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poison stuff

Monday, December 03, 2007

Poison oak, poison ivy, or sumac, whatever the case, I seem to have been in contact with it. Saturday evening, after my shower, I went outside to take some clippings from our shrubs to have something green for our advent candle holder. Later that night, I started itching but didn't pay it too much attention. Before going to bed, I saw that I had welts. hmm. Was it reaction to detergent on my fresh clothes? Was it something I ate? Anyhow, I took a Benadryl, applied some Benadryl gel and headed off to bed.

Sunday morning the welts were still there, in fact, they seem to have spread. While brushing my teeth, I'm thinking, "maybe it's poison ivy." I have no experience with the stuff. I slathered on some Benadryl gel and ran off and did my usual Sunday things. Later at evening mass, I was just itching all over. Guppy said I better get something for poison ivy at the pharmacy.

So we stopped at a pharmacy. After some browsing, I opted for Calagel packaged with a sample of Tecnu. It turns out that the poisonous oil is potent and persistent and cannot be easily removed from the skin. Just a little of the plant residue is enough to cause a breakout. I hope I had not spread it to others from my hands at the sign of peace. Getting home, the clothes and the bedding went to wash, the greenery that I brought in yesterday went to trash, and I worked on scrubbing the stuff off of my whole body.

Further reading on the web today indicates that these lovely itchy welts are going to be a 2 to 3 week experience. Oh boy. The Tecnu is most effective within the first 8 hours of exposure; I didn't get it until more than 24 hours later. The best thing at first exposure is to wash, wash, wash. Well that didn't happen because I went out AFTER I had had my shower.

Day 3 and some of the welts have gone down. I had been relatively itch-free until this evening. Even after applying Calagel (after another shower with exfoliating scrub, dry off, apply Tecnu, rinse Tecnu off, dry off again). The gel dries on and then flakes off like lots of dandruff. The exfoliating scrub was supposed to go with spermicide (n??-9). From reading on the web, the spermicide might do the trick. I have no experience with spermicide and didn't see any at the grocery store that I wanted to buy. Oh well. I took another Benadryl. Let's see how things look in the morning.