1. I hate poison oak. A little over a month ago, I came in contact with it for the very first time. It hates me. Passionately. For those first 2 weeks I was a mess, as it plagued my upper chest, neck, forearms, top of my right hand and my upper back. I learned what itching like a dog really means. It was dreadful. I couldn't even wear certain shirts because I had to have a particular collar or it caused me pain! Never had I had any skin condition so bad. I had poison ivy when I was little, but haven't had anything like it since then. I would take a case of poison ivy over poison oak. I am also allergic to Benedryl, so I've had to use other measures in helping me deal with the itching.
2. I am so thankful for essential oils. I have found a few essential oils which act as anti-histamines and help battle the itch. (Melaleuca and Lavender) and I'm so thankful for them. I mixed them with coconut oil and slathered it on profusely. Oh how slipper I was, but I didn't care. I needed relief.
3. But they weren't enough. Nope, they brought very temporary relief and I needed something to help me deal with the violent itching that hit me at about 2am every night, waking me out of the dead of sleep. And I found Ivy Rest. It's a thick cream and brought me the first full night sleep I had in awhile. I was so thankful for it.
4. When that doesn't work...bring on the alcohol. It's old fashioned I know, but pouring and dabbing alcohol on the rash does work. It stings and lights you on fire, but then you get relief. And when you are at the stage where you itch all the time, you beg for anything to bring you relief. Boy did it sting, but wow, did it help!
5. Just when I thought I was healed up...apparently you can get a rebound rash. So here I am--5ish weeks since I first broke out. My chest and neck have healed slowly, but FINALLY clear! My arms finally stopped itching and cleared up. Just a patch on my hand and side of my neck aggravated me. Until tonight. When my upper chest broke out AGAIN. And my arms are starting to itch AGAIN. I looked it up. And sure enough. SOME people get rebound cases right when they are almost done. Naturally, I am one of those special peoples. HA!!! And so I reach for the oils, Ivy Rest and alcohol again. This rash isn't going to beat me! I also have a new oil Roman Chamomile which is highly recommended for battling poison weeds...so I'm slathering it on and hoping for the best. That this rebound will be gone ASAP! I can't take any more 2am itch sessions!
And so, this has taught me a lesson. I have EMPATHY now for anyone who suffers from a skin condition which brings such aggravation. I thought I understood, but now I realize that I didn't have any idea how horribly annoying and aggravating and frustrating it is. And I have empathy for Love-Of-My-Life who suffers from the poison weeds every single summer. I will not take it lightly again. I will help him with anything I can to make it go away for him. Because poison weed is horrible!
May you have a lovely first day of spring--and may it not bring you anywhere near the poison weeds!