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Other linksFound some other great threads on the web. Check out these two links on the rural living forum at TractorByNet. They also discuss the poison ivy pill, shot, and extract others have mentioned. See poison ivy and poison ivy part II.
-- Editor submitted 11/Jul/2002
My Solution for Poison Oak/Ivy/SumacMy Solution for Poison Oak/Ivy/Sumac I'm just getting over a case of Poison Oak... brutal. I'm fairly allergic to it as I've had Poison Ivy at least 12 times already. Poison Oak is not fun! It started on my wrist, then both forearms, stomach, waist, right leg then left, behind the knee, shin AND THEN my face... I knew I was in trouble when my face was turning red! It was getting very very ugly and I had nothing to lose by trying the things listed on this site. I was persistent and very routine. Needless to say I beat it within 6 days although a slight rash still exists, could have been earlier if I had started treating earlier. Below is the routine and treatment that I used. I'm hoping this will help you too:
-- Evan Ruzcyky (evan@NOSPAMnaturally-wild.com) submitted 23/May/2001
Well, I have found that a few special steps have effectively helped stop itch and cure poison ivy within 3 days max.
--"bob jones" (xisthebest@NOSPAMhotmail.com) submitted 11/Aug/2002
I think it's incredibly important to get the word out about mangos
I am suffering from a severe rash on my face from touching my face
while cutting up a mango. It took a lot of detective work to figure
out who was the culprit, but there you have it! There is no poison
ivy/oak/sumac anywhere near my house. I haven't experienced a bout
of poison ivy/oak since I was in high school. Imagine my surprise!
Then, I go on the web to find out if mango, which I had eaten a few
times several years ago but not recently, had any history of
allergic reactions. Thank you for your informative website, and for
enlightening me about the various sources of the 'devil' poison!
Plan of AttackI've read through most of your site and believe the following may help those looking for a clearly laid out plan of attack.
Treatment for Poison Ivy / Oak/ Sumac, etc: ----------------------------------------------------------------- Follow the basics: 1) Wash immediately after contact with plant (best within 15 mintues) Try one of the following cleansers to help remove the plant oil (Urushiol oil): a) Technu Oak-N-Ivy Cleanser b) Fels Naphtha soap c) Dish soap (Joy, Palmolive, etc) 2) Wash often (2-4 times) a day. 3) Wear/use clothing & bedding only once (preferrably) then wash. 4) Drink plenty of water and take vitamins. 5) Your body should take care of the rest. If persists more than 7 days, consult a doctor. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Any of the following MAY help: - Use a body powder (baby powder, Gold Bond Medicated, shower-to-shower, etc.) - Take an antihistamine (such as Benedryl - tablets, not cream) - Soak in chlorine water (or salt water) for 20-30 minutes/day - Apply Zanfel or similar product to infected areas. - Disinfect all objects you use or touch (steering wheel, door handles, chairs, etc) - Use heat or hot water (only hot as is bearable) to sway the desire to itch. - Go to doctor and get a cortisone shot. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1) Do NOT use straight bleach directly on the skin (esp. on open wounds or blisters) 2) Do not use astringents (sensitizes skin allowing Urushiol oil to seep in easier). a) Alcohol b) Witch hazel c) Calamine lotion d) Caladryl e) Perfumes/colognes f) scented creams/ointments Thanks for putting together such an informative site. Kevin Hulett Dallas, Texas
-- Kevin Hulett" (khulett@NOSPAMnortelnetworks.com) submitted Jul/23/2001
Hi! I live in Oklahoma and work in the outdoors alot, which brings me into contact with most of the Poisonous vines, plants, shrubs, etc. on a constant basis. As I develop a rash from one of the plants quite frequently, I can offer some advice to those that do not catch it quite often.
--"Thomas Wahpekeche" (Thomas.Wahpekeche@NOSPAMDDC.DLA.MIL) submitted 15/May/2003
This was my first time having poison ivy this year. I tried cortizone 10 for the first two days but it just didn't keep the itch away long enough. So I came to this website in search of relief. I found that the best ways to relieve itch and heal faster are as follows:
--"Rebecca" (harrythecow@NOSPAMyahoo.com) submitted 1/Jul/2003
The Key Ingredient - WaterIf you read almost all of the suggestions you have gotten in regards to "curing" poison Ivy, they all have 1 thing in common. Water. Intermittant water application ( several applications, several times daily) is a great way to help poison ivy dry up by itself quickly. You want to try and stay away from types of astringents (alcohol and such) as well as skin sensitizers like perfume, scented creams and ointments, and yes even good old caladryl/benadryl lotion. These all make the skin more sensative, and therefore allow the Urushiol oil to seep in easier. It should be noted that after the first 15 minutes or so of contact with the oil, it is very very difficult to remove from the skin, mainly it only comes off with the natural slough off of the skin itself. My last comment is in regards to the preventative shot. It may still be available in some areas, but is very rarely used, because as with any preventative shot like this, the injection consists of minute amounts of the active oil, injected into the skin, allowing the body to build up its own natural immunity. Since people can be sensitive down to 1 nanogram of the oil, obviously its tough to guage where to start the injection levels,and then to get such a small quantity. Thus the reason people were dying from it. Systemic PI like that can be deadly.... that is why it is not very common.
-- Jim Walsh (anonymous email address) submitted Jun/20/2000
Editor note: Thank you. This makes a lot of sense to me.
I have had posion oak 7 times in the past 4-5 years and I just got another case of it.
See the DoctorI got poison ivy after weeding in my yard. I had a severe reaction; blistering, swelling rash all over my arms, legs and midrif. I purchased EVERY possible OTC remedy from oatmeal and other bath soaks to hydrocortisone creams, calamine lotions, etc. After calling my doctor and speaking with numerous pharmacists around town the ONLY things that I found to be effective were 1)a steroid shot (which was in itself not initally effective) 2)Ivy dry liquid 3)steroid medication pack (ingested) 4)Benedryl pills (not creams or liquid sticks) to relieve the itching (it really works). The Ivy Dry and steroid medication-ingested were the only things that in combination dried my blisters and helped to diminish the rash and itching. I hope this helps someone else!!
-- Steffanie Hofer (stefhofer@NOSPAMaol.com) submitted Jun/8/2000
Editor note: Thank you. Your experience was similiar to mine with the exception that I found Zanfel and I didn't make it to the doctor being the big chicken I am.
Poison Ivy, yuk! What an awful substance to those allergic to it and
just another plant to those who are not. There are many plants out there that c
ause similiar allergic rashes and are not limited to just the common poison ivy,
sumac, oak plants etc...so be careful!
Here are some steps to follow AFTER you have already been infected.
1. Get a cortisone shot immediately. This will start the healing process. You
must figure out where and how you became infected and remove it to keep from ge
tting re-exposed again.
2. Take an antihistamine. Claritin works well. Benedryl also has given good r
3. Take a hot shower as hot as you can stand. It may spread a little, but this
will provide hours of itch free rest relaxation.
4. Get a cortisone cream from your doctor. 10% works best and applied after a
hot shower is a good combination.
5. Stay out of the heat and avoid restrictive clothing.
These are all the things I have learned over the years that works best to minimi
ze recovery time. I am highly sensitive and dream of the day these rashes are e
First of all, I find it amazing that many of the folks who have
posted messages within this forum actually believe that they
discovered a miracle cure on the 8th day, or 10th day of the rash.
People, non-systemic cases of poison ivy rash start to resolve on
their own in 7-10 days with proper common sense precautions. The
fact that you found a cure on day 8,9 or 10 is a mere coincidince
with the normal recovery time.
With previous bouts, I have tried Zanfel, Palmolive, rubbing
alcohol, etc. They all bring short term relief. But none of them
are cures - I have scars on my arms to prove it.
With my most recent bout, I took extra precautions while working in
my garden. Long pants, long sleeve shirt, hat, gloves. I worked in
the garden for 8 hours on Saturday, carefully changing shirts and
gloves on 3 occassions. To top it all off, I was working with weeds
and ivy that I had killed with Round Up two months earlier - the
stuff was dead, but the oil lingered.
I noticed an eruption on my wrist on Sunday. By Monday morning, I
had minor outbreaks on both wrists, my forearms, forehead, and
neck. Knowing that I could not handle another two-week battle with
a poison ivy rash, I headed straight to my doctor and was given a
prescription for a prednisone taper (a six-day prescription with
diminishing doses each day). I took the first six pills on Monday.
After a somewhat restless night Monday night (a minor side effect
of the steroid) I awoke Tuesday morning (only 3 days after initial
exposure) to find that my rash was starting to resolve, and no new
outbreaks. I am now at work on Tuesday, and I can visually monitor
the vanishing of my rash. And I'm not using any other products in
conjunction - no creams, gels, ointments. The pills are small and
easy to swallow. Pills (especially the taper kit) are also a much
safer form of delivery than a shot in the behind.
The long and short of this - in order to effectively rid yourself
of this trechery, you've got to nip it in the bud. If you are
already oozing, you can forget about it. Although I have found that
a 10 minute dip in the ocean can bring a lot of relief and a
shorter recovery time. Also, after exposure to the plant, strip
naked and leave all of your clothes outside and then shower with
your favorite dish soap. Also be sure to wash all tools, shoes,
keys, sunglasses, doorknobs - anything that you may have contacted
during or after your exposure. Wash your contaminated clothes
seperately. Then wash them again. Best of luck.
I recently went to the doctor for a severe case of poison ivy all
over my body. The doctor told me that it could not be spread by
itching only by the oil from the plant oil from the plant and it
kept showing up becuase it takes some spots longer to develop than
others. He gave me a steriod and I went to the store and bought
every medication there was. The only thing that helped was taking
Benadryl every four hours and the steriod. Then putting a lotion
called Calydryl and Domeboro on it. I was able to get rid of my
poison ivy in about a week and a half.
Stay DisciplinedI have had poison ivy on both legs, both arms, my chest, my back and my stomach for over a month now. It is finally starting to disappear, but my life has been a living hell until recently. I went to a dermatologist, got a cortisone shot but several days later called her and got Prednisone by mouth. They helped somewhat. I also started bathing with about a cup of bleach in the water,do this twice a day if possible. After bathing, put on alcohol or witch hazel. The alcohol will burn slightly, but it dries quickly. I tried straight bleach but it burns terribly. I also got Ultravate ointment from the doctor. It helped alot, but I was covered and it is a little expensive, $34.00/15gram tube. I went through two, and couldn't afford anymore. So I bought some Gold Bond cream and some gel by Band Aid (K-Mart). I also cut my fingernails down to nothing and slept with rubber gloves on. They say scratching doesn't spread it, but I don't believe it it. Wash your pet (!my source) and keep them out of it. Wash your clothes after one wearing, use your towel once,change bed sheets at least twice a week. Wash everything you can think of and keep washing. Mine has started to go away in the last few days, so I have gotten a little lax with the treatment, don't do this. Keep up with all your treatments until it is gone.
-- Connie (dkpeavy@NOSPAMemail.msn.com) submitted 25/Jun/2001
I just beat Poison Ivy and the last time I had it was when I was 7
years old, so 30 years ago for me. I have to say that The hair
dryer trick worked for me really well. I also used technu and
it also really helped. My ritual was to scrub down in technu
and then shower (cool water) then go to hot water as much as I
could stand. After drying off I took the hair dryer and heated the
affected areas again as much as I could stand. I then would apply
"Ruhli gel" or called "band aid" anti itch ointment and I could
sleep like a baby. The hair dryer took the itch right out & the
gel cooled and soothed the areas. Worked for me, but again poison
ivy will take its coarse and leave in 7 to 10 days or so but this
really lessened the problem. God Bless.
Wow, what a site for reading. I get poison ivy,oak and sumac very
easily. I have experienced it on every portion of my body including
having my eyes so infected that they were swollen shut. I
discovered Technu a few years ago and it is a wonderful product.
They used to have a preexposure product that you could use, but I
have been unable to find it so I use another brand of product. I
can't remember the name of it right now. Here is what I do...put
the preexposure lotion on any skin that may be exposed to the
urushiol oil. This includes your entire face (my experience in the
woods is always walking into spider webs and they go across your
face and the first thing you want to do is wipe your face with your
hand) Big no-no. Wear long shirts,long pants, a hat and gloves.
Always put the lotion on your hands because you invariably have to
remove your gloves for many reasons. Never pick up walking sticks
from the ground, break off a dead branch from a tree that has no
vines growing on it. Do not lean against trees without looking to
see if there is a vine growing up it. Do these things in any
season, if your as allergic as me you can get poison ivy in the
dead of winter. In the mowing season wear a dust mask and goggles.
When your ready to clean yourself,first use the Technu poison oak
and ivy wash, rub the lotion over all exposed skin and any areas
you think may have been exposed for several minutes rinse
thouroughly with water warm, hot, cold it doesn't matter. Now comes
the real kicker, I always take a bottle of rubbing alcohol with me.
I wet a rag with the alcohol and and wash all areas that I think
were exposed and then some. Caution: don't do this around open
flames for obvious reasons. When washing your face take a deep
breath first, the alcohol evaporating will take the air away from
you for a short time, nothing different than jumping in a pool and
holding your breath. I have used this method all year while mowing
my timber grass, mushroom hunting and picking wi!ld rasberries and
I have not...(Knock On Wood)....been infected with poison ivy yet
this year and I've been mowing it which is another big NO-NO,unless
you protect yourself. Good Luck.
My regimenI am now and have always been agergic to poison oak and ivy. Ive had shots and pills, they work. Im 59 and have found 3 things that help.
After exposure take a shower and use Dawn dishwashing liquid
instead of regular soap. It is designed to remove oil and does a
good job removing the oil from poison ivy. To stop the itch I use
Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride that is available in a clear gel from
Benadryl.To kill the plants I have found that Grazon p+d a
herbacide, works well.I Hope this info. Is helpful to others.This
website was very informative. Thanks for sponsoring it.Denis Dwyer
After having the worst case of poison ivy in my life I have come to
one conclusion. There is very little you can do to speed the
process along except to maybe dry the rash out a little faster. For
the most part you just have to wait it out and make yourself as
confortable as possible. Until now the only family remedy I had for
treating poison ivy was Fels Naptha soap. Made into a paste and
left on the skin, it's supposed to help dry the rash faster. That
has always seemed to be of some help before in my milder cases.
This time I unfortunatly had it so bad that my face severly swelled
and I could not find the soap in the stores. Knowing that the point
was to dry the rash but not being extreme enough to use clorox, I
used alcohol rubs on the effected areas (not as much on the face
though since I have sensitive skin there). At this point my husband
also made me go to the clinic to get medication. They gave me a
shot that worked like prednizone to help the swelling and
prednizone pills for 5 days. They also advised me to take Benadryl
pills to help the itching. I'm not sure if the prednizone helped,
it's hard to say but it did seem that the Benadryl stopped the
itching. I also discovered that while trying to keep swelling down
with ice packs that it also helped the itching and burning. This
led me to try a foot powder that I had used when I was pregnant.
It's call Freeman's Bare Feet with vanilla mint and aloe. It was
meant to be used for the two things that I was trying to accomplish
with the alcohol and the ice packs. It dries and cools. So after an
extremly hot shower (to remove the histamine as suggested in other
comments) I would still do the alchol rub and then apply the foot
cream. I was a huge relief after sleeping for two nights with an
ice pack tied to my face! It's worth a try.
I have read all of these suggestions that vary from bleach to hot
showers. However, I have had poison ivy/oak/sumac every year since
I was a child, so I've learned a lot over the years. First of all,
my doctor surprisingly verified that the poison is not spread by
scratching the affected area and then directly scratching an
unaffected area. The oils from the poison spread by attaching
themselves to cloth-like materials (sheets/clothing). If you
scratch the affected area and then scratch your face this will not
spread the rash. It is a myth. The oils cannot be transferred by
touch. It's also a myth that the poison gets in your blood. The
poison oil is on top skin, so that's why when you scratch, it
spreads around that area. There are 3 things you must do to get rid
of it:1. Keep handy a tube of a prescribed lotion called
Betamethasone Dipropionate, which is a steroid cream. The instant
you get the first spot on your skin, apply it. This will avoid
further spreading. 2. If the poison has already spread on various
areas, go immediately to the doctor and get a steroid shot. You'll
see the rash begin to dry up within 24-48 hours. 3. Purchase this
stuff...and I cannot remember the name, but it's sold in most
drug/grocery stores. It's made specifically for the 3 poisons. You
wash your clothes/sheets in it. You can also take a bath in it. It
will get rid of all the oils from your things.
I am highly allergic to poison oak, and starting in February of every year, I start getting reactions (I live in Northern ca). I no longer go to the emergency room for prednisone, because it does not work. I have tried everything, but now have a regimen that works for me.
--Nancy6075@NOSPAMaol.com submitted 16/Feb/2003
I am a hypo-allergenic person to poison ivy. Whenever I break out,
first I wash my whole body with Lye soap, which helps dry it out
and wash away oils. I also poor hydrogen peroxide over the blister
after I puncture the blister with a knife or needle. You keep
doing intervals of pouring it on until the bubbling stops. When I
go to sleep I put long soccer socks on my hands and put on a long
sleeve shirt with long pants. Change clothes and socks every day
to avoid recontamination. During day cover up any blister with
some sort of band aid with tea tree oil on blister to help kill
oils and dry out. Thats about it. I get rid of poison ivy faster
with this routine.
I can't believe how this poison ivy can drive you crazy! I tried
everything to relieve it. I found some ideas on your site so I
incorporated a combination of them. I took a really hot shower. I
used shampoo to scrub the area (oh that felt so good) being careful
to use the washcloth only on that area of my body. The shampoo is
formulated to remove oils, so it's a good choice. After that I just
stood there and let the hot water run over it for about 5 minutes.
It itched like crazy while I did that, but it felt so much better
afterward. Anyway, after I toweled off, I put rubbing alcohol on it
(if you open sores, it will hurt like hell, but it will heal
faster). Then!!! I put diaper rash ointment on it. Oh what relief!!
I'm taking the rash ointment with me everywhere I go until this is
completely healed. (I used a&d ointment, but I think any diaper
rash ointment will work. I also think Preparation h would work
well.) I also learned that it's imperative that you don't cover
the rash with restrictive cloth. It spreads it and makes it worse.
I hope this is helpful to others.
I want to share what I have experienced so that you don't have to
spend so much money on trying so many different poison ivy
treatment lotions, gels, etc. I finally found the best combination
for me. I purchased the Aveeno soap bar for treating acne which has
the same colloidal oatmeal used in their poison ivy bath cleanser.
It may sting a little if you apply it dirrectly onto your body, but
the slight stinging assures you that it is killing off the poison.
Hot water makes it feel real good like you're scratching but do not
use hot water if possible because it tends to irritate the skin
more and make it red. Once you are completely dry, apply Caladryl
Clear or CalaGel by oak-n-ivy about two to three times daily after
every shower which really dries it up.
My CureOk I tryed all of your sugestion and they cure the itch but then I decide to take water then baking soda then I but vinger and aloe vera cream and alot of salt and a little bit of wash detergent then you mix and after 2 hours the rask is completly gone no itch or no rach or bumps nutting
--"Stephane" (iverson_03_rules15@NOSPAMhotmail.com) submitted 22/Aug/2002
I'm an avid outdoorsman with two big dogs, so getting poison ivy,
about 15 times a year, is inevitable. My solution to this pesky
rash, if your not highly alergic to it, is to wait it out. Your
body knows best and will take care of itself. Stay busy to keep
your mind off it, and it will be gone before you know it.
Cold Water, Dawn, and WarningI am 43 and have never had posion oak or Ivy until this year. As I am hiv+ this was a great concern for me and my doctor. This is the most effective treatment for the posion that I have found and has kept the blisters from forming and the itching to little or none. First of all, if you have contacted posion oak or ivy do not bathe. If you do bathe and are successful in washing the oil off it can re-adhere to your skin upon exiting the tub and you can end up with it worse. Shower in the coldest water you can stand for as long as you can stand. The cold water keeps the pores from opening and the oil from going into these pores. Use Dawn anti-bacterial liquid dish soap and don't be stingy with it. Lots of soap and lather. Becareful to use a fresh wash cloth when washing your face as not to transfer the oils to your face. The soap seems to wash most of the oils away and begins the drying process long before nature. After your cold shower take a Fresh cloth and soak it with cider vinagar and wash your body with it. Again use a fresh cloth on the face area. I, also, follow with a benedryl twice a day until the symptoms are completely gone. This sure seemed to lessen the severity by so much it was unbelievable. Please use caution if you take any immune booster containing the oil. My dear friend brought some back from illinois and began taking it and developed posion oak in her mouth, throat, and everywhere it came into contact with util it exited her body, and yes there too. She was in a serious situation doing this. They banned that product in California for a reason, so please don't use. Remember always cold water showers and never never hot. The Dawn and vinegar seem to work wonderful for me, although, you may still have a small rash and lite itching, it is much less pronounced. I hope this works for someone else as well is much less pronounced. I hope this works for someone else as well
--"clint ryberg" (cryberg365@NOSPAMaol.com) submitted 10/May/2003
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