Berkeley Parents Network >
Advice about Health >
My son has a horrindous case of poison oak. What are some
favorite effective remedies. We've tried all of the sta dards
and it keeps spreading.
Technu, Technu, Technu! My son and I are extremely
allergic to poison oak, and Technu products are miraculous.
There is a wash to use if you know that you have
encountered poison oak and it hasn't yet appeared and
even if it's just starting, which binds with the poison oak oil
and washes it away. There is also an anti-itch gel for when
the rash has already progressed. If his rash is extremely
severe, which it might be by the time you see this digest, an
antihistamine may be the only way to go. I would definitely
go to Longs (that's where I get it; other places probably carry
it also) and stock up for future episodes.
For temporary (2-3 hours) relief from itching, run *hot* water
over the affected areas. obviously you don't want to scald, but
the hotter the better. heat brings out the histamines (the itch
causing agents) and hot water will deplete the body's supply for
a few hours; plus it feels really nice on the affected skin. I
get the meanest cases when I get it, and this is the one sure
relief I've found.
I've never known anyone who had worse poison oak than I have and
I tried every imaginable lotion, medication, etc. In the end,
the thing that works for me is: ice. Bags of crushed ice. Once
I made a bed of ice and lay down on it and someone then covered
me with ice. When I am walking around, I have bags of ice with
me, and put it on wherever it starts to itch. This is the only
thing that keeps me from feeling the itching, and not scratching
is the only thing that keeps it from spreading. It itches when
it gets hot and the ice keeps it from getting hot enough. Also,
it just numbs the sensations. This gives the whole thing time
to heal. It works for me after years of trial and error--I hope
it can be of some help to you.
It might be too late for your kid, but Tecnu is a very effective
the oils that cause poison oak irritation. You can put it on your
skin before contact, and it will prevent poison oak; you can clean
poison oak off after contact; you can wash your shoes and gear in
it; you can put it on the rash and it will help stop the itching.
It is amazing stuff. You can find it at Safeway sold under the
If it's really bad and keeps spreading, I would suggest going
to the docter and getting a shot of cortizone or a
prescription for cortizone pills. If you don't like that idea, try
benedryl, taken internally. Most topical creams don't work
very well. The best is clamine lotion. You want the blisters to
dry out and heal and not get infected. I found a medicated
clalimine lotion to be most soothing. You should also try
Donboro, an astrigent solution found in any drug store,
works well to relieve skin irritation and inflamation from
poison oak. Witch Hazel is a milder astringent you can try
I get terrible poison oak.
All of the suggestions so far are great and I've used them,
especially the blasting under hot-as-you-can-stand water.
Provides hours of relief and feelsgreat whenyou are doing it.
Another treatment I just discovered is ''Zanfel'', an OTC topical
cream. Provides the best relief from itching. You can learn
more at www.zanfel.com. Down side is it is very expensive,
$38/tube. However, I found it worth it, as I was in such misery
I have always been very sensitive to poison oak and as a child had to
get cortisone shots to make it heal at all. As an adult, I have discovered
two wonderful treatments: Hyland's homeopathic Poison Oak/Ivy pills,
which make the affected areas heal quickly and reduce the itching, and
clay on the rash area, which both dries out the blisters and soothes the
itching. I get both the pills and and dry bulk red clay at Whole Foods in
Berkeley. If I begin taking the pills as soon as the rash starts to develop,
I can sometimes prevent it from fully developing at all. It's fabulous!
Some people take Rustox (sp?) pills, which is the main ingredient in the
Hyland's remedy, and which you can also get at Whole Foods in their
Recently I have used Aloe (as sold in stores in bottles) to put
on both itchy bites and itchy poison oak. It cools and takes the
itchiness away to the point there is no scratching, however it
does sting for a while. I've only used it for small poison oak
patches, however, so I don't know how it would work for bad
reactions over a large area.
this page was last updated: Jun 29, 2003
BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are transitioning to a new website: BerkeleyParentsNetwork.org
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2015 Berkeley Parents Network