Poison ivy!

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Sarah, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. Sarah

    Sarah Active Member

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    As I'm sitting here waiting for the doctor to call me back...

    I'm getting married in a little over a week. On Monday, I must have come in contact with poison ivy as I woke up Tuesday with a nice poison ivy rash. Wednesday as it took a greater presence on my face, I called the doctor, had an appointment, and was prescribed prednisone. Took 3 (20mg) pills first 2 days, 2 (20mg pills) today and tomorrow, and then 1 the next 2 days. Since Wednesday, I feel like the rash has spread and my face actually looks more red than the other day and now it's cover more of my arms than before (worse today than the last 2 days--2 days ago there was only a small spot above my wrist on my right arm, today it's covering about half of my right arm).

    Who has experience with prednisone? How long does it typically take to start working? I'm taking lots of benedryl to try and keep the itching in check, but... Now if only the doctor would call me back! He originally told me I should start seeing relief in 24-48 hours, but I'm just past the 48hr mark...

    On another note, who gets poison ivy a week and a half before her wedding? Me. I'm sure stress isn't helping, but I wasn't stressed at all about the wedding before the poison ivy!
     
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  2. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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    Never had a reaction to poison ivy nor taken prednisone, but...congrats on your wedding. I'll bet he/she will love you even with a rash. ;)
     
  3. Debbie S

    Debbie S Well-Known Member

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    Usually it takes at minimum 2 days and sometimes more. I took prednisone for hives on my legs (allergic reaction to Vitamin E oil) and I think it took about 3-4 days to see results. The worse the rash, the longer it takes. And yes, it can get worse before it gets better, not from the prednisone, but due to the delay for the prednisone to suppress your immune system.
     
  4. rfisher

    rfisher Satisfied skating fan

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    I suspect you haven't gotten rid of all the urushiol oil on your skin. The prednisone won't take care of that. You need to shower and use something like Zanfel. It's expensive, but it is very effective at binding the urushiol and washing it away. Just follow the directions on the package. Then clean the area with alcohol. That will prevent additional breakouts. A topical steroid like hydrocortizone will help with local reactions.
     
  5. Sarah

    Sarah Active Member

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    Unfortunately, I did all that. Especially the Zanfel when I first noticed the poison ivy. Everything I've touched (clothes, towels, washcloths, etc.) all get thrown immediately in the washing machine (my poor new washing machine is getting a lot of use this week!). I haven't tried cleaning with rubbing alcohol as I have a history of fainting from rubbing alcohol (happened a lot growing up...). Would something like hydrogen peroxide help in place of the alcohol? I also used hydrocotizone initially though it didn't do anything and the doctor told me to stop using it. Oh well, we'll see if he calls back.
     
  6. rfisher

    rfisher Satisfied skating fan

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    I don't think the peroxide will help. You can try, but it doesn't strip oils as well as alcohol. The problem is by the time you broke out with the rash, the oils had probably already spread. That's what causes the new breakouts. I'd use Zanfel again and use it all over your upper body to get any oils you might have missed. If you took a bath after you were exposed, you just spread the oils more as they float on top of the water. That's why you have to shower and wash them away. You may just have to wait it out at this point. Sorry. I forgot I'd pulled up a piece of poison ivy once and touched my hand to my chest to brush away a fly. I washed my hands, but forgot I'd touched my skin. Until 2 days later. Now, I make a point of washing my hands immediately with cold water. Cold water will bind the oils better than hot or warm. Good luck.
     
  7. Sarah

    Sarah Active Member

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    Didn't think the peroxide would do anything but just with my history with rubbing alcohol (if I walk into a room and smell rubbing alcohol, I get dizzy--used to be terrible when I'd walk into the band room in middle school as they used rubbing alcohol to clean mouthpieces of instruments).

    I did take a shower immediately (I don't actually have a bathtub at my house) and several since but they were with hot or warm water... I'll try and take a cold shower after work. I'll also finish up the tube of zanfel. What bothers me is I didn't even see poison ivy on Monday whereas on Saturday when I was working outside (installing an in ground electric dog fence) I noticed it and made sure to stay away. Monday I didn't see any in the area we were working.

    I just got off the phone with the doctor and he suggested just hanging in there for the weekend to give the prednisone more time to work. If I still don't see improvement by Monday morning, we're going to start a second round of prednisone and increase the dosage if necessary. He's determined I'll feel and look fine by the 14th. Let's hope. My fiance doesn't care, but I do!
     
  8. Tesla

    Tesla Whippet Good

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    My husband just looks at poison ivy and he gets it. Prednisone works like a charm for him, but the rash can appear as you're taking it. I remember one time he had it in his eye, and you couldn't tell until he took the prednisone. Maybe try some Calamine lotion (the pink stuff) or Calagel. You want to dry the rash. But keep up with the steroid!
     
  9. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

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    Is it possible this is some rash caused by stress because of your upcoming wedding? That was my first thought...maybe it isn't poison ivy at all???
     
  10. suep1963

    suep1963 Well-Known Member

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    There is an OTC powder called Domeboro. You mix it with water, dip a towel/wash cloth/something like that, wring it out, then wrap it around the affect area. It helps dry out the rash. I had a break out all over a week before a big event, and that and the predisone worked.

    And I have to say that I looked like a mummy every time I used it!
     
  11. Sarah

    Sarah Active Member

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    Picked up some Calagel last night. Doesn't do too much, but maybe over time? I'm definitely sticking with the prednisone and the benadryl though. Possibly some relief this AM? Very minimal, but some...

    I don't think so. The doctor looked at it and said it's classic poison ivy so... Oddly enough, I'm not even that stressed about the wedding. Everything is taken care of and more or less ready to go. Now it's just getting rid of this stupid rash!

    Hmm. I might have to look for that today.

    I did consider trying rubbing alcohol but I got dizzy just from picking up the bottle in the store (there may have been some residue on the bottle?). If I can't pick up a closed bottle without being dizzy, I doubt I can use it without fainting.
     
  12. Tesla

    Tesla Whippet Good

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    Give everything time to work. :) unfortunately, I think with poison ivy, there is no instantaneous relief. You caught it early enough where you should be fine for your wedding. :)
     
  13. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    There wouldn't be any rubbing alcohol residue on the outside of the bottle for very long. :lol: That stuff dries up almost instantaneously. It's possible that one of the bottles was not sealed properly though....

    At any rate, I hope you find some relief soon! I've had some mysterious rashes before (can it be multiple bug bites at once if my fiance doesn't get any? :lol: ) and they're so annoying! Let alone before your wedding day! Bleck! If you get desperate, Laura Mercier I think sells makeup that can go over ANYTHING.
     
  14. Wiery

    Wiery Well-Known Member

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    Congratulations on getting married! I had a huge, I mean huge, poison ivy rash when I was pregnant with Wiery Jr. The doc prescribed H2 blockers like cimetidine, loratadine; but I would imagine prednisone is drug of choice for non-pregnant people.

    Dermablend is designed to cover scars, tattoos; you might try it if you cannot get Laura Mercier products in your area.

    Good luck with your wedding and the rash!
     
  15. Sarah

    Sarah Active Member

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    Well, I was feeling a little better yesterday, but overnight/this morning, I'm feeling worse. Couldn't sleep well last night from the itchy and the blisters on my left fingers seem worse as does my right upper arm. No amount of zanfel does anything so enough of that.

    I might have my fiance buy a bottle of rubbing alcohol and help me with that. I'll just make sure I'm laying down so I don't hit my head if I pass out. Definitely calling the doctor back first thing in the morning. I've been trying not to take as much benadryl as it's making me feel wonky, but...

    All in all, certain places look better (blister on my left hand, some of my face) while other places look even worse (left fingers and right upper arm). All I can say is this isn't fun! I know I can cover it up with makeup if need be, but I just want to stop itching!
     
  16. jenlyon60

    jenlyon60 Member

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    We used to put old-fashioned toothpaste on poison ivy/poison oak outbreaks when I was a kid. Not the gel type toothpaste but the chalky looking type. Don't know though if the basic composition of that type of toothpaste has changed in the past quarter century (separate from the tooth cleaning/gingivitis products in the toothpaste).
     
  17. Meredith

    Meredith what a glorious day!

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    Congratulations on your upcoming marriage.

    I feel for you. A few years ago I had a bad case of poison ivy that seemed to keep spreading no matter what I did. I washed everything, everything I touched, from walls to clothing to linens - over and over again - showered often and long, with no reprieve.

    It was only after I shampooed my indoor/outdoor cat and kept her inside, that the rash began to subside. Got pets?
     
  18. judiz

    judiz Well-Known Member

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    I swear by Aveeno oatmeal baths to take away itching and help dry up the rash.
     
  19. Sarah

    Sarah Active Member

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    I do have 2 dogs however they have yet to go into the area where the poison ivy is due to the electric fence. It might be worth a try, but it's cold and raining today and I don't have a bathtub. I don't really feel like trying to wash the lab in the shower.... I can see that ending badly. The little one could get a bath in the sink... I'll think about it. Maybe I can convince my fiance to bathe them.

    I am washing all the quilts as we speak. Pajamas, clothes, jackets, etc. are only worn once and then washed. Towels and sheets are being washed too.

    I did decide to give the rubbing alcohol a try. I got really dizzy but didn't pass out (I made my fiance rub it on my arms/hands/face. We'll see if it does anything. I'll try more later.

    One patch on my hand is definitely drying up (the first patch) but there are still newer places that look worse. I'll probably be calling the doctor first thing tomorrow and we'll start on a second round of prednisone. The only good thing is unlike most people, I don't seem to have much, if any, appetite on the prednisone. At least I don't have to worry about gaining too much weight before the wedding.

    As for the oatmeal bath, I don't have a bathtub at the moment. Just bought a house and haven't refinished the hall bath the the seller stripped before listing the house. That's were the bathtub will go eventually. So it's just a shower for now. However, I do have some of the aveeno oatmeal bath stuff. I can probably soak my hands in it in the sink.

    Thanks for all the advice/tips/etc. Definitely appreciated it.
     
  20. leesaleesa

    leesaleesa Active Member

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    It really sucks if you still have a rash on your wedding day, but you can cover it with makeup and there's photoshop to retouch the photos. I wonder if something like prosacea would help? The sulphur can soothe skin and of course dry out the rash. It stinks, but won't cause you to pass out.
     
  21. moebius

    moebius Well-Known Member

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    When I had bad hives probably due to allergic reaction to penicillin, the doctor gave me a shot of epinephrine and most of the hives went away within half an hour. Good stuff!
     
  22. Sarah

    Sarah Active Member

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    Well, I'm calling the doctor's office when they open this morning. Still no improvement from yesterday (the only things that temporarily help are ibuprofen and ice) and it feels like it has spread a little more. Nothing applied topically works (creams, calamine, zanfel, rubbing alcohol, oatmeal baths, etc.) and I finished my prednisone this morning. So at this point, it looks like I'm having some kind of systemic reaction to poison ivy. That said, it's interesting that the prednisone doesn't work for me.

    I should add that some spots are improving. The big blister on my left hand is drying up and the left side of my face looks a lot better. It's just that new spots are appearing (fingers are nicely swollen on my left hand now, the right side of my face has more spots, and my right arm is a rashy mess. Not to mention I think I'm getting some on my legs and more on my left arm).

    If I can't get rid of the bumps before the wedding, fine. I don't even care at this point. I just want the itching and the pain to seize! I want to sleep at night!
     
  23. Tesla

    Tesla Whippet Good

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    You may have to get shots. I think those are stronger than the pills. I hope the doctor can figure something out. :(
     
  24. judiz

    judiz Well-Known Member

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    thought - maybe you should get a second opinion, now wondering if you may have shingles.
     
  25. Sarah

    Sarah Active Member

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    Well, the doctor's office was NOT helpful. Simply called in a second prednisone RX and told me to follow up with a dermatologist. The 2 offices they recommended can't see me until December unless I get an expedited referral and then they can possibly fit me in before the end of the month. Not exactly helpful. What's bothering my most is my primary care physician seems to have the attitude that the oral prednisone will eventually work and isn't open to considering any other options--shots or even rx cream to help temporarily. Frustrating!

    I am going to the pharmacy to pick up more prednisone. I'm going to have the pharmacist take a look at it just to make sure it doesn't look/isn't more serious than it is. Several people have mentioned shingles and while it doesn't look like shingles, I'd like someone to confirm that it's not. So I'll start with the pharmacy.
     
  26. suep1963

    suep1963 Well-Known Member

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    Can you see an allergist? After all, it is an allergic reaction.
     
  27. Sarah

    Sarah Active Member

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    Well, I managed to get an appointment with a dermatologist this afternoon. Let's hope some good comes from it (and my referral went through but that's another story completely).
     
  28. suep1963

    suep1963 Well-Known Member

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    Good luck!
     
  29. Sarah

    Sarah Active Member

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    Thanks everyone.

    The dermatologist confirmed it's poison ivy so no need to worry about shingles. She went ahead and prescribed more prednisone and explained that the dosage that my primary care physician has prescribed wasn't correct. Essentially, with as wide spread as my poison ivy is, I need a higher dose for a longer period of time. So, she put me on prednisone for 20 days (60mg the first 5 days, 40 the next 5, 20 the next 5, and 10 the final 5). She also gave me an prescription for some topical cream and another for a prescription strength benadryl type drug to take at night. Unfortunately, somehow when they called in the RX, the missed the topical so I only have the 2 oral meds. Hopefully, the office will get my message and call in the topical before the end of the day.

    Anyway, all in all, it was a worthwhile visit. I was told to come back immediately if it gets worse or there is another outbreak. She did feel with the higher dose of prednisone and the topical (that I just need to get...), I'll be OK by the wedding. Let's hope.
     
  30. suep1963

    suep1963 Well-Known Member

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    Glad to hear this--at least you got to see someone who knew what they were doing and listened to you. How many days before the wedding? Hopefully the topical will bring down some of the blistering.