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August 21, 2019 3 min read

When Francisco (Eddie) Ramirez, MD first got bit by a brown recluse spider while doing yard work in Oklahoma, he barely felt it. But within hours, his feet swelled to a massive size, turned purple, and was so painful that he couldn't walk. Knowing this was a serious bite, what did he do? Dr. Ramirez opted to try charcoal therapy in the form of Black Ice patches. 

If you get bit by a brown recluse spider, don't panic. Most cases resolve by themselves with few complications. Standard treatment of care is to wash immediately with soap and water, use an antibiotic cream on the bite and rest and elevate the bite. However, if your bite area swells and discoloration spreads, don't wait. Go see your doctor immediately.

Googling "brown recluse spider bite" pictures will reveal that a brown recluse spider bite can be pretty devastating. Picture after picture shows massive necrosis and scarring from what amounts to a microscopic bit of venom from a pretty tiny spider. It's pretty gross and almost unbelievable. 

The reason the bite is so destructive to skin tissue is that the venom from a brown recluse spider is really toxic. For example, it's significantly more toxic than the venom from a rattlesnake. The only reason why no one dies from a brown recluse spider bite is because the amount that is injected is so microscopic. But the effects can be catastrophic. Male spiders have half the venom of a female and are the most common. So chances are good that if you don't have a lot of swelling or mass discoloration, you may have avoided a full dose of their venom, or probably got bit by a male, and should recover just fine. However, if you are diabetic or have a compromised immune system, you're at risk for major complications so you should see a doctor right away. 

In Dr. Ramirez's case, within 3 hours, he experienced a lot of pain, swelling and discoloration. In such a case, necrosis is a very real danger and you can expect to be off of your feet for many weeks and even months. Treatment includes stronger doses of antibiotics and even steroids are used to reduce the swelling and to promote healing. Unfortunately, this doesn't always work well and you can expect to be bedridden for weeks, have removal of skin or even amputation in the worst cases.

Knowing how serious the bite was, Dr. Ramirez chose to use Black Ice patches. He left them on 24/7, changed them every 6 hours and did ice baths on his feet twice a day. By using Black Ice patches on the bite, Dr. Ramirez was back on his feet in a week, running after two weeks, and experienced no necrosis or scarring whatsoever. Watch his video testimonial above. He was so impressed that he published the results in a peer-reviewed, medical journal

For any kind of insect bites such as ant bites, bee stings, mosquito bites, ticks, etc., activated charcoal used on the surface of the skin in the form of a poultice is extremely helpful. It can draw out the venom and relieve swelling and itchiness. In one experiment, one hundred times the lethal dose of cobra venom was mixed with activated charcoal and then injected into a laboratory rat. The animal was not harmed at all and showed no ill effects. (Bouquet, A, Adsorption of Cobra Venom and Diphtheria Toxin By Carbon, Comp. Rend. 187:959, 1928). Activated charcoal not only draws out the poison, it also neutralizes the venom.

Activated charcoal also contains a lot of oxygen and delivers much needed oxygen right to the wound. Diabetics have blood circulation issues which is why they respond worse to bites. Charcoal brings oxygen right to the site of the bite. 

However, charcoal poultices are hard to make, messy, and hard to keep on the skin. Black Ice solves all of those problems by being an easy-to-use, peel and stick poultice that leaves no mess or residue. 

Many customers will cut the Black Ice into smaller pieces and then bag them in a ziplock to take hiking or camping. Perfect for ant bites, mosquito bites, bee stings, tick bites and even venomous spider bites, you can just peel and stick a cut piece of Black Ice onto the bite or wound. People report an almost immediate cessation of pain and swelling is reduced or eliminated as long as the patch remains on the site. You really have to try it to believe how well it works, especially for bee stings, ant bites and other painful insect bites. 

We are certainly not suggesting that Black Ice take the place of actual medical treatment in case of a serious bite or sting, but until you get to a doctor, or during healing, Black Ice can be an excellent remedy that is natural, cheap and easy to take with you.