Sunday, July 3, 2011

Ode to Poison Oak

It's itchy
It's bumpy
It's red and it's lumpy
It's the poison oak that has taken over my legs
Boo ...

After the Double Dipsea last week I was left with sore legs and poison oak.  The sore is gone, but the poison oak has taken over my legs in full vengeance - and it hurts!  Weak at heart?  Hide your eyes - here's a look at a narnar athlete's leg (mine):
(p.s., that's not purple nailpolish on my toe - double gross)

So what's the cure?  Unfortunately the only real cure is time. Poison Oak says the best poison oak treatment and cure is as follows:
  1. Clean your skin right away (when you're an hour + away from home doing a trail race, and all you really want at the end of the race is a Diet Coke and eggs Benedict, that's not always an option)
  2. Identify the symptoms (redness - check! itchiness - check!  Rash - check!)
  3. Avoid scratching - this is the hardest step
  4. Sanitize all your stuff that may have been exposed
  5. Cold baths or showers - painful, but this really does help
  6. Let the area dry
  7. Use antihistamines
Here are my favorite cures:
  • Oatmeal - sounds weird, but this really helps to dry up the poison oak and it takes away some of the itch
  • Benadryl Spray - LOVE this!  Being able to spray it on really helps
  • Calamine lotion  - I use this at night only because it's pepto pink and my legs already look beat up enough
  • Benadryl Allergy - the pharmacy recommended this for night only (I haven't slept in 2 days because of the itch) but this cannot be used in conjunction with the spray; hence the pink stuff
As to how long poison oak lasts, according to the Poison Ivy, Oak, & Sumac Information Center, it can last from 5-12 days.  For severe cases, it can be upwards of 30 days or even longer!  I'm hoping my home treatments will help stick on the short side ... I'm at 7 days and counting.

    1 comment:

    Ellis Family said...

    It's probably cleared up by now, but if not, try using Grandpa's Pine Tar Soap sold at any natural foods stores. It has done wonders with helping my rashes clear up and soothing the itching. Plus, it's very inexpensive. Good luck!