Nothing helps it go away fast. I currently have it too on my lower legs. I usually wear higher socks to cover it up and it's purely for aesthetic reasons. I just don't want my goofy looking scabbed legs showing. I wouldn't bandage it.
I am VERY allergic to poison ivy. So much so that I had to eventually give up riding mountain bikes. Here in Central TX, poison ivy can be vicious. No topical lotions or sprays would work for me. Neither would calamine or oatmeal baths. Every time I got poison ivy, I'd require a cortisone injection to make it go away. I miss mountain biking a ton. But, I don't miss dealing with poison ivy and the requisite shots on nearly every excursion.
Zanfel- it's a competitive inhibitor for Urushiol, the acid that causes the rash. Pretty damn expensive but works fantastically. Available over the counter at most pharmacies. It works best when applied right after exposure, will nearly eliminate the rash, but even later on it works well and reduces healing time.
Domeboro is a great astringent solution which dries out the weeping lesions.
Systemic steroids and benadryl are pretty garden variety solutions that work well but in my experience both as a clinician as well as a patient (I get really bad reactions) the Zanfel is the best.
Last time I went mtn biking, i got a bad dose. I think i smacked against a large branch that was hanging across the trail. The thing I found over-the-counter that works for me is Burt's Bees Poison Ivy Soap. Active ingredient is Jewelweed, with a base of clay and pine tar. Whenever the itch gets bothersome, I lather up the area and let the soap dry. No itching for 4-8 hrs. It's not a miracle drug and I don't think it heals the posion ivy any faster, but for immediate relief from itching, it's the thing for me.
Sorry, OP, I know this doesn't address your original question, but if anybody out there's suffering from PI and this helps them out...
I'm very allergic to poison oak, which has the same urushiol oil as poison ivy. Zanfel is good for getting rid of any remaining oil but it doesn't do anything for the allergic reaction. I got a prescription for Betamethasone ointment. It's a steroid and it works pretty well on the allergic rash (much better than Zanfel), with no side effects.
I've also tried prednisone when I had poison oak which went systemic. It works but I had some side effects- it changed my mood (I was much too cheerful) and it also caused my heart to pound hard when riding up hills. Some people get much worse side effects including very vivid and disturbing nightmares. I avoid presnisone now.
If you think you have been exposed you can wash off with Technu. It does a good job of cleaning off the poison oak oils. They also make a blocker lotion that you apply beforehand. I do that, and wash up afterwards with Technu, when I am cutting brush. It keeps most of the PO off.
I am also highly allergic to urushiol, and get poison ivy all the time. Immediately after knowingly coming in contact with it, I use Tecnu scrub. Immediately after a ride, I use Tecnu scrub. When I get home, I shower with Tecnu scrub...all over my body.
At the first signs of rash/bumps/etc I go to the doc and get Prednisone.
Good old fashioned bleach works wonders. I'm pretty sensitive to poison ivy, sometimes even getting it in the middle of winter due to the oil being on boots that I was wearing when I walked through the stuff months earlier. I tend to get it between my fingers (I'm guessing from tying my shoes/boots), but occasionally I'll get patches of it on my wrists or ankles. In that case, I usually take some paper towel and lightly wet it with bleach and then scuff up the patches of poison ivy. Within in an hour or so the blisters have scabbed up and stopped itching. A few days later and they are nearly healed up.
I've never tried medications, mostly because I don't have the time or money to see a doc, and since this old fashioned remedy works for me, I stick with it.
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