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#92541 - 04/26/07 01:16 PM Poison Ivy
91gdub Offline

Registered: 11/12/06
Posts: 172
Loc: South Jersey (the 51st state)
As I sit here itching with this stuff and my right eye swollen almost shut I am looking for some help.
The past few days I have been clearing some brush from the back of my property. Yes, I knew there was poison ivy back there. I thought that since it was still early spring I might be able to get it cleared before the buds and leaves came out so I would be fine.
First few days of working back there I wore long pants, long sleeved t-shirt and gloves, no problems. Tuesday was in the 80's here so I shed my long sleeved t-shirt while working. Now I have poison ivy on both arms and must have rubbed around my eye at some point.
It's not inflamed or any open sores and for the most part Caladryl Clear has been helping keep the itch to an almost tolerable level. (note to self: put a bottle of this stuff in GHB).
Any tips or hints on how to survive the next few days better than I'm doing now?

Edited by 91gdub (04/26/07 01:17 PM)
Bill Houston

#92545 - 04/26/07 01:36 PM Re: Poison Ivy [Re: 91gdub]
williamlatham Offline

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 235
Loc: Stafford, VA, USA
This works for me.

Run water that is about as hot as possible, but not scalding, over the affected areas. The hotter the better. It will cause the rash to itch tremendously. After 30 sec to one minute, the itch should subside. Relief usually lasts near 12 hours for me. The way I understand it is that the heat speeds up the histimine (sp?) reaction in the skin (this is why some people experience their skin itching under a very hot shower). After the 30 sec or so, the chemicals in the skin that cause this are exhausted and need time to rebuild, hence the 12 hour relief. You have to get through the itch time first, and again the hotter the better.

Stupid me decided to weed wack some brush in shorts and ended up wacking ground level poison ivy. Both legs from shorts to socks were covered about 90%. Some ended up systemic I believe as well. Using the hot water treatment I did not need calimine or other treatments for the itch. I think (highly subjective) that it helped dry it up faster as well.

As for the leaves and buds, I have contracted PI from the vine in the middle of winter. The oil is always there. Remember, PI is an alergic reaction, not an irritant, and this is why some people don't get it.

#92568 - 04/26/07 03:49 PM Re: Poison Ivy [Re: 91gdub]
MartinFocazio Offline


Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 2148
Loc: Bucks County PA
You'll never forget now that Poison Ivy is ALWAYS ready to contaminate you. All of it - the branches, the leaves.

Anyway, the hot water treatment mentioned earlier works for me. Also, there are some absurdly expensive ($35 a tube) lotions out there that MIGHT help you - they don't work on me, but they might on you.

Goats. They love to eat the stuff.

#92576 - 04/26/07 04:41 PM Re: Poison Ivy [Re: MartinFocazio]
Be_Prepared Offline

Registered: 12/07/04
Posts: 530
Loc: Massachusetts
Originally Posted By: martinfocazio
You'll never forget now that Poison Ivy is ALWAYS ready to contaminate you. All of it - the branches, the leaves.

So true... also, if you burn it, the smoke contains the oils and can create another set of problems. It's bad enough when you get it on your skin, if you breath the smoke, and start getting this stuff down your throat, you can have life threatening airway problems. I know of occasions where poison oak or ivy was thrown on a campfire, and resulted in multiple kids having their faces covered with a rash. Fortunately, nobody had a strong alergic reaction, but, it could constrict an airway if you were one of those folks that really responds to poison ivy in a bad way.

- Ron

#92599 - 04/26/07 06:29 PM Re: Poison Ivy [Re: NightHiker]
mho1970 Offline

Registered: 12/15/06
Posts: 16
Loc: KY
Tecnu always helped me.

Here is the write up...

"Take control of the outdoor itch that plagues you. Use TecnuŽ Outdoor Skin Cleanser after you have been outdoors to remove the rash causing oil, urushiol (oo-roo-she-all). Simply apply Tecnu to dry skin for two minutes and rinse with cool water or wipe off with a cloth. When used within 2-8 hours after exposure to the plants, Tecnu can remove urushiol oil before the rash begins. Once the rash has started, washing with Tecnu helps remove any free oil on skin allowing the natural healing process to begin without possible recontamination.

Urushiol oil can also spread from contaminated clothing, shoes, gloves, tools and pets. Since the oil does not evaporate, it can remain on these items for months or even years at a time. Use Tecnu to remove the oil and avoid a rash from secondary contact."


Wal-Mart used to carry it and most drug stores will.
There is no problem so complicated that you can't find a simple answer to it if you just look at it the right way.

#92600 - 04/26/07 06:33 PM Re: Poison Ivy [Re: 91gdub]
clearwater Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 999
Loc: Channeled Scablands
If it is going systemic or really gets in the way, go to the
Doctor or Hospital and get a steroid shot. Clears it up right

Otherwise hydrocortizone cream.

Wash all your sheets and clothes
and everything you touched.

Use Technu soap on your skin.

#92624 - 04/26/07 10:54 PM Re: Poison Ivy [Re: mho1970]
Nicodemus Offline

Registered: 10/30/05
Posts: 1341
Loc: Virginia, US
I'll second the vote for Tecnu. I carry an extra bottle in my BOB.

I get a rash if I just look at poison ivy, and Tecnu does a great job for me. It might work for you as well, 91gdub.

I saw it on the web for $15.00, but last fall I picked it up for $10.00 at the local drugstore if I remember correctly. It might have been an end of season sale or something.
"Learn survival skills when your life doesn't depend on it."

#92626 - 04/26/07 11:15 PM Re: Poison Ivy [Re: Nicodemus]
Susan Offline

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
About ten years ago, a coworker got into poison oak. He finally broke down and went to a doctor. The doctor gave him some salve, but he said, "First, dump a cup of baking soda (Arm & Hammer is most common) into your bathtub and fill it up with warm-hot water, and get in".

Rick said it stung something awful at first, but it sure dried up the weeping and eased the itch.


#92715 - 04/27/07 04:32 PM Re: Poison Ivy [Re: 91gdub]
OldBaldGuy Offline

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 5695
Loc: Former AFB in CA, recouping fr...
If you can find some in Jersey, you can make a "tea" of manzanita leaves, let it cool, and apply it to the effected areas. You can even make a stonger solution, put it in the tub, and get full body coverage. My wife learned that from a "Native American" when she was a kid covered with poison oak. She swears by it now.

Just be glad that you didn't transfer it "south" when answering the call of nature. That happened to my dad once, then before they knew he had it he and mom got real friendly, and he tranfered it to her, in a place that is very hard to scratch, at least in public...

#92723 - 04/27/07 05:34 PM Re: Poison Ivy [Re: 91gdub]
91gdub Offline

Registered: 11/12/06
Posts: 172
Loc: South Jersey (the 51st state)
Thanks for all the help. Went to the local pharmacy and got a tube of hydrocortizone cream and some Tecnu soap.
Seems to help more than the Caladryl.
First time I've had any poison ivy since I was a kid.
Bill Houston

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