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Black Widow Finger Bite

Two Small Fangs Equals Two Small Holes

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Updated February 01, 2010

Black widow spider bite
Image © David O'Connor

Black widows have fangs, almost like miniature snakes. Soon after a black widow spider bite -- before any reaction starts -- you may be able to see two small holes like those in this image. Black widow venom can cause muscle spasms and heart disturbances, but doesn't usually cause the infected sores that are blamed on brown recluse spiders.

Black widow spider bites are rarely fatal. The most common symptoms after a bite (besides the pain of the bite itself) are:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Muscle cramps/soreness
  • Soreness and redness around the bite
  • Irritability/agitation

High blood pressure is also common from black widow spider bites, although it rarely causes any problems for the patient. Most of the symptoms are treated individually. An antivenin (spider poison antidote) is available for black widow spider venom, but it's not really necessary for most victims.

Have a spider bite you want to share? Submit a picture of your spider bite.

Want to talk about spider bites? Ask others and see more bites on the First Aid Forum.

Sources:

Clark, R.F., et al."Clinical presentation and treatment of black widow spider envenomation: a review of 163 cases." Annals of emergency medicine. Jul 1992.

Woestman, R., R. Perkin and D. Van Stralen. "The black widow: is she deadly to children?" Pediatric emergency care. Oct 1996.

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