Systemic Poison Oak reaction - need advice - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 04-26-2010, 11:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi everyone,

I am a long-time mothering.com lurker, but I am coming out of the woodworks for some advice here. My 3 1/2 year old son got poison oak about 6 weeks ago. A week after he got it, it went systemic, and popped up on his cheeks, wrists, and ankles. It started spreading inwards pretty quickly so we went to the docter (first time for my son!), and to put a long story short, we stared him on prednisone for 11 days. The rash cleared up within 48 hours with no side effects, BUT as soon as we tapered off the prednisone, the rash came back.

We started OVER again with the prednisone for another 15 days. This time it didn't clear up quite as nicely, and came back as soon as we tapered of the prednisone again.

The doctor wanted to start over with another round of prednisone, and add a topical cream as well. I just couldn't stomach this, so we decided to just do nothing and see if his body could take care of it on its own. That was last Monday. A week later, and his rash spread further and then stopped, still itches quite a bit, and is maybe getting a tiny bit better - but not much. It seems to fluctuate.

Has anyone had experience with systemic contact dermititis from poison oak, AND hasn't been able to clear it up with prednisone? Please don't send advice about what to do with a regular poison oak rash - I have had my ears stuffed full of this by now! The initial contact area cleared up just fine, it is the systemic reaction that we are having trouble with

Thanks a bunch, Mamas!
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#2 of 8 Old 04-26-2010, 11:46 PM
 
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Sorry mama, i'm not help. DH has this issue, prednisone is all that works. He gets a shot first, but can't remember what it is. Then he does a cycle of prednisone 7 pills the first day, 6 the next, then 5. . . and so on.

They have tried topical creams, none of which have worked on him. BUT i will say the more he has been exposed to poison oak the last 7 years the less volatile each case has been. Not sure if it's due to the prednisone or the exposure.

Oh and we are normally a homeopathic family, this treatment that dh uses was started a few years back as a last ditch effort.

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#3 of 8 Old 04-27-2010, 01:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for your support. It was a pretty hard decision for me to put my little guy on prednisone to start with, and then it didn't really work. Very frustrating. I'm not too familiar with homeopathic stuff. I just steer very clear of all drugs. I did try Hyland's homeopathic poison for ivy/oak for about four days, but it didn't seem to have any effect. It might not work on a systemic reaction.
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#4 of 8 Old 04-27-2010, 02:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rafman'sMama View Post
Thank you for your support. It was a pretty hard decision for me to put my little guy on prednisone to start with, and then it didn't really work. Very frustrating. I'm not too familiar with homeopathic stuff. I just steer very clear of all drugs. I did try Hyland's homeopathic poison for ivy/oak for about four days, but it didn't seem to have any effect. It might not work on a systemic reaction.
I'm sorry I have no suggestions to help. Your poor little man. I know how miserable dh is as an adult with it. But i did want to share our story because it was really not something we wanted to do, but the reactions started to seriously interfere with his work/life. I hope that your guy recovers SOON.

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#5 of 8 Old 04-27-2010, 03:13 PM
 
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I have had poison ivy go systemic twice -- once as a child, and once as an adult just a few years ago. Both times I just let it go away on its own, but it wasn't ALL over my body, just in multiple spots. It was pretty uncomfortable. As a child (I was 6 or 7), I used to just pick and pick at it.

What are the signs that it's popping up internally? That can be really dangerous. Can you try to let it resolve on its own, but just keep some prednisone on hand?

I remember that after it went systemic when I was a child, it came back every spring, with the pollen, for several years after that. I remember it would always pop up in between my toes, even if it hadn't been warm enough for me to be wearing sandals.

Sorry I can't be of more help, other than to say my body eventually dealt with it. If I think of anything else I'll post back.

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#6 of 8 Old 04-28-2010, 05:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you mbravebird,

It looks like it may finally be subsiding! It kind appeared and disappeared from his back and chest, and a bit on his cheeks, and doesn't seem to be spreading any more at this point. I was really afraid that is would just take over his body. His arms are looking OK, and his legs are starting to look better. My fingers are crossed that we are on the home run. We have been dealing with this for nearly 7 weeks!

Now, I just wonder what would have happened if we hadn't used the steroids at all?

We are removing all of the poison oak near our house!
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#7 of 8 Old 06-28-2010, 04:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, most of the rash disappeared within about 10 days after stopping the prednisone. The slightly bumpy legs and occasional itching seemed to stick around for about a month though. This was not a big deal most of the time - I was able to sooth this with ice packs and one time some hydrocortisone. It just seemed to take a long time for his body to fully subside from the reaction.

I think if this should happen again (G-d forbid!), I would really like to let his body take care of it from the start. It seems that prednisone doesn't work for everyone!

My sincere sympathies to anyone dealing with this now!
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#8 of 8 Old 06-28-2010, 10:24 AM
 
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I actually am dealing with this right now. I'm avoiding steroids because I'm still nursing. I pity your son because I'm an adult and this itching is making me CRAZY.

Anyway, one thing I've learned is to remove it topically as soon as possible, and over and over again until you're certain all the oils are gone. Also, you may want to consider having it professionally removed from your yard.

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