Summer Woes and Poison Ivy/oak/sumac

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by coreybee, Aug 11, 2011.

  1. coreybee

    coreybee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 6, 2011
    Nottingham, PA
    This is fair warning, the pictures in this post show the outbreak at it's worst. Those with a sensitive stomach be forewarned.

    I can only surmise that I got into Poison Sumac... mosly because I didn't know what it looked like before it all happened. I am extremely sensitive to Ivy, so I did check the plant before hand. Either way... it sucks. Add onto that that I am fair skinned and redhead.... doesn't really help.

    On Thursday (one week ago) some friends came out to help me clean up the yard by trimming the hedges, etc. There was an area near the road where some landscaping was getting a little out of control. A small holly tree was being taken over by a wild vine. My firends had gone to work on the bushes, and I got to work with my trimmers pulling the vine out of the tree. We piled everything up, and I took everything down to the burn pile on the garden tractor trailer.

    Fast forward to Friday. I woke up, and my skin was already breaking out. Awww crap. I had taken a shower the night before, but I had waited too long. I took another shower. It didn't help. [​IMG]

    I broke out the Ivarest cleanser and lotion.. a little late. By the time Monday came around I was a complete mess. It had spread and was on my arms, legs, forehead, next to my nose, and a large patch from the bottom of my chin to my collarbone where I had wiped my glove. I went to the Dr for a steroid shot, and a heavy duty perscription. The steroid shot helped a little, but it really was too late at that point. I tried a bunch of different things. Calamine, Ivarest cream, Benadryl, hydrocortisone, and some ointment that the Dr Perscribed... Nothing really worked. The Dr Said it was severe and I should have gone to the ER over the weekend (I hate the Dr). [​IMG]

    I went online and read about heat therapy. Basically turn the hot water on as hot as you can possibly stand it. Bring the affected skin under the water and hold for 2 minutes. The itch will intensify and you will want to scratch so bad, but keep going. After two minutes or so, remove the affected area and pat dry.... No chemical could hold a candle to what the hot water did.... plus it started to dry it out. I am a believer in Homeopathy and I do not use chemicals as much as possible... not even on my dogs. So I took a trip to the helath food store. I picked up some Burts Bees Poison Ivy Soap, Aubrey soothing Anti-Itch herbal remedy, and a vial of Rhus Tox 30x. Those three things combined with the heat therapy have worked far better than any chemical I have tried. I do the heat therapy first thing when I wake up, then again in the sink around 10, 3, 8, and before I go to bed. It lasts several hours and since I have a long shower hose I can do my legs easier. So after 2 days of the water/heat therapy I feel much better. Only yesterday did I start breaking out on my abdomen where my shirt was touching where it was sweaty. And a few smaller bumps on my arms.

    I went to work today for the first time since Thursday (I had Friday off), they took one look at me and sent me packing on home... they said come back Monday.

    The pictures are from yesterday and today. My legs are the worst now. I used Thumbnails for those that wish to not look.


    The stuff I picked up at the health food store.


    So lessons learned: [​IMG]

    Always wear long pants and long sleeves... even if you think there is no Ivy.

    I have washed all of my bedding, and clothing in HOT water with bleach. I then threw out the shirt I was wearing... just in case. I haven't touched my shoes yet, but they will need to be washed along with the gloves I used. I also need to bleach the steering wheel on the tractor, the hitch on the trailer, the rake I was using, along with anything else I think I may have touched.... what a mess!!! [​IMG]

    Oh and one more note on the Rhus Tox... this is a homeopathic remedy. I could only get the 30x potency. From what I've read... for those that are sensitive to Poison Ivy; if you take the 30c potency of Rhus Tox starting in the spring and through the summer season it is supposed to lessen the reaction that you would normally have. The difference on the potency between 30x and 30c, one is strnger than the other I can't remember exactly, but it will definitely stay in my first aid kit!
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2011
  2. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    UGH... you poor thing. [​IMG] [​IMG]
    They would have to put me in one of theres to stop me from scratching my skin off>>. [​IMG]
  3. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    Milk of Mag for the skin.My mom used it for her PI,and a customer of hers had terrible PI itchies,and the MOM worked right away.Speedy healings! That looks so raw.I am bad I scratch open the blisters in the shower with a wash cloth and then sanitize the area. with a antibio/numbing spray.
  4. Glenmar

    Glenmar Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 17, 2011
    I have not ever seen that. Wow. It looks miserable. [​IMG]
  5. coreybee

    coreybee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 6, 2011
    Nottingham, PA
    I have found the heat thrapy to be a big relief. I am still working on sleeping through the night... but I'll get there eventually.

    I will look into the milk of magnesium. I will try anything at this point. The Aubrey's remedy seems to be working quite well at least.

    I go back to the Dr on Monday, so I'm interested to hear what he has to say.

  6. watchdogps

    watchdogps Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2011
    Central Ohio
    I SWEAR by Newton's homeopathic drops! I used to get poison ivy if I so much as thought about it. Plus, it would go systemic. Not as bad as you have but enough to be miserable. I took the drops when I got it and after just two times, I have never gotten it again!
  7. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

    May 25, 2007
    SW Wisconsin
    I've been there and done that too many times to count. I could tell you horror stories from when I was a kid... The past two summers I've been doing grounds keeping for several village parks. Some areas are loaded with poison ivy. I know what it looks like and avoid it, but I swear if I get within 10 feet of it I break out. Last summer I broke out on my arms at least six times.

    I found a solvent called Tecnu at Walgreens that removes the oil. It has helped a lot. If I've been working in areas where there is poison ivy, as soon as I get home I throw all my clothes in the washing machine, use the solvent on my entire body really scrubbing it in, and jump in the shower. That has minimized the breakouts. I still get a few isolated blisters here and there, but not a full blown rash.
  8. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

    May 25, 2007
    SW Wisconsin
    By the way, bleach doesn't necessarily remove the oils. Bleach is a good sanitizer but is not a solvent. You need to use strong detergents or a solvent to remove the oil from your clothes and tools. Dawn dish detergent should do the trick.
  9. Irish Cluck

    Irish Cluck Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 6, 2011
    Baldwinsville, NY

    It's available off the shelf at walgreens
    It costs alot, but TOTALY worth it!

    What it is:
    A wash/scrub that dries out the spot.

    My Lord, I loved this stuff...not only does it work (Cleared up a patch on my arm within 48 hours). It also feels wonderful to use (think facial scrub).

    Try it if any of you get poison ivy

    I think there is an off brand version that Walgreens sells that is a bit less expensive.
  10. SillyChicken

    SillyChicken Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 12, 2010
    I understand why you don't want to use drugs etc.... but when I get it, I get it bad (eyes and everything) and I don't mess around with it.... I go straight for the roid shots (usually takes a couple rounds of shots) or it just continues re-affecting me. Takes months for it to leave my system if I get it. You should be careful and watch for any secondary infections you can get from any open sores etc.
    The high heat sure does feel good though!
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2011

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