2013 - Photos of Poison Ivy RashesIn the spring of 2013 we had some lovely weather so I went outside to clear out the garden spots. I believe it was Tuesday April 9th that got me contaminated. I didn't notice any poison ivy at all. I was recovering from a chest cold so I was more focused on healing from that. But soon the spots came.
Day 4 / Sat Apr 13
I didn't take photos until Day Four - Saturday. By that point it was quite itchy and noticeable. My right arm is the worst - two large mirrored spot on either side of my inner arm, plus spots all around it. The back of my right arm has a slew of large spots. There's matching spots on my stomach / side where the arm would touch. My left arm has spots and a stripe. Plus I have spots on my left knee. I'm really hoping there's not more to develop.
The two large spots on my arm are already weeping fairly heavily. I can't bend it much because it's swollen. I'm taking hot showers three times a day and sleeping 12 hours a day just to make it through - the itching is fairly intense. Oh, and I'm still coughing from the chest cold too.
Day 5 / Sun Apr 14
Both yesterday and today my right arm has been swollen, sausage-like, from about halfway between my shoulder and elbow down to near my wrist. You can sort of see that swelling in this photo:
The back side of that arm is also spotted.
I'm also develoing spots on my right wrist, which makes me concerned that there is more yet to come.
Thankfully my left arm has been fairly stationary, with a block of dots on my inner elbow plus one stripe along the forearm.
The spots on my right side, lining up exactly with where my arm would lay there, are also luckily fairly stationary. Note I was wearing a full yoga top on gardening day so it doesn't make sense that there would be spots here, unless I somehow lay my arm against my skin just before taking my shower that afternoon. But then how would it have time to "set"?
My main concern right now is the sausage-like swelling of my right arm. I haven't had a limb swell like this before. I'm not sure if I should take more serious action, or wait it out until it all subsides, with my normal cycle of aveeno cream and allergy pills and so on.
Update: I talked with a nurse on the phone and she said I should definitely go in today to have this looked at, because of the swelling. So I did, and they put me on Prednisone. 6 tablets of 10mg a day. They said if the swelling didn't go down by tomorrow I needed to go on antibiotics too. So I went home, took my 6 tablets of Prednisone, and put Aveeno cream on the various areas. I also took 500mg Acetaminophen and 25mg Benadryl.
When I took a shower tonight I discovered two new eruptions. Note these are not NEW contaminations. It's not that I touched more oil in the past week. It's that oil reacts at different paces within the skin. So some dots appear quickly - and others appear slowly. It's all that initial oil contact working its way through cell walls and such. I could "feel" these spot locations reacting to hot water 2 to 3 days ago and knew they would erupt eventually, even though the skin looked normal and it wasn't itchy.
Day 6 / Mon Apr 15
I got good sleep last night and took my hot shower when I woke up. With the raw skin on my arm the hot shower is feeling more "painful" than "helpful" which is a shame. That's my one escape. In any case, I took my 6 tablets of Prednisone plus my Acetaminophen and Benadryl, and put on Aveeno cream. The new eruptions on my foot and hip are a bit itchy, but in general things are settling down. My arm swelling is less, although I still can't really bend my arm.
Left arm -
Right arm inside -
Right arm outside -
New spots on hip -
Day 7 / Tue Apr 16
I didn't sleep well last night, and woke up after only six hours of sleep. I was itchy when I woke up.
I had to leave the house today so this was the first real test. I couldn't just run to the shower if I got too itchy. So I woke up, took my 5 tablets of Prednisone (stepping down), put on Aveeno cream, and out I went. I was a tiny bit itchy, but not much. I didn't take any other pills all day, until the very end of the day when I took a Benadryl.
A shower before I went to bed, and then some tossing and turning.
right arm inside:
right arm outside:
Day 8 / Wed Apr 17
Again didn't sleep really well. Got up at 11am after maybe 7 hours of sleep, tried to go back to bed about noon but just couldn't. Was fairly zombie for the day. Had my 5 tablets of Prednisone. On the up side, I didn't put any Aveeno on at all. I took a shower mid-day after I was out in the yard, just in case I got any new poison ivy on me, and my spots aren't "zinging" any more under hot water to the extent they used to. So that's a very good sign that it's healing up. I'm going to try to hold out and not take any additional drugs today. We'll see how I'm feeling later on in the evening.
It's not weeping at all now. The right arm is peeling.
Right arm front:
Right arm back:
OK I took a bath, and tried to not use any cream and just go with that. But by night time I was super itchy and feeling "slimy" from the bath lotion. So I had to take a hot shower, two Benadryl, and an acitominophen to get to sleep at 4am.
Day 9 / Thu Apr 18
Didn't take a shower when I woke up, for the first time. The thought of hot water on my skin just made me unhappy. Maybe that's a good sign. Had my four tablets of Prednisone plus an Allegra for the first time in a few days. Still no Aveeno cream. Feeling a bit itchy. My right arm is peeling a lot and I don't want to put any creams on that while it's in a raw state.
To see a better progression, here's just looking at the inside of the right arm, over time, to see how it has changed.
Right Arm Poison Ivy
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