralysis especially of the legs, burning, immediate sensation of pain, and appearance of impression of two fang marks. These symptoms will be accompanied by rise in blood pressure or breathing trouble.
These symptoms might be similar to those which appear due to presence of other ailments. One should consult a doctor before making any conclusions.
Once reported, the doctor will decide on the medication to be prescribed for a bite by the black widow spider. The treatment will include:
- Washing the area thoroughly with water and soap.
- Application of ice-pack or cold and wet cloth on the affected area.
- Application of antibiotic lotion, especially on kids, to avert infection.
- Administering pain killers like acetaminophen.
- Consult immediately if the condition appears serious. Doctors may then prescribe pain killers, muscle relaxants, and other supportive care alternatives. Some cases will require hospitalization and administration of antivenin.
- If the bite is in children, immediate medical attention must be given in order to avoid any other complications.
Muscle cramp due to this condition should be treated at the earliest. Based on the specific symptoms reported, medicines may be suitably administrated like treatment for pain, spasm, cramp and so on. Anti-venin is rarely recommended.
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California Poison Control: Spider Bites