It's likely that the ivy oil will dry out on its own after several days, but good old soap and water will get rid of it for sure. For future reference there is a specialty poison oak/ivy wash called tecnu that you can use to breakdown the oil after getting contaminated. Usually you have a couple of hours to wash it off before it is aborbed by your skin. Do a google search for tecnu if you want more info, you can pick it up at most drug stores (e.g., rite aid). I keep a small bottle of it in my dry bag if I know I'm doing a run that has PI on it.
I also have a special relationship with PI/PO--it pretty much destroys me. I have had great luck with prednizone (sp?). You can get it from the pharmacy for very cheap, but you have to have a script from a doc. It knocks out the reaction in hours (it sounds impossible, but it works on me). You don't want to take too much in a year, or for a very long amount of time, but they say that a week's worth will have no ill effect--take that for what it's worth. I have talked docs into writing refills so that I don't have to pay for a visit each time for my couple of bouts/yr with PI.
once you have broken out with the rash, scald it with hot water from your sink, bath, shower, whatever. This is the most painful, luxurious thing a person can experience as it releases the histamines that make you itch. I get about a twelve hour window of no-itch between scalds.
If you have been exposed but have not broken out, avoid hot water as it opens your pores and lets the oil in and eat prednisone or benadryl. Technu and a cold hose should rinse of any unwanted oils from a boat. I've heard dish soap dissolves the oil as well.
Once you get the oil in your system you can break out anywhere, so just because it's on the inside of your knee don't blame your thighbrace immediately.
If the rash gets really sloppy and messy, dab some bleach on a paper towel and paint the rash. It burns but it should scab up and go away, leaving your skin only slightly discolored.
If you're really brave eat a leaf or two. It will desensitize you, though I've heard horror stories about the intestinal reaction caused when it is processed. Can you say Taco Butt?
If you don't have tecnu or zanfel (worth it, but why the [email protected]#K do they have to charge $40 for a one oz. tube????) a capful of bleach diluted in @ half a cup of water or even straight bleach with just acouple drops of water applied topically every hour or two helps to dry it out, but I wouldn't do it for to long or use just that. i go for the kitchen sink theory- everything but the... -whatever it takes. previously i have tried Jewel weed (the herbal antidote) orally and topically, white clay, tecnu, homeopathics, antibiotics, topical steroids, tecnu, brown soap,.......
it all helps, but none are good enough by themselves.
the most success i have had (without having tecnu or zanfel on hand immmediately) was to use bleach topically, use zanfel every time i shower, (i think it's important to shower often,[in general], and so that caustic shit has less time to build up and spread.) and i also had some clobetisol- the heavy-duty topical steroid- which i started with asap, and went to the dermatologist right away, got more of that shit, and prednisone, and some other antibiotic, and it never even got to the point where it was open.... it still sucked but was no where near as bad as when i have gotten it previously.
i always try to avoid using western medicine,like antibiotics and steroids, and if possible, and use chinese herbs and homeopathics, (even though i work EMS and administer some heavy duty drugs on patients- if they get them, they tend to need them, though.)but in this case, it is the best way to knock it out quickly.
Once you have the reaction it is all immune response--the oil is either long gone or has been phagocytized by macrophages. Your body is basically ripping shit up...unfortunately it is you. Benadryl tabs work ok to knock down the itch a bit. Topical shit will do little. The scalding shower thing works...it exhausts your afferent nerve fibers. Just don't burn yourself. The number one thing to do is go to the MD and get systemic prednisone to take orally. I can't remember the dosage -- don't prescribe it much. But make sure you taper off of it and only take it for a protracted period to avoid cushingoid symptoms...most visibly a redistribution of the lipid in your body (fat trunk, skinny limbs). Good luck...I live in fear of the three leafed terror. Tons more of it back east.
Mike--I know of one guy who ate two P.O. leaves. He lives on an acreage in Sonoma that is infested with the plant and is kind of dumb as well. He claims to be immune now but he had to deal with a 'ring of fire' for two weeks to get there.
I have close encounters with the plant (P.O.) several times a week. I stopped doing all but the most basic cold water rinse after exposure and my breakouts have been diminishing to the point where I think I've built up an immunity.
Don't waste your money on Technu, topicals, or scrips if you're constantly exposed. Just learn to love the hot water burn and it's like not having the rash. I do know some people are hypersensitive to the oil, if you're one of those go see a doc and avoid the plant.
Thanks for all the advice. I wish I would have known all that before but it was 2 days before I figured out what it was so we can just say that I got it bad! I found that Tea tree Oil worked really well for every one who likes the natural remody.
The hot water worked well and I found that cold river water felt great too, so good luck to every other unlucky soul who gets in this sh*t!
Mike a -- A gal I paddle with ate a few PI berrys by accident. She broke out horribly and couldn't take any steroids to alleviate the symptoms (she was pregnent at the time.) Apparently, she was picking berries and eating them. There must have been PI growing in the vicinity and she remembered biting down on some hard crunch "pepper corn like" items.
She is now more allergic to it than before and minor cases turn systemic (sp?) which ibeleive means it spreads everywhere.
After we do the portage on the Idaho Blackfoot, we just soap up pretty well. It's worked for me, in all the years I've been running that section I have yet to have a break out...
That's why I asked: I never had a reaction (maybe no contact?) until I got deep into it at around 12 yrs old (face, hands, legs arms from picking berries). Since then I break out if I stand down wind from it (well, maybe not that easily, but it seems like it some times). Now it will also break out in areas where I never had contact, even a couple of weeks after the initial rash, though not as badly. So while my original rash is going away, my reactionary rashes are just getting started. I just go straight to the steroids now, but only once or maybe twice per year, as it isn't that prevailent up here and I've gotten pretty good at spotting it.
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