|I cannot answer the questions really but thought you would feel better knowing that you are not alone in your suffering. I have Poison Oak that I got on a hiking excursion the week between Christmas and New Year. I opted not to take Prednisone, as I heard it does not work for many people and can cause violent side effects in others. But my symptoms startee to appear at the end of December. It started on my right arm. Seemed to be contained there and started going away, or so I thought. Then it spread to my other arm and then my lower legs around the ankles. That was where I got it the worst. Oozing and all that nasty stuff. I felt like a leper! Each day I started to think it was going away, I would notice a couple of new, albeit small bumps, here and there and would get so bummed. I have not been aboe to go to the gym as my legs and arms look horrible. My docotr put me on prescription strength Benedryl, which maked me groggy and gives me double vision, but it has helped. I also use Aveen Lotion after a shower (with Oatmeal) followed by Rhuli Gel (spelling?) on the fresh areas and HydroCortizone Lotion on the ones that are healing. Fortunately, aside from a small bump here or there on other parts of my body, it seems to be contained to the arms and legs. I have washed my sheets several times, disinfected my apartment, washed the clothes, all that obsessive stuff. It's a major mind-game now. My arms are healing, most itching gone and the spots are healing, the swelling is down too. Just leaving pinkish spots where the wounds were. Legs are starting to heal too, but a bit behind the arms - as it started there later and was worse down there.
I guess I am telling you all this to give you a timeframe, my timeframe anyways. My arms took about 2 and a half weeks to stop itching and start to heal. My legs seem to be following suit. I guess that estimated 3 weeks or so it about correct.
Hope this helps.
Oh and as for the spreading, that one is tricky. Even though they say you cannot get it from scratching one sore and moving it around, I wash my hand EVERY time I come in contact with these areas on my skin, putting lotion on, etc. It cannot hurt. Try to spray aareas of your house with Lysol that you think you may have gotten it on. And wash your clothes, sheets, backpakcs, shoes, whatever. Not much else you can do really except hang in there and no you ar enot alone!!!!
Greg in Pacifica