Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac Relief

you cannot tell from the pic, but it has a red stem

you cannot tell from the pic, but it has a red stem

This is a Public Service announcement blog concerning the dreaded poisonous ivy, oak, and sumac affliction. I am severely allergic to all three and have been plagued with them since I was very young, living in the Louisiana swamplands. I have had the rash on every square inch of my body. Yes, including there. It has been so rampant that it has sealed my eyes shut, caused hallucinatory fever dreams, and soaked so deep into my joints that I could not move. Without a medical or botany doctorate I can safely say that I am still an authority on the subject and how to get rid of it. Fortunately, I only think about it if someone mentions it, the reality of it is nearby, or I have contracted a case of it. Unfortunately, I have it right now.

You might have wandered to this site because you or someone you know is currently down with the sickness. How do they make it go away? Short of going to the nearest emergency room and getting a steroid booster shot, which I highly recommend if it is a full body epidemic, find the nearest Walgreens. I specifically mention Walgreens because they are the only place I have ever been able to find the right soap, Tecnu. Screw Calamine and Ivarest and the Benadryl ant-itch spray. The Benadryl antihistamine tablets are great, but not the salve. All that does is curb the interest to scratch it until it bleeds. It has no medicinal alleviation other than that as far as I can tell. It is solely for people whose natural metabolism will eventually meter out the poison on its own. Tecnu is the way to go.

not this stuff - it is too coarse

this is the stuff you want

When you are out shopping for the soap be aware that there are multiple kinds of Tecnu for various purposes. The Tecnu Extreme is bunk for guys like me who break out instantly into welt sized sores. It is mainly a preventative for the freckle kind when it just starts. Why? Because it has coarse granules in it like facial scrubs that abrade the dead skin. You do not want to break the bubbles.I should say that again in all caps with an exclamation mark. YOU DO NOT WANT TO BREAK THE BUBBLES!!! Three should do it. Leaking is only one way it spreads. Getting into the blood stream is the other. That is what the Benadryl tablets prevent and take care of. The Tecnu you want comes in a bottle (as opposed to a squeeze tube). The packaging is usually a large box. Open it in the store to make sure it is the one you want.

it will probably look like this in the store
it will probably look like this in the store

Now, throw away the instructions. Actually they are written on the bottle so do not really throw them away. What I mean is to just disregard them. Do this instead: Take a shower in luke warm water. Rinse your entire body. While still in the shower apply the soap to your entire body, paying special attention to the obviously infected areas. Leave the soap on you while you cover every limb, appendage, back and hair. Start with your hair and work down. This is all preliminary. Rinse. Return to the places where you itch even a little, but do not have sores yet. Apply the Tecnu and leave it while you attend to the other spots. Make sure to rinse your hands before every new application. Go to the messy spots. Here is where you follow the actual instructions. Apply and wash soothingly over and around the sores for 2 minutes being careful not to break the skin. It will not feel like you have much soap left on your hands. This is okay because it is penetrating deep within the affliction to neutralize the poisons. Rinse. Towel dry. Use a separate washcloth to dab at the sores last. If you use the same towel or do it first, you might be helping spread the rash. When you are completely dry apply the Tecnu to all problem spots like a salve. Do not rinse it or wash it off. Do not rub it in for the 2 minutes like before. Put it on and leave it. I recommend showering 3 times a day until it is cured, repeating the same process I have detailed.

Suppose you have no Walgreens or cannot find the Tecnu. I will not boast about any other relief products, but I will tell you how to maximize their capabilities. A common misconception is to apply a new coat on top of the old one. This is wrong. Rinse the old one before applying the new. It contains all the seeping poisons from the last batch. Get rid of it. Stay clean and remember to always wash your hands.

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2 Responses to “Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac Relief”

  1. Hi Tyson,

    I have some information about the allergic skin reaction to poison ivy which I would like to share with you. Please contact me at dboelman@zanfel.com

    I hope to talk to you soon. Thanks!

    Dan Boelman

  2. i saw your product at Zanfel.com
    however, I have not tried it yet
    “urushiol” is what causes the irritation?
    interesting
    it is a word I will have to commit to memory

    there is a legend
    that underneath every poison ivy plant
    are little white berries
    that are the alleged complete antidote to the poison

    supposedly Tecnu has those in it

    and also supposedly it was originally used to wash away surface radiation
    in the early stages of the nuclear power plant industry
    but i cannot confirm either of these

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