Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac Information Center

Treatment Regimens

Signs of an Emergency
About 15 percent of the 120 million Americans who are allergic to poison oak, poison ivy, and poison sumac are so highly sensitive that they break out in a rash and begin to swell in 4 to 12 hours instead of the normal 24 to 48. Their eyes may swell shut and blisters may erupt on their skin. This is one of the few true emergencies in dermatolgy says William L. Epstein, MD. Get to a hosipital as soon as possible. A shot of corticosteroids will bring the swelling down.

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Other links

Found some other great threads on the web. Check out these two links on the rural living forum at TractorByNet. They also discuss the poison ivy pill, shot, and extract others have mentioned. See poison ivy and poison ivy part II.
-- Editor submitted 11/Jul/2002

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My Solution for Poison Oak/Ivy/Sumac

My Solution for Poison Oak/Ivy/Sumac I'm just getting over a case of Poison Oak... brutal. I'm fairly allergic to it as I've had Poison Ivy at least 12 times already. Poison Oak is not fun! It started on my wrist, then both forearms, stomach, waist, right leg then left, behind the knee, shin AND THEN my face... I knew I was in trouble when my face was turning red! It was getting very very ugly and I had nothing to lose by trying the things listed on this site. I was persistent and very routine. Needless to say I beat it within 6 days although a slight rash still exists, could have been earlier if I had started treating earlier. Below is the routine and treatment that I used. I'm hoping this will help you too:
  • If at all possible, immediately after contact shower/rinse with dish washing detergent/soap (ie: Joy, Palmolive etc) using cold water to prevent the oil from seaping into your pores and to help dispurse the oil by washing it away... do this within 15min., 3min preffereably.
  • If you know you have it, do not touch your genitals OR your face AT ALL!! If you have to, use a safe cloth.
  • GET INTO A ROUTINE ASAP!! Shower 4 times daily using dishwashing soap (to get rid of plant oil) and don't wear the same clothing after shower, wash bed sheets once per day. Wear like colours to prevent too many washings per day (ie: white on day, colours the next if possible). Use your hands to rinse if your skin is too raw. Try not to use a washcloth as you may spread it the oil. You should be safe in the shower with the dishwashing soap. Always get those finger nails! Use dishwashing detergent (not regular soap) relentlessly as it will help prevent the spread. If you're going to wash your hands before dinner, do it with dishwashing soap to help remove any oil...
  • When you get out of the shower use deep clean pads for achne (Clearasil) to further help get the plant oil out of your skin.
  • If necessary, use a very strong mixture of salt water (dissolve as much course rock salt in hot water as the water will hold). Wait until warm and then dab onto affected areas to help dry it up... do not do this on face.
  • Load up on vit. C, about 6000-10000mg per day to help dry system out and kill bacteria. Eat yogurt to help replenish the good bacteria in your intestinal tract.
  • Wash all clothing, shoes and especially laces in warm to hot water daily.
  • Disinfect (using alcohol etc) steering wheel, car keys, door handle, keyboard, mouse, chair, light switches etc.
  • Use a hair dryer on high, to heat up your skin where it itches, when it gets too hot pull it away. You'll feel a euphoric sensation and you may get 2-4 hours of itch relief.
  • Load up on the Calamine lotion to further reduce the itch and further dry it out.
  • Soak in a salt water tub (2kg bag coarse salt) or hot tub OR swim in a clorinated pool... to help dry it out. 20-30 min twice per day. (Soak or Swim). If you live on the coast, you are blessed (salt water). Try not to bandage up your skin too tightly, it needs to breath to heal.
  • Repeat these steps daily until you can switch to healing your skin with essential oils and moisturizers!
Focus on the cause of the problem - removing the Urushial Oil from your skin. The dishwashing soap and the deep clean pads are essential. I was going to order Zanfel or TechNu but they didn't ship to Canada.... try dishwashing detergent, it's probably the same product!!! It's only $3 and it's already under your sink. You should notice a difference within half a day using dishwasing soap and you may may even smell like a lemon, ha!. Oh ya, sleep in long T-shirt, house pants, and socks and wash 'em daily.
-- Evan Ruzcyky (evan@NOSPAMnaturally-wild.com) submitted 23/May/2001

Well, I have found that a few special steps have effectively helped stop itch and cure poison ivy within 3 days max.

  1. Take a mango and split it open, preferably in half. It has to be juicy, real juicy. Smear the juice for 10 minutes on affected areas.
  2. Take a bag of salt, and a bag of sugar; and mix in 1 teaspoon of pepper. This may seem crazy, but it works. Wet the conglomerate down and lather up the areas! Let dry for 1 day.
  3. This is a tough step. You've heard that tomato juice baths take care of skunk stench. Well, the same process works for the ivy. Fill the tub with the juice and once again mix in salt. And wham, kiss your ivy goodbye!!!
This has worked at least 10 times for me; and the same will go for you.
--"bob jones" (xisthebest@NOSPAMhotmail.com) submitted 11/Aug/2002

I think it's incredibly important to get the word out about mangos I am suffering from a severe rash on my face from touching my face while cutting up a mango. It took a lot of detective work to figure out who was the culprit, but there you have it! There is no poison ivy/oak/sumac anywhere near my house. I haven't experienced a bout of poison ivy/oak since I was in high school. Imagine my surprise! Then, I go on the web to find out if mango, which I had eaten a few times several years ago but not recently, had any history of allergic reactions. Thank you for your informative website, and for enlightening me about the various sources of the 'devil' poison!
--"NancyO" (calamitynan@NOSPAMyahoo.com) submitted 17/Jan/2002

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Plan of Attack

I've read through most of your site and believe the following may help those looking for a clearly laid out plan of attack.

Treatment for Poison Ivy / Oak/	Sumac, etc:
-----------------------------------------------------------------

Follow the basics:
1) Wash immediately after contact with plant (best within 15 mintues)
    Try one of the following cleansers to help remove the plant oil  
(Urushiol oil):
    a) Technu Oak-N-Ivy	Cleanser
    b) Fels Naphtha soap
    c) Dish soap (Joy, Palmolive, etc)
    
2) Wash	often (2-4 times) a day.

3) Wear/use clothing & bedding only once (preferrably) then wash.

4) Drink plenty	of water and take vitamins.
5) Your	body should take care of the rest.  If persists	more than 7 days,
consult a doctor. 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Any of the following MAY help:
- Use a	body powder (baby powder, Gold Bond Medicated, shower-to-shower,
etc.)
- Take an antihistamine (such as Benedryl - tablets, not cream)
- Soak in chlorine water (or salt water) for 20-30 minutes/day
- Apply Zanfel or similar product to infected areas.
- Disinfect all objects	you use or touch (steering wheel, door handles,
chairs, etc)
- Use heat or hot water (only hot as is	bearable) to sway the desire to
itch.
- Go to	doctor and get a cortisone shot.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

1) Do NOT use straight bleach directly on the skin (esp. on open wounds	or
blisters)

2) Do not use astringents (sensitizes skin allowing Urushiol oil to seep in 
easier).
   a) Alcohol
   b) Witch hazel
   c) Calamine lotion
   d) Caladryl
   e) Perfumes/colognes 
   f) scented creams/ointments


Thanks for putting together such an informative	site.

Kevin Hulett
Dallas,	Texas

-- Kevin Hulett" (khulett@NOSPAMnortelnetworks.com) submitted Jul/23/2001

Hi! I live in Oklahoma and work in the outdoors alot, which brings me into contact with most of the Poisonous vines, plants, shrubs, etc. on a constant basis. As I develop a rash from one of the plants quite frequently, I can offer some advice to those that do not catch it quite often.

  1. Take all clothes that might of come in contact with the plants and wash them thourghly (twice), second- take all bedding and towels that you might have come in contact with and wash them thourghly (This is why your keeps developing and spreading),
  2. Apply "Rhuli" OTC gel to the affected areas.
  3. Wear socks on your arms and hands at night to help with not scratching.
  4. If you have blisters, try not to pop them, but if have to heat a needle and lightly prick them and use a napkin to slowly drain them. Then apply "Ivy Dry" liquid otc to the blistered area (As a alternative, five cups of real Bleach in a cool bath will also help).
  5. Buy a Jewelweed soap bar and lightly lather the affected area when showering. If you have a really bad case, contact your doctor for predisone (rash), and zyrtec (itching) as these two really seem to help.
Remember to wash all clothing and bedding that may still have the poison on it, as you will only keeping developing the rash, as the poison keeps coming in contact with you when you sleep. The liquid in the bumps do not spread the rash, the oil in your clothes and bedding keep coming in contact with you. Oh yeah, if you live by the ocean, or have a pool, go for a swim. This will help dry out the rash. Also, if it in around your eyes, try on of the gauze eye pathes to soak up the liquid that gels and keeps your eyes closed. If you do all the above, you should be over the rash in four days, I usually am.
--"Thomas Wahpekeche" (Thomas.Wahpekeche@NOSPAMDDC.DLA.MIL) submitted 15/May/2003

This was my first time having poison ivy this year. I tried cortizone 10 for the first two days but it just didn't keep the itch away long enough. So I came to this website in search of relief. I found that the best ways to relieve itch and heal faster are as follows:

  1. Spread a mixture of oatmeal, baking soda, and hot water on the affected area. (should be very thick, and about half oatmeal and half baking soda)
  2. Then, when dried rinse off with hot water.
  3. Apply rubbing alcohol(or peroxide)to affected area.
  4. Blow dry the affectd area.
I hope this works as good s it worked for me.
--"Rebecca" (harrythecow@NOSPAMyahoo.com) submitted 1/Jul/2003

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The Key Ingredient - Water

If you read almost all of the suggestions you have gotten in regards to "curing" poison Ivy, they all have 1 thing in common. Water. Intermittant water application ( several applications, several times daily) is a great way to help poison ivy dry up by itself quickly. You want to try and stay away from types of astringents (alcohol and such) as well as skin sensitizers like perfume, scented creams and ointments, and yes even good old caladryl/benadryl lotion. These all make the skin more sensative, and therefore allow the Urushiol oil to seep in easier. It should be noted that after the first 15 minutes or so of contact with the oil, it is very very difficult to remove from the skin, mainly it only comes off with the natural slough off of the skin itself. My last comment is in regards to the preventative shot. It may still be available in some areas, but is very rarely used, because as with any preventative shot like this, the injection consists of minute amounts of the active oil, injected into the skin, allowing the body to build up its own natural immunity. Since people can be sensitive down to 1 nanogram of the oil, obviously its tough to guage where to start the injection levels,and then to get such a small quantity. Thus the reason people were dying from it. Systemic PI like that can be deadly.... that is why it is not very common.
-- Jim Walsh (anonymous email address) submitted Jun/20/2000
Editor note: Thank you. This makes a lot of sense to me.

I have had posion oak 7 times in the past 4-5 years and I just got another case of it.

  1. Take cold showers only (relive itch)
  2. Take a very soft cloth to wash with
  3. Put some sort of cloth or anything to wrap the exposed area so if you do happen to itch it it dosn't spread.
  4. Do not bother with creams or anything just ignore the itch if you can if not get a bag of ice and put it onto the area.
  5. Most important wash hand frequantly.(immeaditly if you touched it)
--"micheal" (campm538@NOSPAMhsd.k12.or.us) submitted 13/Mar/2003

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See the Doctor

I got poison ivy after weeding in my yard. I had a severe reaction; blistering, swelling rash all over my arms, legs and midrif. I purchased EVERY possible OTC remedy from oatmeal and other bath soaks to hydrocortisone creams, calamine lotions, etc. After calling my doctor and speaking with numerous pharmacists around town the ONLY things that I found to be effective were 1)a steroid shot (which was in itself not initally effective) 2)Ivy dry liquid 3)steroid medication pack (ingested) 4)Benedryl pills (not creams or liquid sticks) to relieve the itching (it really works). The Ivy Dry and steroid medication-ingested were the only things that in combination dried my blisters and helped to diminish the rash and itching. I hope this helps someone else!!
-- Steffanie Hofer (stefhofer@NOSPAMaol.com) submitted Jun/8/2000
Editor note: Thank you. Your experience was similiar to mine with the exception that I found Zanfel and I didn't make it to the doctor being the big chicken I am.

Poison Ivy, yuk! What an awful substance to those allergic to it and just another plant to those who are not. There are many plants out there that c ause similiar allergic rashes and are not limited to just the common poison ivy, sumac, oak plants etc...so be careful! Here are some steps to follow AFTER you have already been infected. 1. Get a cortisone shot immediately. This will start the healing process. You must figure out where and how you became infected and remove it to keep from ge tting re-exposed again. 2. Take an antihistamine. Claritin works well. Benedryl also has given good r esults. 3. Take a hot shower as hot as you can stand. It may spread a little, but this will provide hours of itch free rest relaxation. 4. Get a cortisone cream from your doctor. 10% works best and applied after a hot shower is a good combination. 5. Stay out of the heat and avoid restrictive clothing. These are all the things I have learned over the years that works best to minimi ze recovery time. I am highly sensitive and dream of the day these rashes are e liminated.
-- Shawn (harveystjock@NOSPAMhotmail.com) submitted 10/Sep/2000

First of all, I find it amazing that many of the folks who have posted messages within this forum actually believe that they discovered a miracle cure on the 8th day, or 10th day of the rash. People, non-systemic cases of poison ivy rash start to resolve on their own in 7-10 days with proper common sense precautions. The fact that you found a cure on day 8,9 or 10 is a mere coincidince with the normal recovery time. With previous bouts, I have tried Zanfel, Palmolive, rubbing alcohol, etc. They all bring short term relief. But none of them are cures - I have scars on my arms to prove it. With my most recent bout, I took extra precautions while working in my garden. Long pants, long sleeve shirt, hat, gloves. I worked in the garden for 8 hours on Saturday, carefully changing shirts and gloves on 3 occassions. To top it all off, I was working with weeds and ivy that I had killed with Round Up two months earlier - the stuff was dead, but the oil lingered. I noticed an eruption on my wrist on Sunday. By Monday morning, I had minor outbreaks on both wrists, my forearms, forehead, and neck. Knowing that I could not handle another two-week battle with a poison ivy rash, I headed straight to my doctor and was given a prescription for a prednisone taper (a six-day prescription with diminishing doses each day). I took the first six pills on Monday. After a somewhat restless night Monday night (a minor side effect of the steroid) I awoke Tuesday morning (only 3 days after initial exposure) to find that my rash was starting to resolve, and no new outbreaks. I am now at work on Tuesday, and I can visually monitor the vanishing of my rash. And I'm not using any other products in conjunction - no creams, gels, ointments. The pills are small and easy to swallow. Pills (especially the taper kit) are also a much safer form of delivery than a shot in the behind. The long and short of this - in order to effectively rid yourself of this trechery, you've got to nip it in the bud. If you are already oozing, you can forget about it. Although I have found that a 10 minute dip in the ocean can bring a lot of relief and a shorter recovery time. Also, after exposure to the plant, strip naked and leave all of your clothes outside and then shower with your favorite dish soap. Also be sure to wash all tools, shoes, keys, sunglasses, doorknobs - anything that you may have contacted during or after your exposure. Wash your contaminated clothes seperately. Then wash them again. Best of luck.
--"Chris Bauermann" (chrisbauermann@NOSPAMhotmail.com) submitted 18/Sep/2001

I recently went to the doctor for a severe case of poison ivy all over my body. The doctor told me that it could not be spread by itching only by the oil from the plant oil from the plant and it kept showing up becuase it takes some spots longer to develop than others. He gave me a steriod and I went to the store and bought every medication there was. The only thing that helped was taking Benadryl every four hours and the steriod. Then putting a lotion called Calydryl and Domeboro on it. I was able to get rid of my poison ivy in about a week and a half.
--"David" (lisarhj@NOSPAMyahoo.com) submitted 18/Jun/2002

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Stay Disciplined

I have had poison ivy on both legs, both arms, my chest, my back and my stomach for over a month now. It is finally starting to disappear, but my life has been a living hell until recently. I went to a dermatologist, got a cortisone shot but several days later called her and got Prednisone by mouth. They helped somewhat. I also started bathing with about a cup of bleach in the water,do this twice a day if possible. After bathing, put on alcohol or witch hazel. The alcohol will burn slightly, but it dries quickly. I tried straight bleach but it burns terribly. I also got Ultravate ointment from the doctor. It helped alot, but I was covered and it is a little expensive, $34.00/15gram tube. I went through two, and couldn't afford anymore. So I bought some Gold Bond cream and some gel by Band Aid (K-Mart). I also cut my fingernails down to nothing and slept with rubber gloves on. They say scratching doesn't spread it, but I don't believe it it. Wash your pet (!my source) and keep them out of it. Wash your clothes after one wearing, use your towel once,change bed sheets at least twice a week. Wash everything you can think of and keep washing. Mine has started to go away in the last few days, so I have gotten a little lax with the treatment, don't do this. Keep up with all your treatments until it is gone.
-- Connie (dkpeavy@NOSPAMemail.msn.com) submitted 25/Jun/2001

I just beat Poison Ivy and the last time I had it was when I was 7 years old, so 30 years ago for me. I have to say that The hair dryer trick worked for me really well. I also used technu and it also really helped. My ritual was to scrub down in technu and then shower (cool water) then go to hot water as much as I could stand. After drying off I took the hair dryer and heated the affected areas again as much as I could stand. I then would apply "Ruhli gel" or called "band aid" anti itch ointment and I could sleep like a baby. The hair dryer took the itch right out & the gel cooled and soothed the areas. Worked for me, but again poison ivy will take its coarse and leave in 7 to 10 days or so but this really lessened the problem. God Bless.
--"Clint Goulet" (crazywithkids@NOSPAMworldnet.att.net) submitted 10/Oct/2001

Wow, what a site for reading. I get poison ivy,oak and sumac very easily. I have experienced it on every portion of my body including having my eyes so infected that they were swollen shut. I discovered Technu a few years ago and it is a wonderful product. They used to have a preexposure product that you could use, but I have been unable to find it so I use another brand of product. I can't remember the name of it right now. Here is what I do...put the preexposure lotion on any skin that may be exposed to the urushiol oil. This includes your entire face (my experience in the woods is always walking into spider webs and they go across your face and the first thing you want to do is wipe your face with your hand) Big no-no. Wear long shirts,long pants, a hat and gloves. Always put the lotion on your hands because you invariably have to remove your gloves for many reasons. Never pick up walking sticks from the ground, break off a dead branch from a tree that has no vines growing on it. Do not lean against trees without looking to see if there is a vine growing up it. Do these things in any season, if your as allergic as me you can get poison ivy in the dead of winter. In the mowing season wear a dust mask and goggles. When your ready to clean yourself,first use the Technu poison oak and ivy wash, rub the lotion over all exposed skin and any areas you think may have been exposed for several minutes rinse thouroughly with water warm, hot, cold it doesn't matter. Now comes the real kicker, I always take a bottle of rubbing alcohol with me. I wet a rag with the alcohol and and wash all areas that I think were exposed and then some. Caution: don't do this around open flames for obvious reasons. When washing your face take a deep breath first, the alcohol evaporating will take the air away from you for a short time, nothing different than jumping in a pool and holding your breath. I have used this method all year while mowing my timber grass, mushroom hunting and picking wi!ld rasberries and I have not...(Knock On Wood)....been infected with poison ivy yet this year and I've been mowing it which is another big NO-NO,unless you protect yourself. Good Luck.
--"Dan Byrnes Sr." (dtb@NOSPAMmidamericagroup.com) submitted 28/Aug/2002

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My regimen

I am now and have always been agergic to poison oak and ivy. Ive had shots and pills, they work. Im 59 and have found 3 things that help.
  1. Clorine bleach if used as soon as a rash appears.
  2. Soap and water if im exposed,but realy wash and dont miss spots.
  3. Fluid extract of Grindlia applied to the rash, even if advanced. this has never faild me in the last 12 years.
-- Philip Jones (ezguync@NOSPAMhotmail.com) submitted 24/May/2001

After exposure take a shower and use Dawn dishwashing liquid instead of regular soap. It is designed to remove oil and does a good job removing the oil from poison ivy. To stop the itch I use Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride that is available in a clear gel from Benadryl.To kill the plants I have found that Grazon p+d a herbacide, works well.I Hope this info. Is helpful to others.This website was very informative. Thanks for sponsoring it.Denis Dwyer
--"Denis Dwyer" (denisd@NOSPAMbellsouth.net) submitted 29/Jul/2001

After having the worst case of poison ivy in my life I have come to one conclusion. There is very little you can do to speed the process along except to maybe dry the rash out a little faster. For the most part you just have to wait it out and make yourself as confortable as possible. Until now the only family remedy I had for treating poison ivy was Fels Naptha soap. Made into a paste and left on the skin, it's supposed to help dry the rash faster. That has always seemed to be of some help before in my milder cases. This time I unfortunatly had it so bad that my face severly swelled and I could not find the soap in the stores. Knowing that the point was to dry the rash but not being extreme enough to use clorox, I used alcohol rubs on the effected areas (not as much on the face though since I have sensitive skin there). At this point my husband also made me go to the clinic to get medication. They gave me a shot that worked like prednizone to help the swelling and prednizone pills for 5 days. They also advised me to take Benadryl pills to help the itching. I'm not sure if the prednizone helped, it's hard to say but it did seem that the Benadryl stopped the itching. I also discovered that while trying to keep swelling down with ice packs that it also helped the itching and burning. This led me to try a foot powder that I had used when I was pregnant. It's call Freeman's Bare Feet with vanilla mint and aloe. It was meant to be used for the two things that I was trying to accomplish with the alcohol and the ice packs. It dries and cools. So after an extremly hot shower (to remove the histamine as suggested in other comments) I would still do the alchol rub and then apply the foot cream. I was a huge relief after sleeping for two nights with an ice pack tied to my face! It's worth a try.
--"Rebecca Sogard" (rsogard@NOSPAMhotmail.com) submitted 19/Nov/2001

I have read all of these suggestions that vary from bleach to hot showers. However, I have had poison ivy/oak/sumac every year since I was a child, so I've learned a lot over the years. First of all, my doctor surprisingly verified that the poison is not spread by scratching the affected area and then directly scratching an unaffected area. The oils from the poison spread by attaching themselves to cloth-like materials (sheets/clothing). If you scratch the affected area and then scratch your face this will not spread the rash. It is a myth. The oils cannot be transferred by touch. It's also a myth that the poison gets in your blood. The poison oil is on top skin, so that's why when you scratch, it spreads around that area. There are 3 things you must do to get rid of it:1. Keep handy a tube of a prescribed lotion called Betamethasone Dipropionate, which is a steroid cream. The instant you get the first spot on your skin, apply it. This will avoid further spreading. 2. If the poison has already spread on various areas, go immediately to the doctor and get a steroid shot. You'll see the rash begin to dry up within 24-48 hours. 3. Purchase this stuff...and I cannot remember the name, but it's sold in most drug/grocery stores. It's made specifically for the 3 poisons. You wash your clothes/sheets in it. You can also take a bath in it. It will get rid of all the oils from your things.
--"Christa Abdou" (christamabdou@NOSPAMaol.com) submitted 25/Nov/2001

I am highly allergic to poison oak, and starting in February of every year, I start getting reactions (I live in Northern ca). I no longer go to the emergency room for prednisone, because it does not work. I have tried everything, but now have a regimen that works for me.

  1. Handiwipes or baby wipes if I think I have touched something that might have the oil on it. I use a Technu followup if I am within a few hours.
  2. Zanfel. If I have a breakout, this stuff really helps. I follow with #3
  3. Topical anti-oxidents. I use Vitamin c ester oil, and a cream containing alpha lipoic acid and green tea. Should I get a breakout on my face, frequent applications of the vitamin c oil and the cream contain the breakout and reduce the discomfort by about 70% The products I use with the vitamin c in them are made by Jason's Naturals. www.jason-natural.com
  4. I also up my antioxident supplement intake.
Hope this helps.
--Nancy6075@NOSPAMaol.com submitted 16/Feb/2003

I am a hypo-allergenic person to poison ivy. Whenever I break out, first I wash my whole body with Lye soap, which helps dry it out and wash away oils. I also poor hydrogen peroxide over the blister after I puncture the blister with a knife or needle. You keep doing intervals of pouring it on until the bubbling stops. When I go to sleep I put long soccer socks on my hands and put on a long sleeve shirt with long pants. Change clothes and socks every day to avoid recontamination. During day cover up any blister with some sort of band aid with tea tree oil on blister to help kill oils and dry out. Thats about it. I get rid of poison ivy faster with this routine.
--"Philip Haughey" (bigphil@NOSPAMmyexcel.com) submitted 26/Apr/2003

I can't believe how this poison ivy can drive you crazy! I tried everything to relieve it. I found some ideas on your site so I incorporated a combination of them. I took a really hot shower. I used shampoo to scrub the area (oh that felt so good) being careful to use the washcloth only on that area of my body. The shampoo is formulated to remove oils, so it's a good choice. After that I just stood there and let the hot water run over it for about 5 minutes. It itched like crazy while I did that, but it felt so much better afterward. Anyway, after I toweled off, I put rubbing alcohol on it (if you open sores, it will hurt like hell, but it will heal faster). Then!!! I put diaper rash ointment on it. Oh what relief!! I'm taking the rash ointment with me everywhere I go until this is completely healed. (I used a&d ointment, but I think any diaper rash ointment will work. I also think Preparation h would work well.) I also learned that it's imperative that you don't cover the rash with restrictive cloth. It spreads it and makes it worse. I hope this is helpful to others.
--"DiAnna Petty" (no email provided) submitted 5/Jul/2003

I want to share what I have experienced so that you don't have to spend so much money on trying so many different poison ivy treatment lotions, gels, etc. I finally found the best combination for me. I purchased the Aveeno soap bar for treating acne which has the same colloidal oatmeal used in their poison ivy bath cleanser. It may sting a little if you apply it dirrectly onto your body, but the slight stinging assures you that it is killing off the poison. Hot water makes it feel real good like you're scratching but do not use hot water if possible because it tends to irritate the skin more and make it red. Once you are completely dry, apply Caladryl Clear or CalaGel by oak-n-ivy about two to three times daily after every shower which really dries it up.
--Sprint (jptouche@NOSPAMearthlink.net) submitted 13/Jul/2003

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My Cure

Ok I tryed all of your sugestion and they cure the itch but then I decide to take water then baking soda then I but vinger and aloe vera cream and alot of salt and a little bit of wash detergent then you mix and after 2 hours the rask is completly gone no itch or no rach or bumps nutting
--"Stephane" (iverson_03_rules15@NOSPAMhotmail.com) submitted 22/Aug/2002

I'm an avid outdoorsman with two big dogs, so getting poison ivy, about 15 times a year, is inevitable. My solution to this pesky rash, if your not highly alergic to it, is to wait it out. Your body knows best and will take care of itself. Stay busy to keep your mind off it, and it will be gone before you know it.
--"Dustin Branick" (bosleydurden@NOSPAMhotmail.com) submitted 3/Jul/2003

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Cold Water, Dawn, and Warning

I am 43 and have never had posion oak or Ivy until this year. As I am hiv+ this was a great concern for me and my doctor. This is the most effective treatment for the posion that I have found and has kept the blisters from forming and the itching to little or none. First of all, if you have contacted posion oak or ivy do not bathe. If you do bathe and are successful in washing the oil off it can re-adhere to your skin upon exiting the tub and you can end up with it worse. Shower in the coldest water you can stand for as long as you can stand. The cold water keeps the pores from opening and the oil from going into these pores. Use Dawn anti-bacterial liquid dish soap and don't be stingy with it. Lots of soap and lather. Becareful to use a fresh wash cloth when washing your face as not to transfer the oils to your face. The soap seems to wash most of the oils away and begins the drying process long before nature. After your cold shower take a Fresh cloth and soak it with cider vinagar and wash your body with it. Again use a fresh cloth on the face area. I, also, follow with a benedryl twice a day until the symptoms are completely gone. This sure seemed to lessen the severity by so much it was unbelievable. Please use caution if you take any immune booster containing the oil. My dear friend brought some back from illinois and began taking it and developed posion oak in her mouth, throat, and everywhere it came into contact with util it exited her body, and yes there too. She was in a serious situation doing this. They banned that product in California for a reason, so please don't use. Remember always cold water showers and never never hot. The Dawn and vinegar seem to work wonderful for me, although, you may still have a small rash and lite itching, it is much less pronounced. I hope this works for someone else as well is much less pronounced. I hope this works for someone else as well
--"clint ryberg" (cryberg365@NOSPAMaol.com) submitted 10/May/2003

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