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Dr. Andrew Rynne
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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Suggest treatment for poison ivy outbreak on lower arms

I am scheduled to have removal surgery for melanoma on my upper right arm on May 21. They want the do the surgery asap but I have now developed a pretty bad outbreak of poison ivy on both my lower arms - wrist to elbow. It is spreading so I am wrapping it with gauze after applying cortisone cream. I have one week before surgery. what should I do?
Sat, 24 Apr 2021
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Hi,

Normally, poison ivy rashes appear 24-48 hours after exposure. It may take 2-4 weeks for resolution of rashes. In the mean time we should take care for relief of symptoms and avoiding complications of infection etc.

1. Some of the home remedies---cold compresses, oatmeal bath as well as application of aloe vera, coconut oil, tea tree oil, baking soda, indigo naturalis or apple cider vinegar etc., may be used.
2. Also, rubbing alcohol can help to remove the urushiol oil from the skin and a relief in symptoms. Resist scratching the skin
3. Use of topical steroid creams
4. Use of topical lotion like calamine lotion
5. oral antihistamines like Cetirizine, Loratadine etc.
6. In very severely distressing symptoms, some oral steroids, or even
injectable steroids in extreme cases may be needed.
7. Sometimes, a course of antibiotic may be needed to treat / prevent the infection in the fissures caused by scratching etc.

Take care. Hope I have answered your question. Let me know if I can assist you further.

Regards,
Dr. Satnarain Bansal, General & Family Physician
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Suggest treatment for poison ivy outbreak on lower arms

Hi, Normally, poison ivy rashes appear 24-48 hours after exposure. It may take 2-4 weeks for resolution of rashes. In the mean time we should take care for relief of symptoms and avoiding complications of infection etc. 1. Some of the home remedies---cold compresses, oatmeal bath as well as application of aloe vera, coconut oil, tea tree oil, baking soda, indigo naturalis or apple cider vinegar etc., may be used. 2. Also, rubbing alcohol can help to remove the urushiol oil from the skin and a relief in symptoms. Resist scratching the skin 3. Use of topical steroid creams 4. Use of topical lotion like calamine lotion 5. oral antihistamines like Cetirizine, Loratadine etc. 6. In very severely distressing symptoms, some oral steroids, or even injectable steroids in extreme cases may be needed. 7. Sometimes, a course of antibiotic may be needed to treat / prevent the infection in the fissures caused by scratching etc. Take care. Hope I have answered your question. Let me know if I can assist you further. Regards, Dr. Satnarain Bansal, General & Family Physician