My weekend was rather uneventful to say the least... but I've learned so much about poison ivy that I thought I'd share a few things with you should you ever find yourself in my situation. (I know this may seem like a boring post... but you might thank me one day! lol)
You see, what happened was...
Last Sunday, I went muddin' with my brothers out in the country. My brother blew a tire so I decided to walk to another truck to be carried home. Apparently, I walked through some poison ivy and evidently, I'm highly allergic/sensitive to it. I got it on my arm, neck, and around my eye. IT HAS BEEN A NIGHTMARE TO SAY THE LEAST.
If you ever get poison ivy (or oak), I highly suggest going straight to the doctor if you have insurance. I got a steroid shot and prescription which immediately shrunk the swelling and slowed the poison from spreading so rapidly. Still, I wasn't healing as quickly as I'd hoped so they upped my steroid dosage.
FYI - steroids make you a freaking monster. My husband went with me to the doctor the second time and was extremely relieved when the doctor said to him, "Now, if she's a bit grouchier than normal, it's not her. It's the steroids." His response?
"Oh THANK GOD!"
I had no idea! But apparently, they make you short tempered and extremely irritable. I just thought I was feeling that way because I got poison ivy but I was a bit relieved to be able to blame it on the pills. lol
Anyway, here are a few tips I received from the doctor (contrary to what you may read online):
1. DON'T take a bath or hot showers.
Hot water apparently opens the pores and makes the poison ivy spread. I read a lot online about "relieving" the itch using hot water (and it works) but the doctor said it does way more damage than helps.
2. Keep your metabolism low and stay cool.
i.e., don't exercise, don't go out in the sun... basically along the same lines of the no heat rule.
Heat + poison ivy = BAD.
3. DON'T scratch. (obviously)
You can spread the oils by scratching and worse, get infected. If the poison ivy oil seeps into your bloodstream - you're screwed. Well, that's drastic but it's very, very bad.
*I heard/read conflicting reports about if the rash is contagious and my advice is to just assume it is. I had a few instances where I accidentally touched a clean part of my body with the infected part, and BAM, a reaction developed almost over night. (hence - my eye and other parts of my face)
4. Take Benadryl (anti-histamine) like clock work. TRUST ME.
It keeps the itch at bay and if you aren't itching, then you're not scratching.
and last but not least...
5. BUY ZANFEL IMMEDIATELY!!
This little 1oz tube of miracle paste is worth every freaking dollar. Seriously, we spent $40 on ONE OUNCE. I was skeptical, but after dealing with this for a week... after a shot, all these steroids, the creams, the lotions, etc... I seemed to be getting nowhere. So my husband pulled the trigger and bought this. I am not exaggerating when I say that I saw 10x the improvement in less than 24 hours than I have ALL WEEK on all these meds! (There are before & after pictures online... they are accurate! It worked for me!)
I'd even dare to say to try Zanfel first and if you're not hopeful after 24 hours, then go to the doctor.
I'm leaving for vacation on Thursday and I've been so distraught about this breakout. I almost cried when I saw the improvement after using Zanfel! I'm confident I'll be almost 100% better by the time we leave for our vacation!
If you've ever had poison ivy, was it this much of a bitch to you too?