Poison F'ing Ivy


Last Sunday : scratch scratch : I was weeding in my back yard when I : itch itch : I discovered that blessed three-leafed wonder, Poison Ivy.

It was : scratching till it bleeds : a hot, muggy day so I just jumped : Gah! : into the pool to wash off the offending plant oils. Didn’t work.

Two days later : scratch scratch : a few welts started to appear. Three days later, I had every product at Walgreens sitting in front of me.


Do you have any remedies before I drive myself batshit insane?

Sit in a bathrub with 2 cups of vinegar…it will sting for a while then take the itch away.

Plain ol’ benzoyl peroxide. Your local grocery should have their own generic of it in the the facial care aisle. My dad went the benadryl, etc route and I just used my Stridex pads. Beat him to healed by a week.
Mind that it has peroxide in it, which will bleach whatever cloth it touches. Use white clothes and sheets when wearing it.*

I feel you pain. I got into some a couple of weeks ago – but didn’t realize it at the time, I thought I just had a slew of bug bites on one arm. Managed to spread it all over my own damn self before realizing what it was. It stopped being poisonous about a week ago, but the scabbing and scarring is still going strong.

Depending on what kind of health insurance you have, it might be worth a trip to the doctor/dermatoligist to get a prescipton for, say, Prednisone. I’ve had several poison oak incidents, and it cut my recovery time from 2 weeks to 4 days. Last time, I also scored some samples of** Luxiq**, a topical foam that did a good job of calming the irritation.

If you’re getting NEW erruptions, you’ve still got some urushiol oil floating around on your clothing, bedding, upholstery,dog, etc.

Hot water.

Just as hot as you can stand it without being burned will stop the itch.

Just be careful.

Thanks, all.

Right now I’m soaking in CalaGel and it seems to be taking the biggest itch/sting out of it, at least for a minute or two. Plus I took an antihistimine earlier this evening. I hadn’t even considered the Benedryl route. :smack:

As soon as it stops raining, me an my RoundUp are going to be veeeery busy.


I have a poison ivy thread bookmarked for my next encounter with the stuff. In post 27 Sampiro linked to a previous thread that includes 2 very informative posts from Ogre, the SDMB expert on the topic.


this info won’t do you any good this time, but it may help next time:

Whenever I suspect I’ve been near poison ivy, I take a shower with dishwashing liquid, not regular soap. The theory is that dish liquid is made to dissolve vegetable oils --so it also disolves the plant oil in poison ivy . I have no idea if the science is correct–but I know that it works for me.

Even several hours after touching the stuff, a good shower with my kitchen sink liquid leaves me totally decontaminated.Try it–it can’t hurt.

I’ll check out gardentraveler’s links in a while (near time for me to leave to do something today), but if you’ve the time and the access, a day at a good, chlorinated pool will usually do it for me.

I have fun splashing around in the sun, get some exercise, and the PI is dried out that evening, and disappears entirely w/in days. The really hot water thing mentioned by Reeder has helped me, too, and I double the caution about doing this, as it’s easy to go too hot and scald yourself.

Gargh. Forgot to mention: my parents usually made us wash down with a strong lye soap after camping trips just to prevent PI, and it sometimes worked.

You won’t spread the poison ivy by scratching it. There little blisters on your skin do NOT contain the allergen. The allergen is called urushiol.
I just came off a bout with poison ivy in my eyes. I know what I speak of! :stuck_out_tongue:
Yes…I can laugh about it now…

Here is an interesting link:

:smack: Crap. THE little blisters. NOT THERE little blisters.
I need a nap.

I sympathize, Ruby. I’ve had some pretty bad bouts of the ivy curse. Several years ago, I had an exposure (I think my dogs got into it when we were walking in the woods and exposed me, as I am quite vigilant) that turned into a work-loss incident. I had to take nearly a week off, had a biopsy, and wound up taking an oral corticosteroid (prednisone) to knock it back. (See blondebear’s post)

I’ll tell ya what, though… the stuff worked. Extraordinarily well. The rashes started drying up in 24-48 hours (for me, anyway). Last ditch cure, yes, but if one is really hurting it may be the way to go. (Docs have a threshold for the Rx, something like 25% of body surface, or coverage in sensitive areas like the face, hands and groin; I was over the %.)

It’s a strong drug; best used sparingly. Also comes in a cream (but you can’t use it on sensitive areas).

As always, your doc is the last word. Good luck and best wishes.

I was in the pool within 1 minute of touching the plant and stayed there for several hours. I’m afraid that it didn’t do a darn thing for me.

That’s what I normally do. I use the regular pump soap at the kitchen sink and I haven’t had an outbreak in several years. Silly me thought that the pool would work.

That’s what I had to do when I got it so bad 10 years ago. It’s not nearly that bad this time but it’s amazing how a little itch can drive you nucking futz. Nature’s Torture Chamber.