Poison Ivy Princess just sounds lovely, right?
Um, no. Wrong.
That's just the catchy name I've given myself for the sake of this post. You would think I had magical powers or something. I mean, I can get poison ivy just by looking at it. I should be able to win a talent show for that, or win a medal....cash prize? If only. For now I'll just have to settle with giving you a little inside information on poison ivy remedies (or lack thereof) from someone who has it almost year-round. Yippee.
Let's just go ahead and get the items that absolutely do not work out of the way. (By the way, when I say these things "don't work" I mean in terms of clearing up the outbreak.)
1. Calamine Lotion
Is this even worth mentioning? All this does is turn you a lovely shade of pink. No itch relief whatsoever. Bad memories of having chicken pox in Kindergarten and being pink polka-dotted for a week.
Whenever I use Benadryl, it's mainly as a sleep aid when the poison ivy is extremely itchy. If you're losing sleep because the itching is keeping you up, then take some Benadryl before bed and this will help soothe your skin some. As far as clearing up the rash, it does nothing. Bummer.
3. Cortizone Lotion
Doesn't do anything for me. No itch relief. Nothing as far as clearing it up either. Maybe I've just developed an immunity to it. Who knows.
Ok, now let's get to the good stuff. At least the stuff that I use on my many outbreaks.
This cream looks just like Calamine lotion...except it actually helps. They also make an IvaRest wash that you can use in the shower that's supposed to help wash off the poison ivy oils from your skin. They both kind of have a burning sensation when used...but that feels good to some itchy poison ivy! Definitely worth a try!
Ok, this is a product that's fairly new to me and it's probably my favorite at the moment. The only downfall is that it's a little expensive for such a small tube...but when you're desperate, who cares. The good thing is that you can buy the generic at Walgreens and it seems to work just as well. Zanfel is a wash for the shower like the IvaRest. It's also got some kind of "scrub" in the cream which feels reallllly great on the poison ivy. Good excuse to scratch it too---oops, I mean, don't scratch your poison ivy! That's bad!
|Zanfel- about $40 at Walgreens|
|Generic Zanfel- about $30 at Walgreens|
I currently have this prescription, Beta-whatever. As far as itch relief, this doesn't help at all. I guess it helps clear up the rash. I don't know. I'm not patient when it comes to getting rid of poison ivy so my time scale of this stuff "working" is probably way off. I want my poison ivy to be gone in a day or two. Is that even possible? No clue. This cream doesn't clear it up in a day or two, but nonetheless I still use it. Can't hurt.
Well guess what decided to pop up ON MY FACE yesterday. Ugh. I look like a teenager with acne issues.
Here it comes....Day 2
I got a little brave yesterday and tried two new "home remedies." I mean, this stuff is on my face. I will try anything!
1. Baking soda and water mixture
Supposed to dry up the rash. Did it? No. Add that one to the list of worthless remedies.
2. Bleach and water
Yes, I said bleach. This one made me a little nervous. I just kept thinking, "Am I about to burn my skin off?" "Am I about to bleach my skin?!" I obviously didn't listen to those thoughts in my head, because I did it anyway. I made a 1:1 bleach/water mixture, dipped in a paper towel and starting gently blotting my face. First I didn't feel a thing and then OH FIRE, MY FACEEEE!!! It was burning SO bad. I proceeded to stick my face in front of the air conditioner and got a little relief. Did I stop after that? Nope. Hard-headed, I tell ya. These were my thoughts: If I can stand a few minutes of intense skin burning (should've stopped right there) and the bleach dries up the poison ivy rash then it's totally worth it. I can't tell if it's worked yet. For now, I feel like I keep smelling a chlorine pool...but it's probably just my face and hands. Weird. I will have to give it a few days and update later. Fingers crossed.
UPDATE: DAY 4 AND THE POISON IVY IS STILL GOING STRONG. MY FACE IS SWOLLEN AND MISERABLE. HEADING TO THE DOC TODAY FOR A SHOT. NEVER BEEN SO EXCITED TO GET POKED.
Just remember--these are things that work for me. Everyone is different. So maybe the calamine lotion does work for you.
Maybe you have no use for this post right now, but maybe someday you'll have a poison ivy outbreak and think of me. Maybe you won't. If anything, this post helped me feel better about ranting over my most recent outbreak. Now the venting is done and I can just get over it. Deep breath. I feel better.
Do you get poison ivy as easily as I do? What have you found that works best? I'm up for anything!