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Spider Bite or Mosquito Bite?

At First It Only Itched then It Began to Hurt

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Updated February 01, 2010

spider bite
Photo by Nancy Wells

Nancy thinks this red, circular lesion is a spider bite because of its target-like pattern. At first, she says, she thought it was a mosquito bite. She said the amount of swelling and itching led her to that conclusion. By the second day (when the photo was taken), she noticed pain and the circular pattern.

Nancy has treated herself with ice packs and cleaned the possible spider bite with peroxide. She says the swelling and pain subsided within hours, which may or may not have had anything to do with her home treatment. If her pain got worse or the target pattern grew in size or became even more like a bullseye, she would need to see a doctor. She would also need to seek immediate medical attention if she was experiencing fever, chills or nausea.

NOTE: The steps Nancy took to treat her bite are not recommended. You can treat a potential spider bite by following proper first aid for bug bites. If you’re not sure whether a spider caused the reaction you’re experiencing or if the symptoms don't go away after 24 hours, go to the doctor. If your symptoms get worse, go to the doctor or call 911.

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.

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