A Spiderfish bite is not just anything and, in most cases, will require medical attention, even emergency in the most serious situations. This fish, which inhabits multiple regions bathed by the Mediterranean and also by the Atlantic Ocean, lives in waters not too deep and, therefore, relatively close to the coast. Seeing it is difficult, because it camouflages itself in the sandy bottoms and brush it or, even worse, stepping on it can have severe consequences. The Spiderfish has on its dorsal fin a series of spines through which it injects its venom. As if that were not enough, it also has them in the gills as a defense against its predators. For your peace of mind, the fish does not attack, but we can touch it, rubbing it or stepping on it, and although its bite is not too frequent, it cannot be said that it is something exceptional. Just in case and facing the holidays and possible baths in the sea, in we explain what to do if you suffer the bite of a spider fish and how long it lasts.
Symptoms of spiderfish bite
The symptoms of a spiderfish bite will vary depending on the extent to which the animal has injected venom in those seconds of contact. Its spine may have rubbed against you slightly, but it may also happen that you have stepped on it completely. These are the main symptoms:
- Spiderfish bite is very painful. Upon accidental contact, the fish quickly injects its toxins and the strong pain arises almost immediately, being able to increase progressively in the first minutes.
- Another common symptom is the sensation of itching and burning.
- Inflammation in the area.
- Dizziness, nausea, sudden sweating, headache and even loss of consciousness in the most severe cases, which will require urgent medical help. It should be remembered that the bite, especially in people with allergies or previous pathologies, can cause anaphylactic shock, with the risk to life that this implies.
The venom of the spiderfish also has a vasoconstrictor effect, so that the mildest bites, which may have gone more unnoticed, can be recognized because the affected area presents an abnormal pale tone due, precisely, to the “narrowing” of the blood vessels that irrigate it.
The discomfort of the Spiderfish bite can be prolonged over time manifesting itself with symptoms such as muscle pain when supporting the foot, tingling or lack of sensation in the sole or toes (area where bites usually occur).
What to do in case of spider fish bite
It is practically impossible to take preventive measures against the bite of a spider fish, although there is a case in which we can avoid it. If when walking along the shore of the beach you see a seemingly dead fish on the bottom, just in case, ski and do not touch it, because the mechanism that activates the spine and the poison of the spider fish is still active days after it has died.
Except in this case, in the water it will be very difficult to notice its presence. If you have the bad luck (we insist infrequently) to run into its thorns, it is important to know how to cure a spiderfish bite. Here's what you should (and shouldn't) do:
- Get out of the water, or take out the person who has been bitten, especially if it is a child. There is a risk of dizziness and loss of consciousness and it is important to leave the sea so as not to add to the pain of the bite the risk of drowning.
- Remove any remains of thorns or tissues of the fish that may have been adhered, without rubbing or pressing when trying to remove them, as you could worsen the situation.
- Clean the area with sea water and do it gently.
- Observe the symptoms and act accordingly (possible medical emergency).
- If there is no dizziness or loss of consciousness, to relieve pain, apply heat as soon as possible. The toxin injected by spiderfish is a thermolabile polypeptide. This means that heat reduces its activity and its effects. The best remedy to relieve that intense pain is to immerse the affected area, usually the foot, in very hot water, of course, without burning yourself. You can start with warm water and add increasingly hot water, filling, in addition, when the temperature drops. If the wound cannot be submerged, compresses soaked in hot water may do. Keep your foot in the hot water for at least half an hour or one and you will see that the pain is subsiding. It is important to do so as soon as possible to effectively minimize the action of the poison. Never apply ice or cold water.
- If the pain subsides, you will have to observe how the wound evolves and the symptoms to decide whether to go to a doctor's office, something that, in any case, is always recommended since it will be the doctor who can determine the best treatment and prescribe the appropriate drugs, such as analgesics or antihistamines.
Remember to discard any home remedy, tourniquets or cuts to try to suck the poison, it can be dangerous.
How long does the bite of a spiderfish last
At the moment there is no antidote that can immediately counteract the effects of a spiderfish bite, so the symptoms will have a very variable duration, depending on their intensity (injected venom) and also on the characteristics of each person, such as age or general health.
Doctors point out that the most severe symptoms of the bite usually manifest themselves in the first 30 minutes, during which time it is important to resort to pain relief methods, such as hot water. Even so, the severe pain can last for hours, although it must gradually subside. Also, the swelling will subside little by little and if not, you have to go to the doctor. In addition, discomfort in the area, such as lack of sensation, itching or mild pain when supporting the foot can last for weeks.
Now that you know what to do in the face of a Spiderfish bite, you may also be interested in learning about the jellyfish sting: what to do to relieve it.