28 September 2011
I am surprised we do not have more poison ivy info. It is pretty common and can be more than a nuisance.
I am 44 years old and previously unresponsive to poison ivy. I hunt and fish and hike and canoe and never got it before, despite contact and despite friends and family getting it on the same trips and places.
I got hit last month, mostly on my legs. I got it from my dogs, who brought it into the house on their coats. I got about a dozen spots from 2mm to 80mm including my shins, knees, and thighs. The bigger spots weeped slightly but stopped after 3-4 days.
Fkat's Poison Oak/Ivy/Sumac article is GREAT!... poisonoakfkat.htm
HOT WATER WORKS GREAT!! It gives me 4-5 hours of almost zero itchiness. When the hot water hits the infected it area, it hurts so good! You can actually see the histamines rise to the surface and create a whitish ring around the infected area.
TECNU WORKS GREAT! It removes the oils and provides a little itch relief, at least at the onset. I don't think it has much impact after 3-4 days... http://www.teclabsinc.com
BENEDRYL WORKS GREAT! It works great relief within 20-30 minutes, one 25mg tablet, very obvious benefit (for me).
Most of the topical stuff did little for me. Aveeno gave me the best results. The 1% cortisone cream and benedryl cream did nothing. Calamine reduced the itching and was good in between hot showers and kept the infected areas dry.
I also experimented with something I never heard before, vigorously rubbing the area with cotton balls and hydrogen peroxide. I tried this on two larger areas and, though it temporarily caused more itchiness, the treated areas stopped weeping almost 48 hours before the other areas. Not enough FNV to know if this really works, but I will try it again.
I washed and cleaned just about every fabric and surface in the house at least twice. I used hot water on everything but I did not use bleach on everything. Some quilts and woolens do not like bleach. I washed the dogs with Dawn dish detergent. Hey, they use and promote it to clean oil-slick birds!
Last weekend I spent four hours pulling up weeds and digging up poison ivy. I have about 4,000sf area inside the fence that grows wild. I pulled up almost five yards of weeds. I dug up about a dozen poison ivy roots, the plants were small and low. I marked the former root areas to determine if anything grows there in the future.
My poison ivy lessons?...
Poison ivy is very common in my AO. Exceptionally hot and wet Summers like 2011 will increase poison ivy and its impact on my home.
Poison ivy can be more than a nuisance. If you have weeping on your legs and you wear pants or jeans, and work and perspire, the pain can immobilize you or worse. I taped big 4" x 8" Telfa pads to my legs for two days cuz I could not miss work.
Double my Benedryl reserves. I keep about 100 tabs now. I need to keep at least 200 or more. It is great for bee stings and other allergies too. And great for dogs.
Improve my hot water making. I can create meal-sized and short-shower hot water today, but I cannot create laundry-sized hot water. I need to improve both LP and wood-fired hot water scale.
Improve my towels and wash clothes to accommodate hot compresses (to conserve hot water).
Add more Tecnu, calamine, cotton balls/pads, and hydrogen peroxide.
Fighting poison ivy in August stinks.
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