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Common Household Remedies Request

It's a relief to have a diagnosis, but it would be even more relief to have a cure! So, while I don't have cellulitis, or the antibiotics are killing it, and the aches and pains have mostly gone away, I do have what looks like a bad case of poison ivy on my right, or typing hand. So I'm asking for poison Ivy cures!

The look is a lot worse than the feel -- I don't itch, although that's possibly because as directed I'm slathering my right arm with cortisone cream -- but the look is very bad. The Google says the time for the rash go to away is one to three weeks. Well, I'm one week in, almost, and its spreading. So, my sleeping bag is in the dryer, and I'm sleeping with my right hand in plastic bag tonight, so I don't spread the oil in my environment. And although I don't have gloves, and there isn't any place in town that sells gloves since the hardware store closed down, I find that a sock over my hand works just as well, and I can use that to bring in wood.

What I would like, however, is not palliatives but cure. This is ugly and dispiriting and although I know it is a very small problem in a world filled with far more serious conditions, I would still like it to go away, if for no other reason than to type efficiently. Readers?

Average: 4 (1 vote)


katiebird's picture
Submitted by katiebird on

The best that we've found is Zanfel. Since using it no one in the family has had a crippling case of poison ivy. Zanfel can be very expensive. But CVS has a generic that is affordable and we've seen generics in other stores too. If it's possible, look around. (We've seen it on eBay and Amazon too)

If you know that you've been exposed to it, the best thing to do is wash with ordinary dish washing soap in cold (cold) water.

The oil can last for up to 5 years on clothes so it's a good idea to run any clothes that have been exposed through the wash.

Oh, and L-Lysine and vitamin E are good for repairing skin and cells. So taking them while you are recovering can help speed it up.

Submitted by lambert on

... but unfortunately there is a long wait online, CVS is too far away by public transport, so no Zanufel for me.

And now I have a horrible racking, hacking cough. I wonder if sealing up my crawlspace has done this; use to be you could actually see daylight under the skirting in the world's most evil crawlspace, but now that is all seeled. So perhaps micrororganisms that used to float out of the house on the breeze no longer do; I mean, diarrhea, poison ivy, and now I've got a cough where I think I'm going to heave up a chunk of lung.... All in the weeks after the insulation went in. Coincidence?

nippersdad's picture
Submitted by nippersdad on

If you can manage those then you have won half the battle. I have heard great things about jewel weed preparations, though I have never used one myself......I hope you get better soon.

V. Arnold's picture
Submitted by V. Arnold on

Oh for goodness sake; poison ivy is an allergic reaction. As a child I had it so often I finally became immune.
Aloe vera, use aloe vera gel, liberally applied and all will be well.

Jay's picture
Submitted by Jay on

I worked on the proofs for a book called Outwitting Poison Ivy. So that's my expertise. But the long and the short of it was that the oil is Urushiol. The only way to get it off you is with cotton swabs dipped in rubbing alcohol, brushing inward to avoid spreading it, with frequent change outs of cotton swab--don't be stingy with the cotton swabs. Imagine an oily ink drop on your skin that gets smudged and spreads. Soap and water isn't going to get rid of it--as a matter of fact, that spreads the allergens around. After that, you'd better get an ocean . . . of calamine lotion . . . or a similar topical treatment. As for clothes, bedding, etc.: it's all gotta go. Sorry. Even a tiny amount of allergen can cause the reaction.

TheMomCat's picture
Submitted by TheMomCat on

Try taking 25 - 50 mg of Benedryl (Diphenhydramine) every 6 to 8 hours, It's OTC ans cheap

Soak the affected area in cool water with baking soda added to prevent the spread. Also you can soak a clean sock in a solution of 2 tsp of baking soda to a quart of water, put it on for 10 minutes four times a day to help reduce the oozing blisters.

If you need to dry a weepy poison ivy rash, try strongly brewed tea. Simply dip a cotton ball into the tea, dab it on the affected area, and let it air-dry. Repeat as needed.

BTW some bad news, there is no "cure" just treatment until the blisters heal and the toxins are cleared from your system. Sorry :-(

Submitted by lambert on

.... so it may be I just don't have a very bad case; literally never having it had it before, I don't know how to judge.

I'm going to try some Bert's Bees soap for poison ivy which has jewel weed in it.

smott999's picture
Submitted by smott999 on

And also since some surgery ages ago I have no lymph nodes in one arm so anything on that side takes forever to heal.
Best I have ever found is Tecnu Extreme scrub.
Yes it does dry out a little, but not too badly.
Caladryl for topical help.
You can get both online quickly.
Also - the best to "freeze" the spread before it gets started ( and you have to do this early on Day 1 as soon as you suspect you've got it) is, believe it or not, simple Clorox bleach. That is harsh on the skin for sure, but if it's early, it nails it completely.