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View Full Version : Poison Ivy and Other Plants - Pop the Blisters, or Not?



Clough
Sep 21, 2009, 02:43 PM
Hi, All!

I've always wondered if a person should pop/drain the blisters or not, that they've gotten from coming into contact with a poisonous plant.

I've also gotten conflicting views about that...

What's the straight dope on this, please?

Thanks!

tickle
Sep 21, 2009, 03:05 PM
No, you shouldn't touch the postules, clough, that is spreading them to other areas of your body. DO NOT SCRATCH. That is why you use a lotion(calamine) to stop itching, so they go away without spreading.

Tick

ballengerb1
Sep 21, 2009, 03:10 PM
I agree, don't pop them. Poping will also open you up to a higher risk of infection. Never pop any type of blister even ones from gardening too much or hammering too much. The blister is your bodies way of creating an isolation area for a wound.

Catsmine
Sep 21, 2009, 03:16 PM
Blisters are blisters, regardless of where they come from. Popping/breaking them will produce an entry point for all kinds of infections.

I've heard the tales that fluid from the blisters will spread the rash, but unless the oils are still on the surface of your skin I can't see how. Warm water, detergent cleanser, and drying the rash are still the fastest ways to get rid of it. That's why Calamine is so good, it dries the rash out. Caladryl helps with the itch, too.

Clough
Sep 21, 2009, 03:18 PM
Hi, All!

When I was a kid though, I used to pop them. It seemed to me that they didn't scar up when I did that.

I'm always open for advice...

Thanks!

KISS
Sep 21, 2009, 03:47 PM
At first sign of exposure, was with Octagon soap. Calamine lotion is also a good remedy.

J_9
Sep 21, 2009, 03:50 PM
Best stuff I have found for it is a prescription called Mometasone furoate. Dries it right up. My daughter had poison ivy covering almost her entire body earlier this summer. Gone in a day!

Catsmine
Sep 21, 2009, 06:15 PM
Best stuff I have found for it is a prescription called Mometasone furoate. Dries it right up. My daughter had poison ivy covering almost her entire body earlier this summer. Gone in a day!!

Is that OTC? I'll get some if 'tis.

KISS
Sep 21, 2009, 07:00 PM
J_9 said prescription only: http://www.perrigo.com/uploadedFiles/Rx/products/M/5D800RCJ1.pdf

Looks like it comes in a cream, ointment and a solution and pretty cheap based on prices at drugstore.com Online Pharmacy - Prescription Drugs, Health and Beauty, plus more (http://www.drugstore.com)

It might be similar to the active ingredient as in Nasonex nasal spray: http://www.spfiles.com/pinasonex.pdf

J_9
What version was prescribed?

Clough
Sep 21, 2009, 09:17 PM
Best stuff I have found for it is a prescription called Mometasone furoate. Dries it right up. My daughter had poison ivy covering almost her entire body earlier this summer. Gone in a day!!

Hi, J_9!

So, was that stuff used without opening up the blisters, please?

Thanks!

J_9
Sep 22, 2009, 05:38 AM
The cream was prescribed.

That stuff was just rubbed over where the patches of the poison ivy are, no blisters were opened or popped.

Clough
Sep 22, 2009, 11:35 PM
Hi again, J_9!

No blisters opened or popped? I wonder how such a cream works then..

Thanks!

J_9
Sep 23, 2009, 05:11 AM
Hi again, J_9!

No blisters opened or popped? I wonder how such a cream works then...?

Thanks!

It's a cortisone based cream, so it dries it right up.

Clough
Sep 23, 2009, 12:40 PM
Hi again, J_9!

So, does it work the same way that a poultice might work? Please excuse my ignorance/lack of knowledge here! I'm just trying to find out information...

Thanks!

twinkiedooter
Sep 24, 2009, 08:01 PM
Ok, here's the skinny on poison ivy. I was the happy victim of poison ivy from my garden (again) this year. Got it on my left wrist. I used 91% alcohol on it as I was too lazy to use calamine lotion. Since I sleep on my left side and have my left wrist touching my right shoulder I got poison ivy on my right shoulder. It wasn't until I went out to the store and bought some fresh calamine lotion and slathered it on my left wrist and my right shoulder did the poison ivy go away. It does not matter if you pop the blisters or not as the poison ivy will infect another part of your skin if the infected part of your skin is touching an uninfected part. I'm living proof of being too stupid to buy fresh calamine lotion. When I did look at the bottle it had expired 7/03. Goes to show you how long I had that bottle!

Don't pop the blisters ever!!

Clough
Sep 24, 2009, 08:20 PM
Hi, twinkiedooter!

I can understand not popping the blisters due the possible spread of the infection. What I don't understand is if popping the blisters or not will cause scaring.

Thanks!

ohsohappy
Sep 24, 2009, 08:28 PM
Haha this is off topic, but did you really say "what's the straight dope on this?" HAHAH You realize that not even young kids say that right Clough? :)
I hope you were just being silly. :)

Clough
Sep 24, 2009, 08:53 PM
No, I didn't realize that young kids don't say that sort of thing anynore.

And no, I wasn't trying to be silly!

Thanks!

twinkiedooter
Sep 24, 2009, 09:03 PM
Clough - just FYI I didn't pop my blisters but I still had scarring on my wrist and my shoulder!

ohsohappy
Sep 24, 2009, 09:48 PM
No, I didn't realize that young kids don't say that sort of thing anynore.

And no, I wasn't trying to be silly!

Thanks!


I think when someone says "straight dope" it's the same as "wack" as in "ridiculous" or "bulls****"
:)

Twinkie said "here's the skinny" That's the phrase I think you want to use, in that context.

A bit of an urban dictionary lesson. :)

Although, I don't really use slang.

Haha that made my day Clough. :)

Clough
Sep 25, 2009, 01:59 AM
Clough - just FYI I didn't pop my blisters but I still had scarring on my wrist and my shoulder!!

So, do you think there would be scarring if the blisters were opened or "popped"?

Thanks!

J_9
Sep 25, 2009, 02:36 AM
No clough, there won't be any permanent scarring.

Clough
Sep 25, 2009, 02:44 AM
When I was a child, I noticed that there was scaring when I didn't pop the blisters and that there wasn't any scarring when I did pop them. Some of those scars have since turned into moles.

Thanks!

KISS
Sep 25, 2009, 08:08 AM
How were they treated when you were a kid? If they were never treated, then ITS POSSIBLE scarring might occur since they would burst on their own.

If they were treated then they should have dried up beore they would have had a chance to break. If the skin is never damaged then scarring should never occur.

Clough
Sep 25, 2009, 12:34 PM
Hi, KISS!

When I popped them as a kid, I stuck a needle in them to drain the fluid out of them. Then I would apply something to them to dry them up. Anyway, that's the way that I remember it...

Thanks!

KISS
Sep 25, 2009, 01:33 PM
Like the pink stuff: Calamine lotion?

Clough
Sep 25, 2009, 01:37 PM
Like the pink stuff: Calamine lotion?

It might have been. Don't really remember...

It was definitely something that would dry things up, though.

Thanks!

tickle
Sep 25, 2009, 01:41 PM
I hope the needle was sterilized first, clough. As mentioned, calamine lotion is an old fashioned, still popular remedy for poison ivy and would be dehydrating.

Tick

Clough
Sep 25, 2009, 01:50 PM
Hi, tick!

I'm sure, that as a child, I didn't sterilize the needle. Doing that then didn't even occur to me. Where I grew up, we would even go so far as to stir the lemonade with our bare hands and arms!

Thanks!

tickle
Sep 25, 2009, 04:06 PM
Hi, tick!

I'm sure, that as a child, I didn't sterilize the needle. Doing that then didn't even occur to me. Where I grew up, we would even go so far as to stir the lemonade with our bare hands and arms!

Thanks!

LOL, clough, I guess I did stuff like that too, way back then ! Back then we could do that, they said a little dirt never hurt anyone ! Now today , I know that was perfectly true because that's how we make our immune systems work well.

Tick:eek:

jmjoseph
Sep 25, 2009, 04:16 PM
Clough, I worked as a surveyor for 16 years, and before that in forestry for 4. I have never had poison ivy, as I am very lucky that way. I have though, been around it for all of my life, and have seen dozens of cases. The single best thing for a rash from poison ivy, or poison sumac,or poison oak, is to avoid the urge to scratch first and foremost.

Then go buy some "Ivy Dry". It's OTC, and works wonders. Both of my sons have had the rash, and this cream cleared it right up. I've seen it work time and time again.

If you think that you've brushed against poison ivy, immediately wash off the affected area with alcohol.

Rubbing, not distilled.

KISS
Sep 25, 2009, 04:45 PM
Getting rid of the stuff growing in the yard without getting it is always fun.

earl237
Sep 25, 2009, 05:06 PM
I love the outdoors and have had many run-ins with poison ivy. The best thing to do to prevent a rash is to wash all exposed areas with soap and water as soon as you get home from a walk in the woods. This can prevent a serious rash even you have come into contact with poison ivy plants.

Catsmine
Sep 25, 2009, 06:20 PM
Rubbing, not distilled.

Ethanol will work as well as Isopropanol, but it just seems like such a waste.