Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac Information Center

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Author: Ken
Date: 7/31/2009 4:47 pm
Views: 2990
Status: Approved
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Hopefully your son's situation situation has resolved by now. Maybe this answer will help for the future: It sounds like you did all the right things. Definitely continue with the oral Benadryl (diphenhydramine). {This is the fastest acting of the over the counter anithistamines. Zyrtec and Claritin would not be as effective.) If your child is under the age of six, get the dosage from your MD. You can overdose on benadryl. I would not recommend the topical Benadryl. This gets absorbed into the blood stream. So if one is taking oral Benadryl in addition to the topical, you have another possible overdose situation.

As noted elsewhere on this board, the parts of the body that have been touched will erupt-it does not "spread". Immediately showering afterward is the first thing to do.

As alternate to prednisone, ask you doctor about methylprednisolone ( six day regimine and only cots $4). You may also want to ask a dermatologist about topical steroids. These are for short term use; however, can provide relief topically. Over the counter, to control the itch and help "dry" things up, ask your pharmacist for Ivy Dry. It has zinc in it which will help dry things up and camphor and menthol for the itch. Also, look for Dermoplast in the first aid section. This product contains a local anesthetic that will help with the itching. These both come in spray versions so you can apply them without irritating the affected areas.

Since this case sounds severe, monitor your child's skin for a possible infection (warm to touch, red streaks) and call your doctor if you are suspicious of an infection.

I have been a pharmacist for 25 years and have seen a lot of nasty cases. The above is what I recommend to my patients. In the end, don't be afraid to call your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Lastly, Make sure you identify any clothing or tools that may have come in contact with the poison ivy. Wash off the tools with a 10% clorox solution, throw away the work gloves and wash the clothes... Good luck.

HELP SEVERE CASE (Approved)stacey7/19/2009 10:22 am
  Re: HELP SEVERE CASE (Approved)Ken7/31/2009 4:47 pm