Well, I know that sometimes you get an itch you just can’t help but scratch, but as for me, I am itching all over and not allowed to scratch a single inch! Everyone thinks it is so original as they sing, “Poison I-veee-e-e, Poison I-veee-e-ee-e,” and you know it is NOT even poison ivy! It is Poison Oak, but I guess that doesn’t have the same ring to it? Anyway, I thought it would be fun to go hiking and humming that song in my head, “a hiking we shall go, a hiking we shall go,” I had no idea the drastic change my tune would take in just 24 hours. One -and-a-half weeks later, I am still itching and going to my third doctor’s appointment. So, I thought I would share with you all what I have learned about good ol’ Poison Ivy/Oak- take a good look and listen up!
This is what is looks like:
Here is what happens if you touch it or touch someone else who has touched it or has the oils from the plant on their body:
Yep! That’s me a few days after the first visit to the doctor’s office! It unfortunately, has continued to spread, and I will go again for a third time tomorrow morning, but I would like to share with you guys, the great medical treatments I have learned about in the last week and a half relating to poison oak and ivy!
For severe Poison Oak or Ivy- immediately go to your nearest urgent care! Do not leave without a full prescription of “Prednisone”- a steroid pill which will help with the inflammation and redness caused by the oils of the poisonous plant. Also, ask if they have a “Cortisone” shot they could administer as well. Be careful with the Prednisone, as you will feel so much better in the first few days and it might seem as if it is gone, but it will come back with a vengeance if you don’t taper off the Prednisone.
Over The Counter Power:
Although my doctors said that none of this stuff works, I am telling you it does! The itching is unbearable and the only thing that seemed to help me prior to visiting the doctor were the following products:
- Take cold showers and use the Tecnu. Warm showers open your pores and will spread the Poison Oak or Ivy!
- Wash your clothes and bedding immediately. Do not sleep on the same sheets twice in a row- you’re just askin’ for it!
- Carry Alcohol wipes with you- not hand sanitizer. Alcohol is the only thing that will actually remove the oils from any surface.
- Don’t get in the sun or sweat! As this should be rather obvious, to some, it is not. Your body will sweat to cool itself and this will spread the oils.
- Do not scratch!! No matter how much it itches- it will spread if you scratch. If you think it is bad in one area, try feeling that itch all over!
- Call your doctor- hound he or she until you have been seen and the Poison Oak or Ivy is beginning to clear. Some people are really sensitive to Poison Oak/Ivy and it will take a more rigorous treatment plan than initially expected.
- Do not expect others to want to be around you, as you are contagious and very likely to spread the Poison Oak/Ivy to them accidentally.
Prescription Power House:
Where I am at this point:
While I have already been given two Cortisone injections, a Medrol Dose Pack, 4 different prescription steroid topical ointments, and have been washing my linens and clothing religiously- I still have this stuff and it is still spreading! So, other than Epsom Salt baths and continuing the Benadryl routine, I do not have much more to report. My friend however, who is currently on a cruise in the Caribbean, who suffered from Poison Oak severely, seems to be doing just fine now after loading up on the Prednisone for a few days- no shots and no Medrol Dose Pack. Hmmmm…I’ll have to look into that!
And if I ever have to hear that song “Poison Ivy” sung to me again- I think I will just pull my hair out!
Happy Hiking Gang, but Watch Out For The Springing Spruce and Potential Poisons on The Trail!
Abby Fender – Your Bargain Buddy and Personal Shopping Material Girl All In One!