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  • Poison ivy cure

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    Old 08-08-2003, 02:25 AM   #1
    Join Date: Aug 2003
    Posts: 1
    RJR99SS HB User
    Post Poison ivy cure

    It amazes me that some people have never even had poison ivy/oak/sumac, mostly people raised in an urban environment. I have a few neighbors who moved out to the sticks and catch it and totally freak. I remember my neighbor calling the ambulance cause she thought her kid had skin cancer, of course it just turned out to be a poison ivy rash. So i figured i'd just write this up and maybe help someone out there.

    Of course the poison ivy rash is caused by the poison ivy plant. A rather sneaky plant that can take shape of vine, shrub, or small unnoticable plant. The plant secretes and oily substance that causes the actually allergic reaction on the skin. It's kind of hard to just say "avoid the plant" because 90% of the times you catch it you never even noticed you came in contact with it.

    The resulting rash is one of the sickest things you can ever get. As a child i completly dreaded ever catching poison ivy. If you got a bad case of it, you'd basically be having no fun at all for a month. The rash is completly disgusting, your skin swells and becomes quite hard, small watery blisters form, the itching is almost absurd. The very sight of the rash is enough to make others around you physically ill, it really looks like something from a gross out horror movie. Having the rash limits your social life, You cant just cover the rash up with clothing as the skin becomes ultra sensitive to any contact at all.

    I can remember i was hospitalized twice for severe poison ivy rash. The more severe of those cases was due to a neighbor who was burning a tree infested with it. I basically broke out in a full body rash. For about two months i was a mass of reddish, blistery skin. It became so bad that my skin actually "split" in places, leaving permanent scars.

    Real lovely picture huh? After growing up and catching this rash for about the billionth time, i started to wonder if there's any way to get rid of it. The lotions and herbal cures out there these days simply ease the itching, frankly nothing out there does anything at all to actually get rid of the rash. Even the famous jewelweed cure seems to do almost nothing to me.

    I talked to doctors about it, but its amazing how little help they can be. All they said was basically "It's really hard to get rid of because its almost impossible to cleanse the skin of the oil".

    Oil? I find it hard to believe a little bit of oil is going to cause me all this trouble. So i got to work on finding ways to get this junk out of your skin.

    I basically came down to 2 simple cures from houshold stuff.

    The first way i've tried for years is using rubbing alcohol. This works leaps and bounds over the common medications and the cooling effect of alcohol does wonders for the itching. You basically soak the rash area with rubbing alcohol several times a day. The problem with alcohol is that you really have to do it alot of times to see a result. But it will get the job done. The rash will heal up in about 1/4 of the time it usually takes. It really does seem to depend on just how much rubbing alcohol you apply. One day i noticed i had a rather bad poision ivy rash developing on my foot. Frankly...i use my foot alot, and i wasnt looking forward to feeling this rash every time i took a step. So i tried filling a bowl with rubbing alcohol, and i simply soaked my foot in it for about 6 hours. Yep, that rash was good as gone after that. Time well spent i think.

    I've heard other people tell me they like to cut the rash open (in a skinning method) THEN soak the area in rubbing alcohol. This is a rather bad idea (yes i've tried it) as skinning the rash is quite painfull and frankly revolting. Then adding rubbing alcohol to it is immensly painfull. It really does not seem to heal the rash any faster than just using alcohol though. Plus if the rash dosnt heal immediatly you also get the pleasure of having a poison ivy rash WITH a large amount of scar tissue on top. about fun.

    So the alcohol thing is safe and it works, and its only about $1.50 for a huge bottle of it. the problem with it is that it's kind of time consuming. I wanted some nuclear weapondry. I work as a auto mechanic from time to time, and i started thinking we have all kind of solvents and sprays to deal with the sole concept of getting oil off of something.

    So i figured, what the hey, why not try some of this stuff. Once again i caught poison ivy between my toes, the skin started to blister and it showed every signed of becoming a rather large rash. So i just grabbed a can of Brake cleaner, which is a high powered solvent in a spray can that evaporates quickly and leaves no residue, and sprayed it on my toes. Wouldnt you know it? within hours the rash was completly gone, just from one spray.

    Ok disclaimer time. Yes....brake cleaner isnt technically great to come in contact with your skin. I've gotten in on me plenty of times and noticed no negative effects, its quite similer to rubbing alcohol as the heat from your body evaporates before it really has any time to eat up your skin (that is if its even capable of that). So whatever, use it at your own risk. All i can say is if you've ever had poison ivy...spraying a heavy duty degreaser on your skin starts to make a whole lot of sense. Read the warning on the cans if you're going to do this please, dont use it inside or next to a bondfire as the fumes this stuff gives off is flamable. But if you're serious about curing that nasty rash, you can get brake cleaner at any auto parts store, it's made under hundreds of name brands, but a big can of it cost about $3.

    So i'm happy to say these days that using those two methods, mainly the brake cleaner, i havnt had any serious poison ivy rashes. The minute they brake out i just zap them, and it becomes nothing more than a minor annoyance for a few hours rather than a serious problem for weeks or months.

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    Old 09-03-2003, 06:45 PM   #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date: Aug 2003
    Location: Columbus
    Posts: 133
    Queeneev HB User

    oh myfriggin god, LOL!

    I will try it! I am dying here, covered in the ooze and maniacal trying not to itch. Damn this plant anyway! Thanks for sharing the tip, I will let you know if I, too, have positive results. If so, perhaps we could work on a trademark...

    PS - so far in the past 4 days I have tried banana peels, vinegar, calomine, and the big rip-off, Zanfel at $40 a tube. Nothing has worked.

    You better not be, man, cuz I'm gonna try it!

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