What are the signs of a black widow spider bite?

Jonathon E. Pangia, DO
Emergency Medicine
Spider bites are nasty, but very they are very rarely life or limb-threatening. Black widow bites can be a very painful. You may experience very terrible belly pain or limb pain because of the venom. If you see a black widow, and you know you've been bitten by a black widow that's all the more reason to be seen in the emergency department because most hospitals carry an anti-venom. We can help you, if nothing else, get out of pain much more quickly with the anti-venom.
The bite of the black widow spider is the most painful and deadly of the widow spiders, especially in very young children and the elderly.

The bite usually causes an immediate sharp pinprick pain, followed by a dull pain in the area of the bite. However, the person often does not know that he or she has been bitten until he or she starts to feel ill or notices a bite mark or swelling. Other signs of a black widow spider bite include:
  • Rigid muscles in the shoulders, chest, back, and abdomen
  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Excessive sweating
  • Weakness
  • Drooping or swelling of the eyelids

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.