Friday, July 2, 2010

The Awful P.I.

Earlier in June I wrote this post in an itching craze, and then promptly forgot about it until just now when I found it in "Drafts". I find a lot of stuff in "Drafts" that will probably never get posted....

P.I. That's what I call poison ivy. It has plagued me since childhood. For the most part, I've managed to avoid it the past couple summers, but a couple weeks ago somehow, somewhere, it came in contact with my arms. I really think I got it from the kids' clothes.

Once that oil gets on your skin-it's near impossible to remove. The product "Tec-Nu" is great as a preventative, and for use before the rash appears if you know you've been desecrated, and even when the rash is just starting to show. After that, you're in for it. Hopefully, you're part of a lucky group of people who only get a mildly annoying and itchy red rash. The other group of people, of which I am President, end up with oozy, nightmare-inducing blisters that make you want to amputate and spend the rest of your life in a sterile environment landscaped with rocks and not a green bush in sight.

Once you get a bad case of poison ivy, you begin to see it everywhere and a simple walk in the park could end up with you hugging the nearest asphalt and yelling, "Get me away from those trees! They're covered in poison ivy vines!!"

Did you know that you could get the poison from a stick? Yes, a stick. The plant doesn't even need to have green leaves in order for it to wreak havoc.

I used to get it really bad as a teenager. I seemed doomed to get it on my face every summer. A friend was commenting on my recent poison ivy rash and said, "Oh I remember when you got it on your face. You looked like a cauliflower."

That was me. Cauliflower girl. I'm surprised my skin didn't scar from the awfulness. With my large glasses, my over-bite, and my puffy poison ivy face, I was quite the beauty. Those were such fun, happy days.

I tried everything I could think of to rid myself of the poison ivy, every remedy I read about or was told to try. Some helped. Most did not. I pretty much rely on Tec-Nu and good ol' distilled white vinegar right now, which helps dry it up faster. Basically, I have to let it run it's course, which is about 2 weeks.

If I ever disappear from polite society for that length of time, you'll know I got it on my face and turned into Cauliflower Girl again.


  1. Rachel, have you ever used Zanfel? Jonathan is a life-long sufferer of severe reactions to PI, and a couple of years ago, we discovered Zanfel in the midst of a horrid face/head episode. It's a wash that actually binds to the oil so that it is washed away when you rinse. And it works! It's not cheap (around $35 a tube), but it's effective and a little goes a long way, so a tube lasts quite a while. Hope that's helpful!

  2. Laurel, thanks for the suggestion; I've never heard of Zanfel before! I'll definitely check it out. ;)