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What Are the Signs of an Allergic Reaction to a Spider Bite?

Nicole Madison
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Most reactions to spider bites are relatively minor. For example, a person might experience localized itching because of it, notice redness or swelling in the area, or even feel mild-to-moderate pain as a result. More serious symptoms, which may indicate the need for a doctor's evaluation, could include difficulty breathing and swelling in the face or throat. Hives are also a sign of an allergic reaction to a spider bite.

The most common reactions to spider bites are similar in nature to what a person might experience with the bite of an insect, though they may prove worse in someone with an allergy. For instance, it is common to have itching in the area, and swelling and redness are usually considered typical as well. Likewise, some spider bites may even cause pain or a stinging sensation in the affected area. Though these symptoms might prove upsetting for the person who was bitten, they are usually fairly harmless and resolve with time. Additionally, over-the-counter (OTC) antihistamines, itch creams, and pain relievers can help to decrease a person's symptoms.

Sometimes, however, the symptoms of an allergic reaction to a spider bite are severe and alarming. For instance, if a person has a severe reaction, he may notice a tightness in his chest or have difficulty breathing. Sometimes the affected person will cough or wheeze as well. Swelling in the face and mouth are also common signs of a severe reaction, and some people report that it feels as of their throat is closing up or obstructed in some way. The lips and tongue may swell as well.

The face, mouth, and throat are not the only parts of a person's body that are prone to swelling because of an allergic reaction to a spider bite. Some people develop swelling that affects their hands and feet as well. When this occurs, it is most likely to affect the palms of the hands and soles of the feet rather than other parts of the hands and feet. Sometimes the mucous membranes also swell.

Other signs of an allergic reaction include gastrointestinal upset, which can include nausea and loose bowels. Some people may become dizzy as the result of this type of bite, and confusion might become a problem as well. Hives are also among the signs of an allergic reaction and often develop along with other symptoms.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Nicole Madison
By Nicole Madison , Writer
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a The Health Board writer, where she focuses on topics like homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. Her passion for knowledge is evident in the well-researched and informative articles she authors. As a mother of four, Nicole balances work with quality family time activities such as reading, camping, and beach trips.

Discussion Comments

By Spotiche5 — On Jul 04, 2014

If you ever experience a spider bite, it is also important to keep in mind that an allergic reaction may not take place right away following the incident. Sometimes, these reactions set in hours and even days following a spider bite as venom works its way through your body or when an infection begins.

By Raynbow — On Jul 03, 2014

Another symptom to look for when you have been bitten by a spider are red streaks on your skin that radiate from the bite. These can be signs of blood poisoning, and need to be looked at by a doctor immediately to avoid more serious problems.

By Talentryto — On Jul 02, 2014

I had an allergic reaction to a spider bite once that started with feelings of dizziness and nauseousness. I had to take several types of medications to get the symptoms under control until the bite healed.

If you have a bite and you don't know what caused it, then you start to experience unpleasant symptoms, you should seek medical advice as soon as possible. If not, your symptoms could get much worse and be more difficult to treat.

Nicole Madison

Nicole Madison


Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a The Health Board writer, where she focuses on topics like...
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