As much as you want to avoid spiders, they too want to avoid you. Spiders belong to arachnids class and like any other insect, they bite when they feel threatened.
From simply startling a spider, to stepping on them or even swiping a hand in their direction, these insects are easily spooked and as the first line of defense, they attack human.
Most cases of spider bite could be treated at home. There are various species of spider and most of them inject their poison/venom through the fangs into the bloodstream when they bite. However, in most cases, the venom is not strong enough to be poisonous to humans.
Although majorly that is the case, there are a few species of spiders that can cause paralysis and even death. Hence, if you are bitten by a venomous spider, and are in shock and have trouble breathing, immediately call the emergency services.
Spiders only bite humans when provoked. They may cause minor swelling, inflammation, and itching. Most spiders bite only as a defense mechanism when touched intentionally or accidentally. Some spider bites(1) can cause severe problems in the nervous system like black widow bites, and it doesn’t even get felt unless it starts showing symptoms
Types, symptoms, and causes risk factors
Most common spider bites are a brown recluse bite, black widow bites, hobo spider bites and tarantula bites. They can cause various symptoms like kidney failure, seizers and blood in urine in case of brown recluse bites. Black widow causes muscle cramping, nausea, and high blood pressure.
There can be various risk factors including:
- No sufficient information on the spider
- Being in areas with wild spiders
- Accidentally touching it
- Provoking spiders
In most cases, you might turn to a doctor in cases of spider bites. Using creams and medications can also be done. While these methods are useful, they can cause serious side effects too. Painkillers are also used to relieve pain in case of spider bites, but it might have adverse effects too depending on you. Essential oils are beneficial in spider bites.
These oils have healing properties and reduce spider bite itch and inflammation. They are considered natural pain relievers and can reduce discomfort caused by spider bites.
Essential oils for spider bites
There are many essential oils used for spider bites. Massage by these concentrated oils can help reduce irritation caused by spider bites on arms or spider bites on legs. The various essential oils used are:
1. Lavender Essential oil
The lavender essential oil has soothing pain-relieving properties and can reduce inflammation and redness caused by spider bites. It also prevents bacterial infections and speeds up tissue regeneration. It can also be used for spider bites on babies.
2. Eucalyptus essential oil
This oil is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial and is most effective in preventing infections caused by spider bites. It’s soothing and gives instant relief.
3. Tea tree essential oil
4. Peppermint essential oil
It has a cooling effect on skin and helps give relief in case of spider bites. It’s is also antibacterial and helps prevent infection. It should be mixed with olive oil for better results.
5. Rosemary Essential oil
It has a soothing effect on spider bites and skin irritation. It also has anti-inflammatory qualities that help reduce inflammation.
[ Read: Essential Oils of Bug Bites ]
6. Basil Essential oil
Basil essential oil can be used in various insect bites including spider bites because of its anti-inflammatory nature. It can also be used as a precautionary oil as its strong smell keeps spiders away.
7. Thyme Essential oil
Thyme essential oil has a chemical called thyme that soothes pain and itchiness. For better results, it is mixed with eucalyptus oil.
How to Use
To use the essential oils for spider bites, you need to mix a few drops of the essential oils with a carrier oil like olive oil. Take a few drops of the oil in your palms and apply gently over the affected area. Leave it on for a few hours before washing off with warm water. Repeat twice every day until the symptoms go away.
1. Lavender oil
This oil is beneficial in reducing pain and itching.
- Coconut oil
- lavender oil
- Combine a few drops of lavender oil with coconut oil and apply on affected area for relief.
[ Read: Natural Remedies to Treat Mosquito Bites ]
This ointment can be made using any essential oil and is very beneficial in case of spider bites.
- Coconut oil or jojoba oil and any essential oil.
- Add 2-3 drops of essential oil in coconut or jojoba oil. Mix well, and it can be used as an ointment for spider bites.
- Many other oils like mint, Chamomile and Camphor oil can be used on affected areas even in cases of spider bites on the face.
Risk and Side Effects
Essential oils are beneficial and natural ways to treat many health problems. But if not used correctly with the utmost care and under the guidance of health care experts, they may have adverse effects on health. They are very concentrated and should be used only according to the directions. The various risks are as follows:
- Rosemary oil can cause skin irritation if not diluted.
- Some oils can cause certain sensitivities in people.
- They are not effective in case of venomous bites as venomous spider bites may seem harmless and only mild irritation in the beginning but are very poisonous and cause various health risks.
Do’s and Don’ts
- Peppermint or thyme oil should not be used on broken skin.
- Mix essential oil with some carrier oil so that it doesn’t get evaporated
- Essential oils are more effective when dabbed on affected areas rather than merely applying.
[ Read: Home Remedies for Flea Bites ]
Other Home Remedies
Various other methods can be used for treating spider bites:
1. Aloe Vera
Applying aloe vera is very useful as it has many essential nutrients like minerals, vitamins etc. which gives healing powers to aloe vera. Its gel can be extracted easily and can be used several times a day until the spider bite gets adequately healed.
2. Activated charcoal
It helps with spider bite symptoms as it when applied to the affected are extracts the venom and treats various symptoms like irritation, itching, etc.
Other remedies may include using baking soda, elevation, no scratching, using potato, witch hazel and ice.
Essential oils are very beneficial when it comes to spider bites. Apart from having minor risks and side effects, essential oils are very useful in treating spider bites symptoms.
They should be used with the proper guidance of a health care expert. They are far better than using various creams and medications and serve a great purpose in dealing with spider bites.
1. How long does a spider bite take to heal?
The bite usually heals within a week. The skin at the center of the bite usually turns dark blue/purple and for fully healing it could take a few months.
2. Can a spider bite cause a bullseye rash?
Yes, it does form a bulls-eye rash, with an ulcer in the middle. It tends to be an open sore and keeps getting bigger for up to 10 days.