I am highly allergic to poison ivy/sumac/oak. As a child, I had it all over my body. I remember going to school with huge poison ivy bubbles between my fingers, with the bubbles layered with super-duper hyrdocortizone cream and then covered in white surgical bandages (so my peers couldn't see the disgusting bubbles). It was so hard to write and do my homework. I suffered every year with poison ivy and get it very easily. When I was about 17 or 18 years old, I was told about poison ivy shots that were going to be discontinued. So, I got in on the last round being made available. I took the shots at the allergist for about 5 years, and they worked beautifully. I'd still get poison ivy every year, but just a blister or two or a very small patch and then (amazingly!!) it would go away. Boy, I LOVED those shots. However, as time went on, every year the patches got a little worse (still tolerable, but I dreaded the future)! Sure enough, it's now been about 15 years since I had the last shot, and I have gotten poison ivy twice this summer - and pretty bad cases both times. I hate it!! Does anyone know why the shots were originally discontinued? I would love to get them again! I even called my local allergist the other day to see if they are available again, and they told me no. This is so embarrassing and uncomfortable. My doctor wanted to give me Prednisone the first time I got it this year, but I cannot take it, as I blow up like a sore tomato. I even had a hard time getting the 2.5% Hydrocortizone prescription from my doctor. Do people not understand how awful this is to have? This sounds crazy, but the solution I've devised is the only thing that has worked for me: Scratching the blisters/rash until it bleeds. Then, I wash my hands (and the area) thoroughly, let the blood start to dry, and then apply the 2.5% Hydrocortisone cream. If I don't see blood, I know it won't start to go away until I do. Sounds gross, but it works for me. Sometimes I pour rubbing alcohol or peroxide on the open areas to avoid infection. I've read where some people put kerosene or gasoline on their wounds. Please be careful about that - sounds dangerous. I'm sure that would work, but it's probably very bad for your body. Good luck to all of you! I can totally relate!!
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