What are the Most Common Treatments for a Spider Bite Rash?

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  • Written By: Rebecca Harkin
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Images By: Dimakp, Tab62, Gstockstudio, Okea, Cheryl Casey, Greg Friese, Defun
  • Last Modified Date: 16 July 2017
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A spider bite rash typically develops shortly after a spider bite, and is an allergic reaction to the venom, causing swelling and itching. The most common treatment for a rash from a non-poisonous spider is to wash the area, place ice on the rash, and apply a topical steroid cream or take an oral antihistamine to control the allergic reaction and itching. Any signs of nausea, fever, or disorientation should be discussed with a doctor. If the spider is poisonous, the bite needs to be seen immediately by a doctor and while waiting for treatment, the rash should be iced and elevated.

Often the victim of a spider bite does not even know he has been bitten until the spider bite rash appears, and once the rash is observed it is best to wash the area with antibacterial soap or an alcohol wipe to prevent the wound from becoming infected. The wound should then be cooled with ice cubes or a cold compress for about 20 minutes to reduce the intensity of the itching and area of the spider bite rash, as well as abate the irritation. If the spider bite rash is bothersome, a topical steroid cream is very effective at controlling the allergic reaction and itching at the site of the bite. The lotion should be applied early and administered as directed until the bite rash disappears. An oral antihistamine can be used instead of a cream to control the allergic reaction and itch but unless directed by a doctor, an oral antihistamine and topical cream should not be used together.

It can be difficult to distinguish spider bites from other insect bites. Spider bites are typically painful and there is usually only one bite, or if there are multiple bites, they are usually in a line. A spider bite is initially round, flat, and itchy, and then a red, swollen, and very itchy rash develops. Sometimes one or two small dots are located in the center of the rash where the punctures occurred.

If the biting spider is observed, identifying the type of spider is necessary to determine if the spider is poisonous. A poisonous spider bite requires immediate medical attention, especially when the victim is a child, elderly person, or someone with a heart condition. Severe reactions to poisonous spider bites are fever, vomiting, headache, and abdominal or joint pain. If any of these symptoms are observed in conjunction with a suspected spider bite, it is prudent to see a doctor.

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orangey03
Post 4

Is a spider bite rash as itchy as a tick bite rash? When I get a tick bite rash, I itch uncontrollably. Also, I sometimes get a hole in the middle of it, much like people get with spider bite rashes.

I'm not sure if the same treatment would work for both, but I use alcohol and hydrocortisone cream. I wipe the rash down with alcohol and then put the cream on once it has dried. The alcohol helps dry out the rash, and the hydrocortisone relieves the itch and the burn.

I'm just throwing that out there in case it might work for someone with a spider bite, too. I know how miserable living with an intense insect bite rash can be. Does anyone else here have any other tips for dealing with a spider bite rash?

StarJo
Post 3

@JackWhack – I like using antihistamine cream instead of taking a pill. I don't have any steroid cream lying around, so this was the first thing I tried.

It stopped the itching and even reduced the redness. I put it on several times a day, whenever the itching returns.

The only thing that it didn't stop right away was the burning. It took awhile for that to subside.

JackWhack
Post 2

Steroid cream has always worked great for my spider bite rashes. It gives my skin the extra boost it needs to get over the rash. It also works on other types of insect bite rashes.

I've never tried antihistamines for a spider bite. I usually only take those if I have a bad allergic reaction to something.

healthy4life
Post 1

I've had other bug bites cause a rash, but I wasn't aware that a spider bite could cause one. However, the only person I've known to get bitten by a spider was bitten by a poisonous one, so his reaction was a little more serious than just a rash.

He had a big red area with a hole in it. After a week or so, it looked like the flesh was rotting out!

He had to go to the doctor and have it lanced and drained. She got a lot of infected pus out, and she stuffed it with gauze and put him on medication.

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