Complications of Spider Bites

spider and bites

The majority of spiders and spider bites are not dangerous, however, spider species like black widow spiders and brown recluse spiders are dangerous and can cause some serious health complications when bitten by them.

Some of the common symptoms of a spider bite are redness, pain, and swelling, but others can cause further complications.

The complications of spider bites

Even a non-toxic spider bite can cause skin infection with abscess or pus formation when left untreated, but when bitten by a venomous spider, you may notice the following complications:

Brown Recluse Spider

When bitten by a brown recluse and left untreated, the bite wound worsens and kills the surrounding tissues and can cause fever, chills, and headaches.

On rare occasions, they can cause:

Coma and seizures
Blood in urine
Kidney failure

Black Widow Spider

Bites of the black widow spider are usually associated with mild redness, sweating, urticaria, and cyanosis and may also occur at the bite site.

The venom interferes with chemicals at nerve endings which may cause:

Agonizing abdominal pain and muscle spasms
Nausea and vomiting
Paralysis (sometimes)

Brazilian Wandering Spider

The skin around the bite becomes swollen, red, and hot. In severe cases, they cause dead tissues around the spot, and sometimes it is fatal.

Wolf Spider

A wolf spider’s bite may tear the skin and cause pain, redness, and swelling. As a result of the bite, you may also have swollen lymph nodes. Healing can take up to 10 days and lead to tissue damage.

Hobo Spider

The most common complication of a hobo spider’s bite is a severe headache that develops within minutes to hours and can last up to 1 week. Other complications include:

Nausea and fatigue
Memory impairment
Aplastic anemia
Death (rarely)


When it comes to spider bites, sometimes you will not even know you’ve had one. You may think you were just bitten by some insect, however, if you are experiencing some swelling, redness, and extreme pain after being bitten and the symptoms are only getting worse, then getting immediate medical attention is recommended.

If it was a spider bite, antivenom is available for some spider species such as black widow spider (antivenin), which could be used to treat.

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