Poison Ivy and Chemical Peels

I volunteered to help with a road side clean up and managed to get a nice poison ivy rash on my face. Would a chemical peel facial help to get rid of the rash or would I just make it worse?


Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, just someone who gets lots of rashes.

Probably make it worse. Your skin is already irritated and you want to chemically peel it? Not a good idea. Tell me, if you skin your knee do you scrub it with steel wool and wash it with acid? No? Alright, maybe not that bad, but that’s not the way to deal with poison ivy.

If Tecnu or over the counter remedies don’t do the job go to a doctor - there are prescription-strength medications, both topical and oral, that will significantly reduce discomfort, rash, itching, and will be a proper treatment for this problem.

The Tecnu neutralizes the oil. You have to get treatment from a doctor if it’s already a bad case.

If the rash is on your face, definitely see a doctor. They can give you a shot and/or prescribe steroids that dramatically speed up the healing and minimize scarring and possible secondary infections that result from the scratching.

My hubby has to do this at least a couple of times a year, since for whatever reason it’s like just can walk by the stuff and get a rash on his face or body. Me, on the other hand-- I can practically roll in and not get it as long as I take a shower after doing yard work.

Again, not a doctor. Just someone who has lots of experience rubbing on the OTC “remedies” on a loved one.

I think you’ll find regular Technu works better than the so called TechnuExtreme linked to above. TechnuExtreme calls itself a homeopathic medicine right on the tube and frankly did nothing for me. Not for itching and certainly not for clearing it up or preventing the rash. Regular Technu works, but does so much better the sooner you use it after exposure, ideally within minutes. However, I can tell you first hand be very careful to observe the warning about using after having used a cortisone type treatment. I’ve grown more and more sensitive to poison oak over the years and my last exposure required me to seek an MD. I learned Prednisone works very well, in my case wonders.

If you treat it within minutes (actually, an hour or so) of exposure, plain old soap and water is plenty. If this stuff is only effective in the same window, and the brand also includes something “homeopathic”, then my guess is that it’s just overly-expensive soap.

Zanfel works great and is over the counter. Its a bit expensive (about $30 for a 2-3 oz tube) but works much better than Tecnu after the rash breaks out.

I generally have a mild to moderate case of poison oak from May-September. I generally just let it go (I’ve been working in the crap for years and am super susceptible) but I keep a tube of Zanfel handy for those places where the itch is just uncontrollable and socially unacceptable (at least according to the Mrs.).

This sounds like plain old soap with a diphenhydramine cream or something. Except that the soap will wash away most of the diphenhydramine(or whatever anti-itch stuff they have in it.) I’d say this is a complete waste of money since both things are available cheaply anywhere, and using them seperately is more effective anyway.

As others have mentioned, the best thing to wash away urushoil is soap. Get it fast, and your good. Once it’s in your skin, no soap will remove it. Anti-itch gel/cream will work wonders for mild cases. For bad cases, you need a doctor. The sooner you figure out you need a doctor, the better.

Regular Technu is mostly mineral spirits, but it’s easier to have a bottle of it in the truck or bathroom than a jug of paint thinner.

Oh, and does anyone want to see my last rash?

Thanks everyone! I got the Tecnu and that is definitely helping.

And I wasn’t going to go through with the Chemical Peel - I was just having a really itchy, desperate moment.

I’ve used regular soap, and Tecnu soap. The Tecno came with the soothing gel I bought. It is a soap that I know works good with different water conditions, which you find when camping. You don’t even have to have water unlike a bar soap to rub it on your hands. You can do a proper wash and shower when you reach water. The oils won’t spread all over you while you walk back.