what to do for poison oak ?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
HELP ! I have a bad case of the itches, again ! My husband and I worked outside yesterday clearing the land for our new (and first garden plot - yet another question) and I somehow contacted poison oak. It's not the first time. I am very sensitive to it. My question is: is there some way to lessen the terrible itch and burn, is there some way to shorten the duration? This is what I have heard to try and so far none of it has worked: rubbing alcohol, witch hazel, and bleach. I have also tried calamine lotion, (some success), vicks vapor rub, good old baking soda, and whatever else I have found in my closet. The best thing I have found that has limited success but does help is a cream called "Iverest". I just discovered the itch this evening and it is already getting to me. Could I have gotten the poison oak from the fire wood? My husband never gets a rash from it and he is careful not to touch me until he washes up, and deposits his clothes in the washer for me so I don't have to touch them. HELP ! I AM ITCHY !
-- Cindy Palmer (email@example.com), January 19, 2001
Gosh Cindy I hope somebody comes to your rescue, If it were not winter I would tell you to go and get some jewel weed to put on it. Jewel weed works wonders on poison ivy but you probably cant find any this time of year if you are in the north. I would try aloe Vera.Plaintain helps too but not in the winter ! Poor thing!
-- Trendle Ellwood (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 19, 2001.
Cindy, I would wash the area and around it very well with Fels Napha soap (I do that EVERY TIME I am in the woods doing wood etc) Then the stuff that really works for me on the itch (if I forget to wash and end up in trouble) Rhuli Gel, get it in the pharmacy. It is the only commercial product I have used that actually works. Washing with the Fels Napha dries it up faster as well as prevents it from spreading as it really cuts the oils. I can get it from my goats when I am working with them so I keep Fels Napha at every sink in the house and in the barn. Have not had it for several years now.
-- diane (email@example.com), January 19, 2001.
A great herbalist taught me to use an alcohol-based linament with goldeneal root, myrrh powder, and cayenne powder. This will help alleviate itching, prevent infection, and dry it out. Whatever, you do, never use oil-based products on poison oak or ivy as it will only serve to spread it. Witch Hazel is okay. I would also not use bleach--too toxic and very irritating. To make this linament (which is adapted from Jethro Kloss' linament in the book, "Back to Eden"), place one ounce each of Goldenseal powder, Myrrh powder, and Cayenne powder in a jar, and pour in rubbing alcohol--just enough to cover the herbs about 1" above the topc. Shake well and let it stand for a month--shake daily. After a month, strain it 2-3 times in cheescloth and bottle. It will keep forever and it a wonderful treatment for any skin abrasion or problem. Of course if you need it in a pinch, waiting a month is not practical. In the meantime, you can make a strong infusion of these herbs: boil H2) and then add the herbs and soak covered off the fire for 1-2 hours, strain, and apply to affected areas. never boil these herbs as it will evaporate the volatile oils of the goldenseal. I think this should really help.
It's possible you are getting it from your firewood. Try to figure out what you are touching around the house that may be contaminated. Also, wear gloves if youcan.
-- Amy (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 19, 2001.
My husband gets poison ivy several times a year. He swears by milk of magnesia. He covers the rash with it and says it dries it out faster. Good luck!
-- Mona in OK (email@example.com), January 19, 2001.
Hi Cindy..You bet you can get it from firewood..have had a couple of cases of it myself this winter.. I have tried so many things on it and ultimately it runs it course.. I have sensitive skin and no matter what I have tried I end up worse than at the beginning..Usually I end up with oatmeal baths and Caladryl.
-- Lynn (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 19, 2001.
Oh Cindy..forgot to mention that according to Mo. Conservationist mag. that oil can stay on clothes for up to 3 washings..I usually wash the clothes that have come in contact with it in Lestoil or however you spell it.
-- Lynn (email@example.com), January 19, 2001.
Rub the inside of a banana peel on it. The itching and burning should go away immediately and last several hours. If not, reapply. When I have it, the rash usually goes away in a couple of days after one treatment.
-- (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 19, 2001.
My son got bad poison ivy. I put a poultice of charcoal, Echinacea, and Black Walnut (all were from capsules)on the rash, then cover with wet paper towels for 10 minutes. I did this several times a day and it became noticable better and left no scars (it was on his face bad) I'm sure it will work for poison oak too.
I know friends got poison ivy from cutting down a Christmas tree but unfortunately, I don't recognize poison oak.
-- Dee (email@example.com), January 19, 2001.
Thanks, I appreciate very much all the helpful hints. I will probably try each one - but have to go to the store first. Guess I will live. Thanks again and I will post the results !
-- Cindy Palmer (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 19, 2001.
Well,it's Saturday now and I didn't have a chance to try any of the remedies you all were so kind to share. I had a terrible fitful night with very little sleep and when I got up at 4:30 (too early for me) my eye was completely swollen shut. After soaking with with a cold rag it didn't get any better. Also the skin had started into weeping. I had my husband drive me the 40 miles to our nearby city to the Dr. Didn't want to do it but didn't feel I should wait any longer. Dr. said it was bound to have gotten worse and good thing I went in. I am taking perscription meds, and using a perscription cream. Feel better but would have much rather have taken care of it myself with a "natural healer". I am planning on having the necessaries on hand for the next time and hopefully will fair better. Thanks again for all the kind imput. Cindy P
-- Cindy Palmer (email@example.com), January 20, 2001.
cindy, you were smart to see the Dr. You don't want to mess with infections near your eye. Sometimes we have to use prescription meds. Glad you are better.
-- Amy (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 20, 2001.
Good call Cindy-you should see some real improvement now. Sorry it got so bad.
-- diane (email@example.com), January 20, 2001.
well have i got some good news for you guys.. up here in northern california i have been in misery with my reactions to all the poison oak on myplace until i found a product called (technu), it is a liquid and comes in a 4 oz. plastic bottle that you can wash with after the exposure to poison oak/ivy/sumac. this stuff really works , forget all the other remedies if, you follow the directions it will prevent the outbreak, period... you can wash your clothes,tools and pets, as well go get some... bob m.
-- bob mccaffrey (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 21, 2001.
My father liked the Tech-Nu too. But, the problem with that is two- fold. This go around I had no idea I was exposed ! It was a gigantic surprise. I am thinking now I may have gotten it from the cat. Since our weather has been sunny lately I think the stuff is coming out of domancy. Also, because I was taken by surprise it was already a full 24 hours or more (I think) before I knew what I had. I did get some Tech-Nu and the anit-itch gel they have to offer too but it really was to harsh for me. I will keep it around for hand washing, tools and etc. The bottle says you can use it on pets also! (But I won't try to wash the cat. Did that once - big mistake! I think I will get some of that Phels Napa for body cleaning at times when I fear I've been exposed. Their anit-itch gel works pretty good tho. Now I am much better tho. Actually look like a human again. Posion Oak is something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy ! What was the Good Lord thinking?
-- Cindy Palmer (email@example.com), January 23, 2001.
Hi Cindy, I too was very sensative to poison oak. After buying our 5 acre dream property almost 2 years ago, I had at least 3 severe cases. That winter I studied up on the subject, and also read many articles in Countryside. Last spring when the leaves of the poison oak plants started emerging, I cut the leaves and put them into gelcaps that you buy at the health food store. I took one of these a day for three weeks. I have since come in direct contact with the leaves and vines almost on a weekly basis. I have so much of it, I can actually cut and stack it like cord wood! The only thing that happens now is about 3 days after exposure I get a small red patch where I came in contact with it. The patch itches a little, I use no creams or ointments and it does not keep me awake at night, and I do not take any more of those dreadful steroids! I honestly thought that we may have to sell our place until I found this remedy. Hope this helps!
-- Glynn Pennington (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 24, 2001.
I have had contacted poision oak at various times. But most recently contacted it from our Chow Dog. He ran through it in the fence row and it rubbed off on me when I was petting him and playing with him. Spent several sleepless nights went to the family doctor and had a shot of demerol and series of tablets. Beginning to clear up now.
Terry J. Wood
-- Terry Wood (email@example.com), May 19, 2001.
Hi, Cindy, I sympathize with you, as I used to get poison oak BAD. REALLY bad.
A coworker told me that he'd learned how to cure P.O. psyschologically. I'm a bit of a cynic, and am generally very skeptical of all the "groovy, cosmic" type cures for various ailments. However, I thought about it some, and realized that, whenever I got a case of PO, I was spending a lot of time worrying about it--you know, looking at the rash to see if it was spreading, trying no to scratch, and generally focusing all my energy on it.
I finally convinced my self to more or less ignore it, because, no matter what I did to try to get rid of it, it seemed to have a mind of its own; eventually I would be over it, and it was stupid to spend so much energy on it.
Guess what! Ever since adopting this attitude, poison oak has become almost a non-issue for me. I work in the woods, and get p.o. quite often; but now, I scratch when it itches ( I try not to get TOO obsessive about scratching, but go ahead and scratch SOME), and just plain don't give it much energy. It virtually never gets worse than a mosquito bite now, except when I'm down in a freshly dug trench, installing wires or water pipes, in which case I 'll get lines of blisters where the roots dragged down my arms; I don't even wear long sleeves anymore. Even these blister lines generally disappear in a day or two.)
I can't say as this will work for you, but it works for me, and my kids have figured it out, too. Wife never did get it.
Good luck! (and NEVER take a shower in hot water after getting exposed, if you get PO. Use cold; it keeps the pores closed, and helps keep the PO oils out of your system.
-- jumpoff joe (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 21, 2001.
After exposure: Try an over the counter medication named "technu". It is THE best medicine I have ever used for poison ivy, poison oak, and sumac. I am EXTREMELY allergic and technu has made my life SO much easier.
Before exposure: There is also a technu product for "pre-exposure" as well. I personally don't like it as it is VERY sticky, but it does work well.
I use Avon's "Silicone Glove" product on my hands, forearms, face, and exposed skin BEFORE I venture into areas containg poison ivy, oak, and/or sumac. This allows the "resins" to wash off easier AFTER exposure. IF I have any itching then I will apply the technu product to the itching area.
Hope this helps.
-- M. Hawkins (email@example.com), June 09, 2001.
I always use rubbing alchohol and it dries up the poison oak and it is compleatly gone in a matter of days.
-- Monica Desiree Boutin (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 04, 2001.
Hi,Cindy hope this helps- I discovered my remedy by exposier to poison oak on my face.I had used a maximum strength oxy pad on the infected area "it cleared up within a few days"
-- Benjamin Swenson (email@example.com), February 02, 2002.
goat milk from goats that've been eating it will help prevent it.
-- laura (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 04, 2002.