|Iím 35. I first got PI when I was seven. The dirty little snake catching kid I was got it rash infected. My mom didnít know how to treat it. Doctor helped. Topical (skin) applications are pretty much useless for me but I use them when I can. Prednisone seems the only solution. I have a repeat on the prescription because Iím not always able to see the doctor in time before it gets out of hand. I only take 7-10 days worth of the stuff and I taper the dose as recommended. Eat food with it or your stomach my burn Ė hence some weight gain. No other side effects for me. I get PI roughly 3-4 times a year and usually only I need Pred once or twice a year. I havenít had PI every year of my life because Iíve luckily lived in places that donít have PI. Iíve had PI in the dead of winter. Iíve had PI all over my hands and feet Ė not at the same time.
Did I say that I work for a natural resource government agency! I can identify PI at 100km on a road. In my area it rarely gets over 1-2 feet but in Ohio Iíve seen it over 10 feet. It is very plastic in form e.g., shrub to vine, and the leaves can vary depending on environmental conditions. Learn to associate other types of plants that grow with poison ivy (e.g., staghorn sumac, Virgina creeper) and the type of habitat PI prefers (e.g., south facing hill slopes). I use a broad-spectrum herbicide to eliminate plants. Wash clothing and boots that come into contact with PI with a strong grease cutter like mechanics soap. Stay clear of dogs that frequent PI infested areas. My dad is also prone to PI rashes but my brother isnít Ė itís in the genes?
Tip: Donít itch. You can learn not to and get over it. If you want relief try having a hot shower and using a "strong" soap to clean the rash. Pat the infected dry with a towel and then get out the blow drier and direct the airflow over the rash. Man this can feel good! After drying and feeling better apply your med-creams to the area. The dryness of the skin will quickly absorb the meds!