Friday, August 15, 2008

Poison Ivy is Dreadful-warning graphic


Ash volunteers as a horse handler during the summer.  The last time she was working, she inadvertently got into some poison ivy and it got everywhere on her.  She was itchy, itchy, itchy.
She had it on her scalp, her torso, her legs, between her toes, her arms.  The poor kid.
She does not have any recollection of actually seeing or touching the stuff, so we suspect that it was in the hay.
Needless to say, we tried everything short of steroids and this is what we found that worked.
1. As soon as she detected the pustules, she re-showered.  (She showers immediately after arriving home, but clearly this isn't enough).  She used Technu, a 2 step product.  The first step is designed to lather up and rid your body of the ivy oils that transmit the "itchies".
This is done as many times as needed until the itch is gone.
2. The second step of Technu is a lotion/cream that you apply to the infected areas.  This part of the product was not helpful in Ash's case, but may be in some milder cases.
3. Domeboro.  I can not stress this product enough.  It is harsh, messy and a nuisance.  But it works, it offers relief and it dries out the pustules.  Domeboro is a small $15 box of tablets.  You dissolve one tablet in a gallon of water (can be altered to get a stronger formula).  You take rags, soak them in the solution and apply them to your affected areas.
This formula is strong and dried out the areas after less than 1 day of application.

Ash also used hydrocortisone cream as needed and took Benedryl.  
She heard it lasts 14 days and it does, but after she got the pustules to dry, it was tolerable.

We did learn some important information as well.
1. We bought some products that you apply like sunblock BEFORE you are exposed to poison ivy.  So, each time she goes to work, she will apply this stuff.
2. After working with the horses (or anytime she suspects poison ivy exposure) she will change her clothes immediately after, place them in a sealed plastic bag.  She will then, rub her body down with alcohol (not the tasty mojito kind, but the tall bottles of isopropyl alcohol).
3. She will shower and lather up twice as soon as possible after this. 
4. Her clothes from the plastic bag will be washed in hot sudsy water or burnt, depending on my mood.

So, anyone battling poison ivy, good luck, be patient.

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