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Recurring Poison Oak!
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Recurring Poison Oak!

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I was badly affected on the forearm by mistakenly cutting Poison Oak with a chainsaw. This was two full years ago. It was treated with Prednisone, properly tapering off. With absolutely no possibility of contact since then, the rash has recurred in EXACTLY the same 10" X 1" spot caused by the pitch from the chainsaw blade. Does the Poison Oak oil lie dormant in the skin and periodically resurface?
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23 Comments Post a Comment
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563773_tn?1374250139
Hello,
The rash of poison ivy is a type of contact dermatitis and it does not lie dormant.The rash that you are having can be due to contact dermatitis or fungal infections. Non-sedating antihistamines such as Cetirizine(Zyrtec) or Loratadine(Claritin) may be needed to get symptom relief. Sedating antihistamines such as Chlorphenamine(Benadryl) is used at night to get urticaria control. Short courses of oral cortisone or steroids are taken for short periods (one to three days) to settle more severe symptoms.
You may take Vitamin C along with the prescribed treatment. Vitamin C is a general anti-allergy supplement. It helps stabilize mast cells so they are less likely to release histamine.If the symptoms persist then pls consult a dermatologist.
I hope it helps.Take care and pls do keep me posted on how you are doing or if you have any additional doubts.Kind regards.

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Avatar_m_tn
It has been my experience that poison oak is a persistant irritant! The oils may have remained on the chain saw chain, and when you used it, it caused a relapse or it was in the clothes you wore when you got your first infection of the poison oak! You need to thoroughly wash any clothing you were wearing when you came into contact with the poison oak!!
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Avatar_m_tn
I know what you are saying. I came in contact with poison ivy/oak 3.5 months ago on the arm at work. I did throw away all gloves and cloths. after medication with it completly disappearing, I find when I sweat the rash comes back in the same area and becomes itchy. Then seems to go away several 2-24 hours later. Funny thing is, Im now 31 years of age and when I was about 11 I had come in contact with poison Ivy/oak on my hand/fingers. Still to this day it will reappear every so often on my fingers/hand. I havent had it looked at but now im scarred it will be appearing on my arm now for the rest of my life. It like it is stored under my skin and never gos away. Dont listen to the doctors, cause I really dont think they know as much as they think they do about poisonous plants.
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Avatar_n_tn
About 20 years ago I began breaking out with what I thought was Poison Oak. I got this rash yearly all over my face & to the point that I was unrecognizable. Finally, about 10 years ago a DR said that he thought it was an allergic reaction but had no idea what I was allergic to. The following year I bought a mano. I woke the next morning with the start of the rash. I did some research & found that Mango's are a cousin to poison oak/ivy. Pay attention to what you eat prior to the rash. There are many fruits/vegi's that are relatives of the itchy beast so the reaction is likely to mimic oak/ivy rash. In the past 2 years I have learned that I am allergic to additives, preservatives, & all food excluding raw fruit & vegi's (some nuts & seeds as well). My 13 yr old son has followed in my footsteps & is currently covered in poison oak & sadly, is allergic to Mango's. Get to know your body & pay attention to everything!
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Avatar_m_tn
Did you ever get rid of your oak rash permanently?  I've now had the same experience. After resolving severe poison oak with a shot and a 10 day round of antibiotics, most of my rash reemerged a few weeks later -- in the exact same places, with no chance of second exposure.  50% of my torso, so VERY uncomfortable! Everyone says it doesn't lie dormant but a friend of mine just showed me a spot he says he got a couple years ago and says it comes back a few times each year. Sounds like a new study is needed -- this is driving me a bit crazy.
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Avatar_m_tn
It doesn't seem possible, I know, but this is exactly what I was wondering--every couple of years I have what looks like poison ivy in exactly the same two spots, one on each leg. It's possible it could be touched off by subsequent exposures to poison ivy, since I'm pretty allergic to it and it seems to occur only in the summer, but I know there was no contact made at those same spots, time after time. It acts like a dormancy that flares up. I don't think it's connected to heat or sun, by the way, and have no history of eczema or other skin disorders. It's not fungal, but I'm wondering now about a dormant virus?
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Avatar_f_tn
I've had reoccurring poison oak rash reoccur on several occasions without any exposure.  It does happen.  I find the mango connection interesting.  Experiencing this rash now, and have recently eaten mangos.  Hmmm.?
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Avatar_f_tn
I had a severe case of poison ivy on the back of my leg back in 2006. Every year it comes back in the same exact spot. It doesn't seem as bad as the first time but if I continue to scratch it the bumps come right back and the itching is almost unbearable. If I'm not careful it will become a full blown case of poison ivy again. It's apparent to me that it's lying dormant.
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Avatar_f_tn
I had a bad case in December on my knee mostly, which kept popping up in random places on my body, elbows, hips...finally got rid of it.  Felt an itch last night, looked at my knee and there was a fresh set of blistered up poison ivy!! What is going on??  I have been stressed out all week, could that have ANY connection?  Only other possiblity, a blanket I used, may have been touched back in December...but how long does it stay on fabric, and also, what are the odds it would appear same spot on my knee from that anyway?  Not likely, I think.  It seems like it's just harbored in my body and chooses to re appear.  Glad I'm not crazy or the only one experiencing this strange reaction.
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Avatar_m_tn
I got poison oak about 2 months ago and it was the worst thing that has ever happened to me physically.  It started on my neck and spread all the way around it, down my chest, up to my face, all around my stomach and hips, down the front of both legs to the backs of my calves...it was bad.  I was miserable for 3 weeks and almost couldn't function for the first 2.  Needless to say it finally went away with treatment and I have been symptom free for a month. All of a sudden 3 days ago I wake up itching...look at my leg and I've broken out in the rash again. I did began my work out regiment 3 days ago since summer is quickly approaching and I am 100% positive that I washed and cleaned EVERYTHING that I had with me that day 2 months ago and haven't been re-exposed.  The only thing that can explain this is that I have irritated these poison oak foreign bodies that are obviously still circulating my lymphatic system possibly through excessive sweating.  If this IS the case then poison oak has now become the bane of my existence.  Oh if I could just go back 2 months ago and just be more careful.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for your comments - now I don't feel so alone!  My story is that I was dragging a poison oak "tree" after cutting it and somehow the sharp trunk got between my gloves and sleeve and cut my wrist!  I immediately applied Technu as deep inside the cut as possible and on the skin of my arm.  Sure enough, I developed a bad rash at the site of the cut and the rash continued to pop up in a variety of spots over the next month.  The worst were two large oval areas on the tops of both thighs---the right one was larger and it became severely edematous and eventually developed oozing ulcers!  By the end of 2 months, all was well and I went a whole month without a rash ...until 3 days ago when both thigh lesions re-appeared suddenly!  They are growing and getting itchier as I write this.  Would love to know the medical mechanism for recurrent poison oak without re-exposure.  
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Avatar_m_tn
I was covered in poison oak in 2001-2002 at a maintenance job and I've had nothing but problems with my skin ever since. I've been to allergists, they keep saying it's a coincidence and I had a pre existing condition (contact dermatitis) and they're extremely dismissive of my story. I've had to take zyrtec ever since (we're on 13 years now) and it's the only thing that helps. Both forearms, my hands, my left eye and my legs were covered and completely swollen and are still sensitive. I was working with guys who thought it'd be funny to do this to the new guy (me), to clear brush and send me in knowing I didn't know what I was dealing with. Anyway, the reason I'm on here is that I've had a huge problem with my right hand, to this day the palm blisters up from touching old metal, cardboard, dust, etc. The allergists keep saying it's contact dermatitis and that I already had it, but this never ever happened until I was covered with poison oak and now it runs my life. I was very active before this, now I have to work my life around it. I've only started to take off most of the 70 lbs the prednisone had put on me being the case was so severe, it really turned into a long term nightmare. I would LOVE to hear that someone had an idea of something I could do to calm this blistering down. Maybe a shot of some kind? The reason I've gone to allergists is to ask that question and they poo poo the whole thing, which just adds insult to injury. If anyone has any similar problems or ideas, I'd be hugely grateful. Thanks
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Avatar_m_tn
I have a similar issue; I got a really bad case of poison oak two years ago, which went systemic, and I had to take prednisone for quite a while before it got better. Ever since then, if I eat anything with mangos in it, or sweetened with mango juice, I will have a recurrence of a rash in the exact same spots! (Mangos are in the poison oak family.) Also, any kind of skin irritation (I am prone to contact dermatitis as well, and I'm reactive to metal also) may cause those spots to erupt in a rash again. I hate taking prednisone, due to the many uncomfortable side effects and weight gain, but so far that is the only thing that can calm my skin reactions down. All I can figure is that it is some kind of auto-immune related thing, that my skin "remembers" where it was damaged and any kind of irritant will make it rash up.
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7007192_tn?1386991717
I am going through this very issue at this time.  About this time of year in 2011, I had my first and a horrible experience with poison ivy rash.  I cut our own Christmas tree at one of those farms and apparently cut through very mature poison ivy vines, ripped them out of the tree with my gloved hands.  I had lesions on my lower torso, left thigh, and particularly my left forearm.  It was really gross and kept going and going.  I took a lot of photos.  Friends commented that I had leprosy, gangrene or such.  It finally went away after what must have been a month.  I was on both topical steroids and had a brief and intense dose of prednisone - a several day "pack".  I could not believe how much fluid oozed from my arm over the course of several weeks.  It was so gross!

Well, I have had absolutely no exposure to the outdoors like this and yet, I had itchy spots appear in the same generalized areas as before - not as severe (yet), but uncomfortable.  I was able to stop scratching the arm and even though the large bumps are very swollen (raised >1mm above mean surface), they have not begun to discharge.  My left thigh is another matter.  The rash is about the size of small banana and the middle has an oozing area, about the size of 2 U.S. quarters.  I tried to make due with the first aid kit at work today, but it oozed through my pants all day.  So gross.  Fortunately, I was able to avoid interacting with people today for the most part.

This is insane.  The professionals tell us it can't be and yet here we are with these symptoms.  I do recall my dermatologist told me in 2011 that the areas that were compromised may scar and be sensitive going forward.  I wonder if this isn't what's up.  Really, we talk of "having poison ivy" or "having poison oak", as if that were a condition.  The oil is just the trigger - the nasty freaking trigger.  What I'm and you're going through is a reaction.  So it stands to reason what my dermatologist was telling me could explain this on some level.  Why these spots only?  Well, I am extremely stressed and getting very little sleep at present.  The weather very recently changed to very cold and the heaters are on in full force.  So the air is dry.  I drink way too much caffeine.  My skin is generally already sensitive, even when I'm sleeping and not drinking so much coffee.  So it gets really dry and all of my skin is shocked generally the same... but the areas that were whacked by poison ivy 2 years ago, they are somehow more sensitive / weaker.  So they display the issues.

This is my theory for now.

Good luck to all of you!

Chris
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Avatar_m_tn
Well, i have another story! And to those that say poison ivy/oak can't reaccur in the same spot over and over....for YEARS....with no exposure, well...ha...they're WRONG!

About 5 years ago i got poison ivy really bad! I had been redoing a yard, and practically rolling in the stuff. On prednisone and any other stuff i got get my hands on. Just about the time one spot would clear up..another would appear. From my ankle, back, butt, fingers, chest, and a little on my face. I bought a lose long dress to wear, cuz i was covered in pink lotion...lol

Anyway, every 6 months or so, i have an outbreak about the size of a quarter come out on a 'scar' at the top of my butt! I kept doing research to see if this was normal. Everything i read said it is NOT POSSIBLE! This morning i had an itch. Like a small pimple. I knew immediately what it was. I told my friend about it. (prior to this) and he was skeptical. 2 hours later it had grown. Tomorrow i will be miserable. It doesn't last that long...about a week! But i know what it is...and NO IT IS NOT HERPES! lol It's poison ivy that lays systemic in my body! Doctors don't know everything apparently!
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Avatar_f_tn
My experience with this mysteriously appearing recurrent poison oak is the Zanfel helps nicely. Mine seems to be going through the exact same sequence (regarding distribution on my skin) as the original case, (approximately one month ago) only more accelerated. It has only been recurring for 5-6 days but already I have the healing serous crust of late stage healing up. I am so glad I'm not alone with this! Sorry to hear of you much more serious case. Good luck!
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Avatar_m_tn
Although I live in a wooded area I'm not sure exactly how I got what looks like poison oak on the top & side of my my left hand. I'm thinking that it is possible I got it from my cat who is out in the woods all the time. That was a couple of years ago. At the time I started putting my hand under cold water or use ice cubes to sooth it. I had to do it many times during the day when the itching returned but over the course of several months it was reduced to the outer most limits of the circle and then finally went away. After about two years the itching returned to the same area but with the cold water I have been able to keep it from blistering. I did have a stressful situation recently and perhaps that is why it re-emerged; but don't really know. Anyway once again I am keeping it at bay with the cold water or ice which allows me to be comfortable during the day and at night when I sleep with an occasional treatment during the night if I make a trip to the bathroom. I expect it will go away again but now believe it is here for life waiting to emerge  whenever conditions are right for it. Whatever that is. Hope this helps.
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Avatar_m_tn
Although I live in a wooded area I'm not sure exactly how I got what looks like poison oak on the top & side of my my left hand. I'm thinking that it is possible I got it from my cat who is out in the woods all the time. That was a couple of years ago. At the time I started putting my hand under cold water or use ice cubes to sooth it. I had to do it many times during the day when the itching returned but over the course of several months it was reduced to the outer most limits of the circle and then finally went away. After about two years the itching returned to the same area but with the cold water I have been able to keep it from blistering. I did have a stressful situation recently and perhaps that is why it re-emerged; but don't really know. Anyway once again I am keeping it at bay with the cold water or ice which allows me to be comfortable during the day and at night when I sleep with an occasional treatment during the night if I make a trip to the bathroom. I expect it will go away again but now believe it is here for life waiting to emerge  whenever conditions are right for it. Whatever that is. Hope this helps.
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Avatar_m_tn
I want to add to my post of Jan 24, 2015 about poison oak with regard to lotions. When soothing the itch with cold tap water or ice the skin can become chapped and that too can cause additional itching. So, out come the skin lotions. I tried Aloe Vera and St Ives and in both cases it made the itching as bad or worse than before. Finally I tried Vaseline petroleum jelly and got total relief. Initially after I applied the Vaseline there was some itching but I could still run my hand under the cold water tap to get relief without further drying out the skin because the Vaseline stayed put. A short time later and into the next day I kept the skin lubricated with the Vaseline and the itching had stopped completely even though some small bumps are still on the skin. So if you have  a problem in an area that is covered with clothing you may want to apply a light dressing over the Vaseline so it doesn't come through. Other than that I hope this helps someone.
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Avatar_m_tn
Me too! I am very allergic to poison ivy, and I have found it to recur in the middle of winter in the very same location and same shape, with the same unmistakable itch, which no chance that I touched the plant or clothing that came in contact with it. I believe it does lie dormant and recur. My doctor thinks I'm crazy, but I know what I'm experiencing! It's good to know I'm not alone!
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Avatar_m_tn
Me too! I am very allergic to poison ivy, and I have found it to recur in the middle of winter in the very same location and same shape, with the same unmistakable itch, which no chance that I touched the plant or clothing that came in contact with it. I believe it does lie dormant and recur. My doctor thinks I'm crazy, but I know what I'm experiencing! It's good to know I'm not alone!
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Avatar_m_tn
I had a bad case of poison oak 20+ years ago. It went away and the would re-surface every so often - mainly when i was hot. Then that all stopped and I thought it was really gone. Recently my back when out, and at the same time, the poison oak resurfaced! But not in the same places. I can believe this has been in me all this time. And it moves around. What to do? Yes - the Dr.s do not know, or they do not want to know!
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Avatar_f_tn
yep, I had poison oak REALLY bad all over a month ago, it took nearly 3 weeks to get rid of it. lo and behold, it healed on my back only to start up again after it was healed! wtf! insane.
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