ZocdocAnswersWhat do you do for a spider bite?

Question

What do you do for a spider bite?

I think this red thing that is on my arm might be a spider bite. Do they heal themselves? It is a large red bump and it is a little itchy and I am afraid that it might also be getting bigger. I just want to know if doctors usually do something for a spider bite.

Answer

It is almost impossible to tell what type of insect bit you when all you have is evidence of a bite. It could have been a spider, but it also could have been something else. We treat spider bites in the same way we treat every other type of insect bite with the exception of those from poisonous spider such as the Brown Recluse. These are rare, and are unlikely to be what happened to you. Either way, you should definitely have the bite looked at by a doctor. This is because you may require treatment even if it is not a poisonous insect. Many insect bites become problematic because they cause local infections in the skin. In some cases these infections need treatment with antibiotics. Your doctor will be able to examine the area of skin that is currently irritated and determine if there is a need for treatment. The best type of doctor for you to see about this is your primary care physician. If your bite progressively gets more red, painful, or begins to swell, then you should think about getting seen sooner. Infections that are not treated can turn into abscesses or even cellulitis which may even require in hospital intravenous antibiotics. Good luck.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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