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Recurrent poison ivy
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Recurrent poison ivy

I contracted poison ivy last summer (a year ago) on my chest and forearm. It took a long time to clear up, at least 2 months. I had a recurrence of the rash in the same exact place on my chest a few months later, which I had assumed was a re-exposure to the urushiol.  Again, it took many weeks to clear up. I did not use any cream or medication apart from Calamine.  Now, the rash has recurred a few MORE times since then and I am positive there has not been any direct exposure to poison ivy or its oil.  I even threw out all my old bra's in case they were contaminated with the urushiol and causing rexposure.  Has anyone ever heard of this or experienced it? Did my initial exposure permanently damage the nerves in that area or something?  I used over the counter hydrocortisone cream for a week to no effect.  Then I used prescription hydrocortisone cream for 2 wks which helped, but 2 weeks later the rash is back: pruritic, patchy eruption. It has never been a classic poison ivy rash like I've seen in photos. Any input is appreciated.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi there! I have experienced something very similar to that myself. In fact I never thought it was poison ivy. I thought it was heat rash or a fungal infection since it occurred in areas that would get warm and moist as the day went along and I perspired; an example would have been under my bra line on my back and front under both breasts and the middle of my sternum where my bra had crossed. I just put anti fungal Gold Bond foot powder on since I had not had insurance then. Hope it helps for when you ask your doctor again what it could be. Good luck!


arp09
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563773_tn?1374250139
Hello,
It does not sound like recurrent poison ivy rash without any contact with the poison ivy.It can be fungal infection,heat rash,sweat dermatitis or intertrigo.

An intertrigo is an inflammation (rash) of the body folds.It most commonly occurs due to bacterial,viral or fungal infection. An intertrigo usually appears red and raw-looking, and may also itch, ooze, and be sore.

Pls keep the area clean and apply some topical antiseptics. Also wear loose-fitting cotton clothing and use an antibacterial soap or mild soap like dove.Avoid any kind of cosmetics.Topical zinc oxide cream like Sudocrem, Desitin are very helpful(apply with a paper towel and not directly with hands).Application of mild steroid cream like dermacort also helps.For the itching pls take some over the counter antihistaminic like benadryl or Claritin.In case the symptoms persist then antifungals may be needed.Pls consult a dermatologist in that case.

Hope it helps. Take care and pls do keep me posted on how you are doing or in case you have additional queries. Kind regards.


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Avatar_n_tn
I too have had a recurring poison-ivy like rash starting in August 2004. I have had it every year now in July or August. It starts on the left side of my face and neck. It is red, itchy, swollen, and oozing. Last year my doctor told me it was hives after he did a biopsy on my stomach where it had spread. I also had an allergy test but it was inconclusive. This is what I do know. I have had it recur for 7 years. It always starts on the left side of my face. If left untreated, it spreads to the rest of my body and can last over a month. It mainly occurs in the summer. I live in the Midwest. One summer it occurred late as I was in working China all summer. The week I returned to the Midwest, I broke out. I feel like it is something in my body that is triggered by a seasonal pollen. This last year I have also had 4 bladder infections. Never had those before. I don't know if this is related to the rash.
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Avatar_f_tn
I was first exposed to poison ivy in July 2004.  Suffered through an entire summer of unGodly blisters and scratching to the point of removing layers of skin.  I would use the hottest water I could tolerate to ease some of the pain and then finally it did subside once the cold weather began.  Each subsequent year I have gotten it again and again in the same spots without being exposed to the plant or oils.  I was treating it with Medrol Dose Pak and it would eliminate the rashes.  However, in 2011, it stopped working and now I'm left with it reoccurring every time I sweat.  Has no relation to sunlight, just sweating.  I now have a positive blood test for anti ds dna.  I'm wondering if this is due to the reoccurring rash and now possibly spread to my blood.  ?????  
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4159469_tn?1350432026
I don't believe the medical community when they say poison ivy does is not a recurring malady. I had a horrible case of poison ivy when I was just 12 years old. My two friends and I had our last little 'tween' summer dreams smashed after unknowingly choosing to make a club house in a spot intensely thick with poison ivy. We were blown up like balloons for months, one of us landed in the hospital for 4 days and all three of us spent our 2 summer months indoors praying for it to be over before school started.

That was 25 years ago and every year since I have had an outbreak, some slight, some not so slight, of the EXACT same poison ivy rash that I had years ago. For a while I believed I was somehow 're-catching' it-  even thinking that I must be so sensitive to it that I could get it from a strong breeze- that was when I lived in the northeast where there IS poison ivy all over.

OK....so NOW I live in the western US in an area that supposedly doesn't have ANY poison ivy.....yet, as I write this I have the predictable, itchy, bubbly rash in two small but very annoying patches. These poison filled bubbles match every regular picture of poison ivy and nothing else. Its NOT a heat rash or hives or bug bites. After 25 years I know what poison ivy looks like as its the same damn thing that has previously been confirmed by more than one doctor.

It seems like others have the same complaint. Has anyone ever had it as long as me? It seems like, again and again, i hear of people that have it come back again and again when they have it as severe as I did. So, how is it not recurring?
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Avatar_m_tn
I am highly allergic to poison ivy. The last time I came in contact with it, the reaction sent me to the emergency room. I have an Allergist specialist spcifically for treating my poison ivy when I get it (I work outdoors in the southern US, so I get it frequently).

One of the M.O.'s of poison ivy is each time you have a reaction it will be worse than the previous time. There is no way to treat a breakout other then steroids. Calamine lotions help with the oozing of blister, and hydrocortisone helps with the itching, but the steroids boost you immune system into overdrive and help your  body get through the healing process quicker.

The one thing my doc has always made abundantly clear is, if I don't finish the prescribed series of steroid pills to the very last day (starting with a large dose and then weaning off over time), the poison ivy rash WILL COME BACK. The last time I was on steroids for a month and a half to fully stop my ivy break out. So, to answer everyones question, you can have a rash and have it reoccur over time for many years. The oils have worked their way into your skin and any change in body temperature, exercise, etc may be enough to cause another break out.

The last time I came into contact with poison ivy was seven months ago and it was on my face, even with completing steroids, I get a small outbreak around my lips and chin every once in a while as a repercussion.

If you have been experiencing breakouts for a long period of time, like 20+ years, I would suggest seeing an allergist.
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Avatar_m_tn
I too get poison ivy in the same spot every year. It always happens late July, early August. I have been treated with steroid, Medrol pack, lotions etc.  I've rarely been outside this summer because of a heat wave on the east cost. I have someone do my landscaping, and yet I have poison ivy in the same exact spot that I been getting it for the past 14 years. It just keeps coming back.
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Avatar_m_tn
I too get poison ivy in the same spot every year. It always happens late July, early August. I have been treated with steroid, Medrol pack, lotions etc.  I've rarely been outside this summer because of a heat wave on the east cost. I have someone do my landscaping, and yet I have poison ivy in the same exact spot that I been getting it for the past 14 years. It just keeps coming back.
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Avatar_m_tn
I get poison ivy very easily and I use mugwort leaves to treat it.  Mugwort often grows very near to the poison ivy plant.  I grow it in my yard because it is a nice sage.  When I get poison ivy I soak mugwort leaves in hot water as if I am making tea and I lay the soaked leaves directly on the rash.  The rash heals much faster than in areas I don't apply mugwort to.  It is important that the mugwort be freshly plucked.  Dried mugwort doesn't have the same properties.  But I SWEAR by mugwort as a poison ivy remedy.
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Avatar_m_tn
And just an added note of instruction for Mugwort treatment- the leaves need to be fully soaked and soft.  I let them soak for a good thirty minutes and I keep the water to soak new leaves in.  The water will turn brown like a strong tea and that is good.  Whatever the healing property is in mugwort is in that tea so don't toss it out.  Then I lay the soggy leaves directly on the rash and read a book while I let the treatment work.
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8663725_tn?1399235037
Like many !!!  I contracted poison ivy in 2011. Every year since I have a reoccurring issues and it is often systemic in form. Although my hands are effected the most.

Important note is I get the reoccurring form when the plants are not present in the natural world. So exposure to the living plant at this time of year is not the cause. I spend 8 weeks typically in the wilderness and I am survival specialist and know my plants very well.

My accidental contact was in late June 2011. The plants here in Southern Ontario are not even preparing to bud yet and I have not been in the wilderness since early March this years do to my hands.

I work in field Biology & Taxonomic studies of insects. I am still looking for any microscope slide views from the CDC or others of fresh poison ivy serum from a blister to compare to. Just to see if my slide samples resembles fresh poison ivy serum.  Having done many slide samples from my own blisters to see what is in it. All I can say is it bares a great similarity to "urushiol" micro- spores. And my sampling over the years match each other year to year. Which clearly indicates a pattern.

I am saddened to see so many with the same problem and no scientific studies to try to find support for this issue. While researching this issue I have found some scientific community acknowledgement of this subject. However they are not stating a reoccurring issue they are just referring to it.

I found a PDF file paper that is a notice that a bio-pharmaceutical company in Mississippi is working with a potential cure for poison ivy. It is in the works !!! so help may be a stones through away. Once a remedy or potential cure is found they will then focus on other parts of the problem and may recognize the reoccurring events as a weakness in the lymph nods. The immunity system is a complex one but I bet sampling of serum from many patients would likely show a pattern and would likely stimulate a study. My guess is that a basic antibiotic medication might work, but until there is a proven study. No DR will administer it till then. Oh how slow the wheels turn.

This is the PDF file if the link works.

[link]http://www.haptensciences.com/images/HaptenPoisonIvy2.pdf[/link]

So that's my 2 1/2 cents for now.    
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8663725_tn?1399235037
BTW just copy and paste the link into Google because it is not active. Sorry I am not the computer guy :-)
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Avatar_m_tn
I first got poison oak on my right leg in 1998. A few months later, a rash formed on my lips. I got poison ivy on my right ankle in Maryland in 2006. Three years later, I had an outbreak of what looked like poison ivy in a place that poison ivy couldn't have touched, on my left thigh. And it's come back again in 2014. I'm writing to say that after all this time, I think I've solved the mystery of my own recurring poison ivy rash. I get it on my lips from eating mango. And I slowly but surely break out on my legs when I eat cashew dips and dressings or pistachios from the shell. Turns out all these plants share the same poisonous oils. Once a bad case of poison ivy/oak gets you, you're probably more susceptible to having a skin reaction caused by eating these foods. I hope this helps others avoid recurring poison ivy rash.
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