I am being driven insane

It started on my right inner wrist. Itchy. Maddeningly itchy. After a day or so, it started to show itself. About 1" long, red, bubbly, itchy. The boyfriend kept waking up with little itchy red dots on his skin, all over his body, and I had my itchy wrist. We thought, bedbugs, but the Terminix inspector didn’t agree with us. He said there isn’t the slightest sign of bed bugs. Nevertheless, we took preventative measures. We bought all new pillows and linens and wrapped the mattress, box spring, and new pillows in nice new bed bug bags. The Terminix inspector said to keep an eye on the dogs. Fleas he said. I haven’t seen the slightest hint of a flea on either dog and they have been treated monthly with Frontline since February. The Terminix guy took a look at my wrist and said it didn’t look like any bug bite he had ever seen. Poison ivy, he said. I have never had poison ivy. When my sister got it when we were in school, I rubbed my arms all over her infectiousness in an attempt to keep myself home from school too. I didn’t get the slightest itch. Then, it started spreading. I woke up one morning with an itchy patch on my left arm, near my elbow. It doesn’t just itch. It hurts. It’s right on top of the nerve damaged spot from my surgery. It’s tickling my nerves. It’s making my elbow hurt. Now it’s on my left leg, behind my knee About 3"x3" of itchy not bubbly itchy rashy itchy itchy itchy now it’s on the front of my leg not as bad here itchy now it’s itchy under my itchy chin itchy now its on the right leg just under itchy my itchy knee itchy its still on my itchy wrist itchy nowhere else itchy on my itchy right itchy arm itchy not spreading itchy like itchy poison itchy ivy itchy itchyitchyitchyitchyitchyitchyitchyitchyitchyitchy[SIZE=“1”]itchyitchyitchyitchyitchytichyitchy[/SIZE]itchyitchy[SIZE=“7”]itchyitchyitchyitchyitchy[/SIZE]ITCHY

I am probably going to Urgent Care today. It will depend on whether or not I stop wanting to scream after I put the Lanacane on. Lanacane is my new best friend. I am halfway through my second tube in less than a week. If I can hold out for 2 more days, I will have health insurance but I will still have to pay up front because I don’t have my papers yet. I will get reimbursed though. If I go today, I have to pay up front and I don’t get reimbursed. It’s a tough call. Urgent Care costs about $80 if they look not touch. It goes up from there. We want to know what this is. If we both have the same thing, we are not reacting the same way and it’s making it harder to self-diagnose.
If I do go to the doctor today, I’ll be sure to report back. Unless they put me in quarantine, or a padded room.

One can definitely develop allergy to poison ivy after previously being unaffected by it. My mom did.

A home remedy we use is to crush up aspirin (use the back of a spoon if you don’t have anything better) and mix the aspirin power with rubbing alcohol to make a paste. Smear that on the affected area.

Good luck!

If it is poison ivy (and it sure sounds like it), and it keeps “spreading” (showing up in new spots) here are a few suggestions:

  1. the rash breaks out first on the thin skin (inside of wrist/forearm, between fingers, behind knee). Thicker skin requires more exposure time or higher dose exposure. (you rarely see poison ivy rash on the palms)

  2. if you have lots of little places, you probably got into it with a weed-eater (that’s what happened to me the other day) Streaks of itchy blisters indicates you brushed up against it. This might help you figure out where you came in touch with it… Lots of little places can also come from exposure to smoke from burning poison ivy (burning leaves/brush/campfire with wood that had poison ivy vine growing on it.)

  3. if you keep breaking with new spots, it is either #1 above or, most likely, you keep coming in contact with the poison ivy oils. Most people know to wash the clothes they were wearing, but they forget about cleaning the shoes they had on. Handle the shoes that still have the oil on them=new exposure/new rash. You also need to clean the gloves, hat, etc. you were wearing and the yard equipment with soap (soap breaks down the oil) Wash the sheets, towels, etc.

  4. For small areas of poison ivy, try Zanfel, over the counter poison ivy cream. It’s rather expensive, but worked well for me (just had to be persistent and treat all the little spots) Other people like Tecnu, and other people like really, really hot water. Do a search on poison ivy here on the Dope.

  5. Good luck. I had a sister that was/is extremely sensitive to poison ivy. I never became sensitive until I was an adult. This most recent encounter was the worst I have ever had it.

For what it’s worth, I’ve had bedbugs (thanks for nearly ruining my Brazil vacation, Best Western Miami Airport West Inn & Suites) and while it was horrendously itchy, red, and then bleeding & eventually scabby from the irresistible scratching, I don’t recall having the bubbly blisters you describe (which does sound more like poison ivy).

Well, I didn’t go to Urgent Care. I got the car inspected and then went to get my school books, which was so amazingly annoying that I actually forgot about the itchies.

I didn’t do any kind of heavy yard work any time recently. However, about 2 weeks ago (just before this started) we installed long runners in the back yard for the dogs. Both the little dorks got completely tangled in the trees lining our yard and I had to get them loose. It was night and I might have been wearing shorts. I don’t remember exactly what I was wearing though. I might have been wearing slippers too. I know that my feet weren’t in the woods but my upper body was. I haven’t gone back out there to see if there’s any poison ivy but we did move the stoppers on the runners so they can’t get into the woods. It would make sense that that incident was what caused it, if it is poison ivy.

Since we were worried about bed bugs, all our clothes got sent down to the basement and nothing is coming up until it has been cleaned so if I’m coming into contact with poison ivy oils again, I don’t know where from. Do dogs react to it? Maybe they’re bringing it in the house. I think I’m gonna have to go check the tree line. If it’s on the dog fur, my mom should be reacting unless she has built up an immunity to it in recent years.

Maybe the dogs got into some poison ivy. If the oils get on their fur they can be transferred to your skin from there.

Go to the baby section of your local target or grocery store and get some Desitin diaper cream (Or store brand equivalent.) The key is to check the ingredients, and make sure you get the one that is 40% Zinc Oxide. Don’t be fooled by the cool box on the Boudreaux’s, that stuff is only about 13%.

It’s ugly and goopy and you probably don’t want to put your best clothes on over it, but the relief is incredible! This si what calamine lotion wants to be when it grows up.

Works great for bug bites too.

You may not have an infestation or poison ivy. I had crazy random bubbly itches on my hands for a long, long time. Out of nowhere these itchy blisters would pop up and as I would scratch them they would pop and weep clear fluid all over. After the blister healed it would leave a red, dry, welty-looking patch of skin. I never saw a dermatologist for it because every time I would get ready to make an appointment they would pretty much dissapear. When I finally went to the dermatologist he explained that I have a form of stress related excema and prescribed a cream that has gotten rid of it completely. I use a tiny amount every day and it has gone away completely. I highly recommend you speak to a dermatologist if you can afford it.

Well, I looked in the back yard and I have to admit something that’s a bit embarrassing. I’m horticulturally retarded. I took some pictures. Can someone please tell me if this is poison ivy or just some random 3-leaf weed? Verdict?

OOOOOOHH! Definitely poison ivy! Evil little buggers.

I don’t know poison ivy, but I know itchy. What’s with all these itchy people threads lately? I have chronic hives, so imagine being itchy like you are for 6 weeks straight. I am not being driven crazy, I’m already there and got tge t-shirt.

Here’s some more poison ivy info for you.

Well dammit all to hell. As if I wasn’t already dreading the day we have to clean out the tree line.
Wile E I think it’s a perspective thing. I know that if normal people had an episode of the heartburn I have most days, they’d probably be at the doctor complaining of a heart attack. People with chronic fatigue probably think other people complaining of being tired is silly.

I have had many bug bites. I had one spider bite that caused a rash covering my leg from knee to ankle and which didn’t go away for months. I have had a bad case of head lice which took nearly a month to clear up. I have never experienced itching like what I’m feeling right now. I’d hate to have chronic hives. I wonder, if I had a choice between being forever itchy or having GERD for the rest of my life, which would I pick? I think I’d pick the GERD for the simple fact that after all these years, I’m used to it and I know how to deal with it. I don’t know how to deal with the itchies.

I think I’m gonna be sick. Do NOT look at the hall of fame unless you can handle some really nasty stuff. There was a pic in there that was right up there with harlequin baby pics. I like how they have the “I can’t take any more” link to get you away from the hall of fame.

I now realize that I have a very VERY minor rash and that I should be thankful it’s so minor. Yes, it itches like crazy. But, other than the back of my leg, I have only a few very small spots and very little swelling. I have also somehow managed to keep it off my face and eyes, despite my compulsive eye rubbing. Hell, the back of my leg doesn’t even look bad.

Concur, your photo is definitely Public Enemy Number One, at least among suburban flora.

Unfortunately, I have also had GERD. I thought I was having a heart attack when it happened. I went through a period where I had it a lot, now it’s just occasional, I no longer take daily meds for it, I just learned to avoid stuff that sets it off, like carbonated sodas and laying down too soon after eating.

I think there was an IMHO thread here a while back asking if people would rather be chronically itchy or have chronic pain. I think most chose pain.

Anyway, here’s hoping you at least get some relief from your itchies soon. I suggested in another itchy thread, that cold packs provide a little temporary relief on the most itchy spots.

I tried the hot water, and I can take it really hot. It didn’t help in the slightest. Cold definitely does help. I have found that the Lanacane does help quite a lot, I’m assuming because it does such a good job of numbing the itch.
I really appreciate all the suggestions you guys have given. I also very much appreciate the ID of the damn stuff. It makes me feel silly not knowing how to identify it but after looking at the site Wile E linked, I’m realizing that it has the ability to look different from one plant to the next.

Anyone want to come clear out my back yard? :stuck_out_tongue:

Until this thread I didn’t realize that poison ivy’s leaves don’t all look the same as they do here - here poison ivy has spade shaped leaves. I found a neat website that explains that there are regional differences and shows some of them.

congodwarf, I hope you feel better soon. I have a mild case of poison oak making me a bit batty and your posion ivy sounds much worse :frowning:

Do NOT try to get rid of it with fire…the oils apparently travel in the smoke and can give you poison ivy rashes all over, including inside your lungs if you breathe in the smoke.

Don’t forget to WASH THE DOGS. Otherwise every time you play with them, or they contact stuff in the house they will be respreading the oils around. Just a suggestion …

Domoboro tablets. Cheap, I think you can get them nonscrip in a pharmacy. A very decent topical astringent you mix up when you need it. My hubby can look at a picture of poison ivy and get it. He can go systemic in 18 hours. All he has to do is call the doc and she phones in a scrip for steroids and aterax. He gets exposed several times a year.

Me? I can squat and pee in a patch and not get it, I am not allergic to uroshiol. BUT I also don’t randomly or capriciously go expose myself either.

You might advertise for a goatherd to bring a few goats out, they love poison ivy and seem to suffer no particular reaction to it [but they will eat pretty much everything, so I am not sure if this is as draconian a deforestation as you want]

Yup. Definitely.

Yeah, it looks a little different than around here too, but a bit tip-off is the way the leaves seem to have a notch, like in the OP’s photo the top leaf has the distinctive notch next to the part that is a little dead and brown. I only recently got really confident with our regional version.