What's the best way to heal a poison ivy rash?
June 24, 2016 11:58 AM   Subscribe

I got poison ivy. Boo! The rash is no longer itchy. Yay! But what do I do about the rash itself?

I got poison ivy last week all over my leg and it is finally no longer itchy. But I have one patch that is extremely nasty-looking. It swelled up and a blister broke in the shower the other day. The rest of it is raised and there are a bunch of large-ish blisters all next to each other. The entire patch is about 2 in by 2 in. It sort of looks like this (don't click if you don't want to be grossed out).

What is the best way to heal this so I don't have a big gross patch on my leg all summer? Or so I don't get a scar from it?
posted by sutel to Health & Fitness (7 answers total)
You might want to go to your doctor to at least get a steroid cream. That rash looks like it could very easily get infected.
posted by cooker girl at 12:12 PM on June 24, 2016 [4 favorites]

That looks pretty normal to me for PI. It will heal. Just keep it clean, and try to keep the scabs from tearing prematurely. It'll take a while, ~2 weeks. An over-the-counter cortisone cream might help the skin to heal.
posted by Dashy at 12:19 PM on June 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

Heavy duty moisturizing, like petroleum jelly, can help reduce permanent scarring. Bandage it
over with gauze pads, perhaps augmented with adhesive tape, to help keep it moist, and change the bandage daily.

Watch out for dermititis from the adhesive tape. Some brands are better than others.

Do this for a couple of weeks, depending on how things go for you.
posted by the Real Dan at 12:26 PM on June 24, 2016 [2 favorites]

I'd call that a bad but not unusual reaction to poison ivy. My approach would be to just use regular first aid: keep it clean and protected. I'd put some vaseline on that to seal it and moisturize it, and then wrap it in some gauze to keep it clean and so that I didn't feel tempted to pick at it.

That's it. Pretty much exactly what the Real Dan suggested. It'll be fine.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 12:46 PM on June 24, 2016

My family swears by Tecnu. Hope it heals up soon!
posted by argonauta at 12:55 PM on June 24, 2016

Do go to your doctor as you could have a staph infection. Those blisters look more like when my daughter had staph than when I had poison ivy. Once it starts to heal, you can apply vitamin E or any kind of otc scar therapy. Use sunscreen or keep the area covered until it is healed so you don't end up with a weird tan.
posted by myselfasme at 1:44 PM on June 24, 2016

Steroid cream will drastically lessen the likelyhood of scarring,and it's worth checking for infection with a doctor.

If it heals up unevenly, you could invest in a dermal silicone patch like biodermis. They're the only truly proven way to reduce scarring, I used silicone sheets after I got some scarring from a laser treatment, and it healed it up almost entirely in a couple weeks.
posted by InkDrinker at 1:47 PM on June 24, 2016

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