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Thread: Poison Ivy Remedies?

  1. #1
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    Poison Ivy Remedies?

    Help!

    Currently I'm using an anti-itch cream.

    I used to use something called Sweet Fern tea - made from the leaves of a sweet fern plant - but it's much too early in the year for those to be out.

    WebMD says the rash can last for 5-12 days. Well, we're on day 3 and it's starting to get really really itching. And before you couldn't SEE the rash, but you certainly can see it now!

    The rash is all over my legs from my ankles up to my thighs!
    Springtime is my time of year!

  2. #2
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    ((((((((((Muriel)))))))))

    I don't have any first hand advice, but found the following through a Google search:

    Treatment for poison ivy is designed to give symptomatic relief until the eruption subsides, usually about 3 weeks.

    Mild soaps (i.e. Basis, Dove, Aveeno) should be used for bathing. If you have access to a tub, you may wish to try oatmeal (i.e. Aveeno) baths for relief of itching.

    Cool water compresses relieve itching and help reduce blisters. Adding Blu-boro (or Dome-boro) powder packets to the water gives extra relief by drying up blisters and helping to prevent secondary infection.

    Calamine lotion (plain calamine, not with additives) helps relieve itching and drys up blisters. Blistered areas should be left open to the air as much as possible. It is recommended that poison ivy remedies containing benzocaine or its derivatives, Benadryl or other antihistamines, or zirconium NOT be applied to the skin as they themselves can cause skin allergy.

    Antihistamines by mouth relieve itching. Chlorpheniramine 4 mg. can be purchased and used according to directions without a prescription. Antihistamines cause drowsiness and when taking them, you should not drive or operate machinery. Antihistamines should not be applied to the skin.

    If lesions are extensive or swelling is severe, seek the help of a physician, who may prescribe cortisone by mouth.

  3. #3
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    Ooh. Poor you! I had a terrible case of poison ivy last year that lasted for close to 3 weeks. It was AWFUL! My husband found this stuff and it helped more than anything else I tried.

    Good luck!

    http://www.zanfel.com/
    I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day. ~E.B. White

  4. #4
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    I suggest the homeopathic remedy RhusTox. You put a few tablets under your tongue several times a day. I admit, I was not a believer in these sort of rememdies---but that one worked for me.

    Kristi
    co-founder
    Planet Marshmallow
    www.planetmarshmallow.com

  5. #5
    My sympathies!!!

    A few years back DH got hit and we found some stuff (on his mom's suggestion) that worked wonders. Alas - I can't remember the name! But we got it at CVS (east coast major drug store chain) - so you should be able to find it at any pharmacy/drugstore. It's in white bottles with trees or plants or something on the label .....there are multiple products - some lotions you can use, some stuff to bathe in. It's extremely effective - DH and MIL have used it with great success for poison ivy and poison oak. I'll doublecheck the name when I'm out later today.

    A couple of other tips. Be VERY careful about itching and touching any other part of your body...that's how the infection will spread. Also, if the blisters start to get really bad, don't hesitate to see your doctor. Severe cases will require steroid treatment.

    Sorry for the vague answer - I promise I'll come back later with the name...

  6. #6
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    Sorry to hear about your poison ivy Muriel. Unfortunately, I have first-hand advice. I had it for the first time last year. Since it was my first time, I didn't know for sure what it was and went to the doctor. She perscribed some steroids for me (don't know the name). Also, to control the itching, she perscribed Clainet (anti-histamine that doesn't make you drowsy). At the time at least, it was a very expensive tablet - $30 for 30 tablets. The pharmicist had a sample coupon from the manufacturer (this was at Meijer) for a free trial of seven. I took that and saved my perscription (and it stopped itching so I didn't need to pay $30.) I did try Benedryl, but it wiped me out too much. I didn't use creams since I work and either 1)didn't want it all over my clothes or 2)didn't want to draw any more attention to my poor arms.

    Hope it clears soon.

  7. #7
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    Try drinking golden seal tea. I had my son drink it (on the recommendation of someone who used alternative medicine) and it cleared up his rash in a day. I have used it since. It find the taste to be foul, but so what.

    I have also used an OTC cream called IVAREST, which is designed to stop the poison ivy,oak, sumac itches fast.

    Sami
    Don't give up, Moses was once a basket case.

  8. #8
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    I had it so bad last year I had to go to the doctor for a shot. And I got a prescription for something that was so strong the pharmacist questioned it. When I showed him my rash he gladly filled the prescription!
    Elizabeth
    Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning Satan shudders and says...."Oh s***, she's awake!! "

  9. #9
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    I had a bad case of poison ivy years ago, and a nurse told me to make a solution of boric acid (available as a powder from the pharmacy) with water as hot as I could stand, dip a washcloth into it, and lay the washcloth on the poison ivy. It really relieved the itch. I don't remember what strength to make the solution, and it was a long time ago -- some of the new medicines may be better. Maybe a nurse or pharmacist could help. By the way, my family finds Ivarest works well on mosquito bites.

  10. #10
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    Spray the infected area with unscented hair spray and it will be gone the next day.

  11. #11
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    over the counter bendryl really helps with the itching - we live in area that is infesteed with poison oak and get it all the time. If it get reall bad you may have to go to the dr for a cortizone shot
    Good luck!
    Laurie

  12. #12
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    So far so good. Played volleyball last night, so working up a sweat did NOT help this! Ack! I was itchy most of the night. My anti-itch cream finally worked. I did think about heading out to Meijer or CVS, but so far so good. Tonight I'm going to get some of that Zanfel and probably some Golden Seal tea.

    In the past the sweet fern tea makes the rash go away in about 2-3 days and really takes away the itch. This year I'll definitely pick some and dry it and save it for such a use!

    Thanks for everyone's advise!

    I may try the unscented hairspray one, too.... sounds interesting enough to work!
    Springtime is my time of year!

  13. #13
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    Let us know and I hope its better soon!

  14. #14
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    <<<<<<Spray the infected area with unscented hair spray and it will be gone the next day.>>>>>>



    You must be one of those people (like me) who get fairly mild cases. My sister and son DO NOT. I would NEVER EVER suggest that remedy. When you are very sensitive to poison ivy or poison sumac, even Benadryl will make it feel like it's on fire. Hair spray would be like dousing it with rubbing alcohol. Not a good idea at all.

    Kristi
    co-founder
    Planet Marshmallow
    www.planetmarshmallow.com

  15. #15
    This may be too late - but the stuff I mentioned in my first reply is called TechNu. It works really, really, really well. It treats the oils released by the blisters, so it's extremely effective at stopping the rash from spreading. You can also use it to treat any clothing that might be affected - although perhaps it's too late now.

    Good Luck! Hope you're feeling better!!!

    P.S. I, too, would shy away from the hairspray - especially if your skin is already quite irritated. But that's just me.

  16. #16
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    Originally posted by Jennifer D
    This may be too late - but the stuff I mentioned in my first reply is called TechNu.
    My DH swears by Tecnu. He fell into a bunch of poison oak while he was mountain biking a few years back. Nothing will make you 100% comfortable while you bear through the rash, but he says this stuff is great, and like Jennifer mentioned, you can use it to treat your clothes and other stuff that might have gotten contaminated.

  17. #17
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    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Jennifer D
    [B] It treats the oils released by the blisters, so it's extremely effective at stopping the rash from spreading.

    This is a common misconception about poison ivy. It cannot spread itself from area to area. When people continue to get it on different body parts it is usually from coming into contact with furniture, pets or clothing that still has the oil on it,or if you do not wash the oil itself off your body.

    Good luck!

    Kristi
    co-founder
    Planet Marshmallow
    www.planetmarshmallow.com

  18. #18
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    Originally posted by JenniferJJ
    I had it for the first time last year. Since it was my first time, I didn't know for sure what it was and went to the doctor.
    This happened to me too almost 20 years ago. I'd never had it before and I got it on my butt when we went to a golf tournament and they didn't have any 'facilities' so I had to go in the woods. Leave it to me to squat in the wrong spot. I'm sure the doctor was wondering how that happened.
    Linda

    When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and I could say “I used everything you gave me.”

    Erma Bombeck

  19. #19
    Originally posted by Kristilyn1
    This is a common misconception about poison ivy. It cannot spread itself from area to area. When people continue to get it on different body parts it is usually from coming into contact with furniture, pets or clothing that still has the oil on it,or if you do not wash the oil itself off your body.
    Hey Kristi! We were saying the same thing; sorry for any confusion caused by my hastily written post. Never meant to suggest it spontaneously spreads across one's body. Technu is great for itch relief, as well as rinsing and eliminating the oil - thus reducing/eliminating the risk of further contamination.

    HejazsunKat (linda?) - that has got to be one of the worst golfing "injuries" I've ever heard of - yikes!!

  20. #20
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    Originally posted by Jennifer D



    HejazsunKat (linda?) - that has got to be one of the worst golfing "injuries" I've ever heard of - yikes!!


    Just another reason for me to NEVER take up golf---I always have to go to the bathroom!

    Kristi
    co-founder
    Planet Marshmallow
    www.planetmarshmallow.com

  21. #21
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    Poison ivy: the update

    Well folks, thanks for all your remedies. Went up north this past weekend, but did not go looking for the poison ivy... it was cold and wet most of the long weekend.

    I am now past the itchy stage! Hurray!!!! I just have the remnants of a rash on my legs. I survived this whole ordeal using only Meijer's Anti-Itch Cream (not the one with hydrocortisone). The cream seemed to work for about 8-12 hours. But I'll be honest with you - NOTHING worked when I had to wear nylons! So, in future, note that you may have to avoid anything that sticks close to your skin.

    Linda - we have heard of a woman who had to pee in the woods, and used poison ivy leaves to wipe herself..... you can imagine the ensuing itch and pain! I try to golf only at courses that have those portapotties throughout the course cuz I have the same problem, esp. if DH and I are having a few beers as we golf!
    Springtime is my time of year!

  22. #22

    Had it ! Done all the treatments......

    I had it about 7 years ago, the worst case, I never had it before, so
    I had to go to the doctor also to find out what I had. I had it longer than 3 weeks. It was horrible, for a few years after that. I
    had to not talk about it, because it would make me start to itch and
    scratch all again. I had oral anti-bodities, shots, prescription creams, and liquids, nothing was helping me. The itching was driving
    me insane. Someone finally sent me a brand new tube of IVAREST, it
    worked. So SAMI that is good stuff, we agree on this. It is OTC, so
    you don't have to get a prescription, you might have to ask the pharmacist to order it for you, it will usually be there the next day.
    Good luck, I am sure this is one time you will be a long time forgetting this mess. Hope you don't scar, from the scratching, I did.
    Always be thankful for whatever you have, if it is a little or lot.
    Material things aren't the answer, your treasures are your faith in God and your friends.

  23. #23
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    This may be too late, but maybe it will help someone.

    I have to beg everyone to please NOT use bleach for poison ivy (or any other skin condition). I used to work for a dermatologist, and we saw lots of poison ivy every summer, but we also took care of too many people who had damaged their skin from using bleach. There is a reason the bleach bottle warns you not to get it on your skin! I will spare you the gory details, but in simple terms, bleach is a caustic substance--it causes burns.

    You can also check with your doctor about a preventive cream to use when you know you may be exposed to poison ivy. The brand name used to be Stockogard, but this may have changed.

    Hope this helps,

    Kyra

  24. #24
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    I'm sure this is way too late but my father, years ago, got a nasty case of poison ivy around both wrists. He used to get blisters sometimes but they'd disappear in a day or two and they never itched. He appeard at my back door one day with a really nasty looking raised rash and asked if I could do anything. He couldn't tell my mother because she'd told him not to touch it while pulling it up and she'd have "I told you so"'d him to death. So, the only thing I had was a tube of Desetin, the diaper rash stuff. This was in the 70s and the Desetin my girls used for their kids didn't smell strongly of fish oil, so it may not be the same. But, it cleared his rash up in two days. It's made to dry up diaper rash and to be water proof. I've never had poison anything so I don't know if it will work every time but it sure worked for my father.

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