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Do spider bite home remedies work? Spider bites were definitely not on my radar of next post to write about! However, this past week, my son suffered from a bite on his pinky toe.
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After furiously googling for answers, we deduced that it had to be a spider bite due to the spider bite symptoms he had. I very reluctantly had to look at too many ugly spiders and spide bite pictures, now I feel like the creepy crawlys are everywhere!
Did you know: We have over 3000 kinds of spiders in the U.S. However, most are relatively harmless, thank God!
Common spider bite symptoms
Here is a list of the most common spider bite symptoms:
The area where bitten may have:
- swelling and inflammation
- pain around the bite
- tissue and skin damage
- red or purple blister
- muscle pain or cramping
The person bitten may experience these symptoms:
- difficulty breathing
- high blood pressure
- feeling restless or anxious
- swollen lymph glands
Per the Mayo Clinic, “The severity of symptoms depends on the type of spider, the amount of venom injected and how sensitive your body is to the venom.”
So essentially you cannot compare your spider bite to another person’s experience because they may have had less venom injected or you may have a stronger resistance to the venom and so on.
If you are experiencing any severe symptoms as described above or any additional ones such as seizures, kidney pain, jaundice, etc. seek medical treatment immediately.
Close attention should be paid especially to children, the elderly, and the ill. If you know which spider bit you, google the symptoms of that particular spider to avoid potential harmful mistakes.
Common spider bite treatment
Here is the most commonly recommended treatment for spider bites:
- Clean the spider bite area with cool water and a mild soap. This helps to prevent infection.
- Apply a cool compress or ice pack. Take on and off every 10 minutes. This helps to reduce pain and swelling.
- Elevating the area also helps to reduce swelling.
- Take OTC medications such as Tylenol (for pain) and Benadryl (for swelling) if needed.
- If any blisters develop, use antibiotic ointment. Sources: (Healthline & Mayo Clinic)
I found conflicting information on these treatment recommendations. Mayo Clinic recommended it for all spider bites including black widow and brown recluse spiders, while Healthline recommended it for nonvenomenous bites. Use your discretion and consult with a medical professional as needed.
Spider Bite Home Remedies
Whenever possible, I try to avoid handing my hard earned money over to pharmaceutical machine, so the next thing I did was research home remedies and read people’s comments on what had worked for them.
I found several excellent articles on treating spider bites and here’s the 3 we tried:
So I have an aloe plant and I strongly advise you to always keep one in your home. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing but the many health benefits of aloe vera are tremendous.
My son’s toe was red and swollen and I immediately thought of aloe vera to reduce the inflammation. I simply snipped a piece of the plant and periodically smeared a generous amount on his toe.
I was tickled to death when I saw it as a spider bite home remedy on Dr. Axe’s site! Because it’s jampacked with vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and enzymes, aloe vera not only helps to calm the inflammation but relieves itching.
Within a couple hours, my son’s bite already look paler and less puffy.
Baking soda is an oldie but goldie when it comes to reducing inflammation. It is commonly used on bee stings to help neutralize the venom. The same concept applies to spider bites.
Make a quick and easy paste out of 1 part water and 3 parts baking soda. It will look like this:
Apply generously on the bite area. We left this on for about a couple hours before we switched to our final spider bite home remedy.
This was listed on Dr. Axe’s site and upon further research I found this article recounting very successful treatment using a potato for a brown recluse bite!
So at 7 pm at night, having used all my potatoes in spicy beef and potato soup, my hubby and I trekked to our local grocery store on the hunt for a potato.
Once there we were confounded on the question of, “What potato to use for a spider bite?” We settled on russet because the pictures I saw were of a yellow or white potato versus say a red irish potato. Dr. Axe did not specify a potato though so probably any would work.
Back home I sliced the potato in half and then grated 1/4 of it. This made a substantial amount (I did not use all) and I then placed the grated potatoe in the center of a square of cheesecloth.
The sites I conferred recommend putting a rubber band or somehow securing the potato or poultice to the bite area. We just had my son sit on the couch in the reclined position and placed the poultice on the bite area.
He sat like that for about 30 minutes and went to bed with it on his foot. However it did fall off during the night so definitely recommend securing it. Also the poultice does ooze potato juice so place a towel under the area to avoid staining your furniture or sheets.
Spider Bite Home Remedy Results
7:30 a.m., 9.5 hours later: When sonny woke up, I check his toe amidst the mad dash of getting ready for school. It look a little better but not enough to ease my worry. I told him I would check on him in the middle of the school day.
12:30 p.m.,14.5 hours later: I popped into his school around 12:30 and asked him how he was doing. The majority of his symptoms have been headaches and he complained about his sides hurting so I was worried about kidney problems. Good news, he said he felt fine!!
3:30 p.m., 17.5 hours later: After school I made sure to put a new poultice on the area, plus I gave him a dose of my home elderberry syrup! I figured anything that boosts his immune system couldn’t hurt!
I promise to post my homemade elderberry syrup soon, but this is one I use and recommend from Amazon. Bonus you can get it in 2 days with Amazon prime!
He left the poultice on for probably a good 40 minutes. Kids are so hard to keep still, but he did his homework at the same time!
9:00 p.m., 23 hours later: Bedtime!!! I made up a new poultice (potatoes gets black fast from the oxidation) and this time I was determined to use it the right way. I had the brilliant idea of securing the poultice with plastic wrap. It worked like a charm and he pulled his sock over to keep warm!
7:30 a.m., 33.5 hours later: It’s a Christmas miracle!!! His toe this morning looks significantly better with almost all the red and purple discoloration gone.
I did not have time to take a pic before school but will post one asap!
Out of all the remedies we tried, the potato remedy definitely worked the best! However, there was no harm in using the other remedies as aloe and baking soda both helped to reduce the inflammation, itching, and possibly neutralized the venom.
However, in the future, I will use this magical poor man potato poultice as I like to call it first and be sure to follow these directions more closely:
- Place poultice on foot and secure. Replace poultice or potato slice every 12 hours, in the morning and before bed. Continue treatment for a week.
Disclaimer: Please be sure to use your discretion when utilizing home remedies. Consult your medical professional if you have any doubts or questions. I’m not a medical expert just sharing my experiences and others!
Also there are a ton of spider bite home remedies out there, read reviews and do extensive research before you try any. However in general most spider bites are not venomous and can be treated at home.
Here’s to your health, and may all things creepy crawly and venomous stay away from you!
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