First Aid for Spider Bites

Keep Calm and Follow These Tips

In my experience, spider bites are painless on occurrence followed by red, painful swelling at the site of injury. Before I became an acupuncturist, I assumed the mark was a mosquito bite until it persisted for more than a week with a hard, painful, bulbous center. The bites would last for a month or more until the hard center fell out taking a bit of flesh with it. The problem is that you don’t know you are bitten until later when there is little chance of identifying the offender and the poison is destroying healthy tissue.


Mayo Clinic First Aid states to clean the wound, slow the venom from spreading by tying off the limb, apply a cold cloth, and seek medical attention. The problems here for me are; my most recent bite is on the belly which you cannot tie off and the last time I went to the ER, the waiting time was six hours.


Chinese Medicine has a different approach to this potentially deadly injury allowing for immediate treatment. This is how you can start to treat at home when you think you have a poisonous bug bite. Most importantly, be sure to see a medical professional immediately if you think that you’ve been bit by a poisonous bug.


My most recent bite happened Saturday night and all I noticed was a red, painful, swollen area the size of a half dollar. It is imperative to draw out or neutralize the poison from these kinds of bites as quickly as possible. Bleeding with a seven star needle to let the poison out and cupping to create suction around the injury will excavate some of the poison. This step removed most of the tightness of the bite. Next apply a paste, called a poultice, mixture of green clay and water. Cover the bite. As the clay dries, it will draw more of the poison out of the skin. Leave on for 2-3 hours. Orally, take first aid formula, yunnan baiyao, one cap full twice a day for a few days. On day 2 my recent bite was less tender, less swollen, and turned light pink. Apply a paste of yunnan baiyao mixed with saliva twice daily until it fades. Avoid spicy foods and alcohol until the bite is healed. On day 3, this bite looks like a mosquito bite.


Remember, be sure to see a medical professional immediately if you think that you’ve been bit by a poisonous bug, reptile or animal.