Poison Ivy Paranoia Or Not?

A few weeks ago I was working out in the yard racking leaves, trimming hedges and weeding the garden. I noticed a small vine climbing up the side of the house. I immediately knew it was poison ivy because it had a red stem and 3 pointed leaves. 3 days later I work up in the morning itching all over my body. My skin broke out in numerous rashes and leaking blisters. It was extremely irritating. I was getting so irritated from scratching myself that I wanted to throw a brick through a window.

How I got rid of my poison ivy rashes

Initially I began treating it with Calamine Lotion but found it was not very effective. I also tried Hydrocortisone but it seemed to only increase the itchiness. The rashes continued to spread. I called the Doctor and he prescribed the steroid Prednisone in which I took several pills each day.

The leaking blisters stopped after 1 day of taking Prednisone however the itching continued. Every night I could only sleep for a couple hours before waking up in an itching frenzy. I found I had to apply Calamine lotion every 2 hours to get relief. Other activities that helped included taking hot showers, running or applying a cold towel or cloth on the rashes.

Finally after extremely irritating 3 weeks I could finally celebrate.

During my research online I discovered there are some other remedies which I did not try. These include taking an Oatmeal bath or bath with Epsom salts. Alternative creams include Benadryl and Calagel (the most effective).

Frequently asked questions about Poison Ivy

How do you prevent getting poison ivy?
Be familiar with what poison ivy, poison oak, sumac class plants look like. Poison Ivy can be a vine climbing up a bank, a house or tree. It usually has 3 pointed leaves with a red stem. If you try get rid of poison ivy in your garden make sure you cover your arms and legs. After working with it or if you think you got it while hiking in the forest wash yourself with soap and water. Make sure the clothes you were wearing also get washed or throw them out. If you don’t wash the materials that have poison ivy on them you will only get poison ivy again the next time you touch them even if it’s a year later.

Apply various barrier creams before working with poison ivy. These will help you prevent getting poison ivy in the first place.

How Do you get rid of poison ivy in your Garden?
Bomide poison oak ivy killer

How long do the rashes last?
It varies between people. I still had itchy skin after 2 weeks. After taking Prednisone the leaking stopped after one day however the itchiness continued for another 2 weeks. If you have a bad case of poison ivy such as swelling on your face contact your doctor immediately to get a prescription of Prednisone.

How do you maintain your sanity during the itchy process?
Keep your mind occupied with interesting things such as reading an exciting book, watching a great movie, engaging in interesting conversations or pursuing something you’re very passionate about.

Are there any other things you should know about poison ivy?

If you get a bad reaction the first time you probably will have a bad or worse reaction the next time even if it’s many years later. Try different anti-itch creams to see which one works best for you. For me Calagel was the most effective. Resist the urge to scratch your skin because it might rupture and cause the rash to spread.

Any final thoughts?
Keep in mind that your itchiness and rashes will eventually disappear. So continue to persevere through the frustration, irritation until you are back to being a happy camper.


  • Do not burn poison ivy plants. The oil is vaporized and if inhaled, can cause the rash on lung tissue resulting in respiratory failure in extreme cases. Either way, very dangerous.
  • If a child gets into poison ivy, oak, or sumac, cut his or her fingernails very short to minimize skin damage from scratching.
  • Don’t skip the step of washing your clothes and tools or bathing your pet. Poison ivy and poison oak resins can stay on objects for up to 5 years, which could cause you to have another allergic reaction when your skin comes into contact with them.
  • Put spray-on deodorant on your arms and legs before going outside. It stops up your pores and the oil of the poison ivy does not get in your skin.
  • Poison ivy and oak are related to the mango tree. People who have a history of poison ivy or poison oak dermatitis will often develop the same rash on their hands, extremities or corners of their mouth if they are exposed to mango skin or sticky mango sap while picking fruit from a tree or eating it. If you have a history of poison ivy/oak rashes, let someone else pick the mangoes and prepare them so that you can enjoy the flavor without an itchy, weeping red rash.
  • Click here for info on Poison Ivy


  1. Hi, I am so grateful and happy that i was able to read this vital article, all the info you provided here it seems essential to me as i am pretty allergic to poison Ivy. I’ve tried so many to things to treat it but nothing helped. One has to read some blogs on this condition from health websites like Everyday Health and Mayo Clinic so that they can know what exactly are the symptoms and the treatments available. Thanks for sharing.

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