Poison Ivy Removal - Total, Complete ?

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On 9/17/2015 6:29 AM, micky wrote:

I was "lucky" enough (<frown>) to "catch" chicken pox for a second time a few years back (I now am leary of which OTHER of those childhood diseases can "strike twice"?! I had assumed NONE of them were worth my attention as I'd had -- or been innoculated against -- all of them, already!). The calamine lotion (also caladryl) only provides the very *briefest* relief.
The trick I've used over the years for mosquito bites and other persisitent iches is to run the afflicted area under very hot water (i.e., almost to the point of inflicting damage!) for as long as you can tolerate.
Of course, this burns while you are doing it. But, it seems to overwhelm the "itch receptors" -- at least as long as any topical lotion would! So, as long as you don't "stimulate" that are (by scratching at it), you have some relief.
[Apparently, "itch" is conducted via different nerve pathways than "pain". I guess evolution decided that some threats needed to be treated via a different mechanism]
In my case, my hands were afflicted. Ever try to "scratch" your palms?? Or, the sides of your fingers? The webbing between them? <frown>
OTOH, 10 or 20 seconds under hot water gave me instant relief. Impossible to describe how *great* that heat felt! SWMBO thought I was having an "affair" with the kitchen faucet! :-/
[The skin on your palms is so thick that it took a full four weeks for the "blisters" to reach the top surface. By then, the disease had long since run its course and the blisters were already "drained" when they appeared.]
Cortisone cream/ointment is nowhere near as effective (esp on the palms... doesn't "absorb" well). Benadryl cream seems to be a good alternative (for other areas). I keep a tube of it in the car for just that reason.
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In alt.home.repair, on Thu, 17 Sep 2015 07:53:41 -0700, Don Y

I can't remember if I ever had chicken pox, and my older brother doesn't remember either. I think not, but I still got the shingles vaccine.
You know about that don't you, that if you've had chicken pox you're at clear risk of shingles? To get the vaccine you have to get a prescription from a doctor and then you can probably get vaccinated at a pharmacy, even a supermarket one, and other places. I think it cost me $75. I don't remember if insurance paid any of that or before that.
Shingles can be horrible and it's never good.

Interesting. One radio progrram on public radio, the guy said that itching might be the lowest level of pain. But that was 10 years ago. they could have changed their mind by now, or they could disagree.

Yes on the first two. I don't have webbing any more since the plastic surgeon did the Duck Treatment on me.

I don't think I've ever used cortisone or benadryl.
You're going to hate me but I haven't gotten noticeable mosquito bites since I've been 21. I think they stil bite me but nothing happens afterwards. I shoudl go volunteer at a mosquito lab, if I knew where one was. Okay I looked. Some people hardly ever get bitten. Maybe that's my advantage
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On 9/17/2015 10:06 AM, micky wrote:

I have a complete record of all my innoculations and childhood illnesses. When I suspected that I had the chicken pox, I was confused because I was *sure* I had had them previously! So, I checked my records and was able to cite the actual *date* of my first "infection".
When I expressed my surprise to my MD re: the repeat infection: "I thought you couldn't GET this, twice?!" he calmly stated that I (obviously!) could!
I have yet to get him to let me know which of the other maladies may revisit me. Suddenly, I'm not as "arrogant" about "I can't GET that; I've already *had* it!" :<

Yes. The office manager was trying to divert me from my MD's office to an ER -- so they wouldn't have to "decontaminate" the office due to my presence ("Gee, I'm considerate enough to tell you BEFORE I show up that I've diagnosed myself with the cpox and you're REWARDING my good behavior by sending me to the E.R. -- where it will cost me hundreds of dollars just to get the Dx confirmed?? Gee, thanks for your consideration! Next time I think I have The Plague, I'll make sure I don't tell you before I walk in and EXPOSE everyone in your waiting room...").
She insisted it must be shingles. I informed her that it definitely was NOT -- bilateral symptoms, different appearance, etc. But, hey, what do *I* know? SHE's the one with the medical degree!
Of course, I can't recall what body parts were infected when I had the cpox originally. But, seeing them manifest on my hands, I was concerned that when/if I contract shingles, would it ALSO manifest in my hands? Apparently, there is no way of knowing which nerve it will attack...

I think you have to be 65 or "special circumstances".

I've known people to get it in their face, eye, etc.

What doctors know would completely *fill* a small library! What they DON'T know would fill the Library of Congress!

Cortisone is the nominal treatment for topical itch. I didn't find it helpful. Benadryl is only marginally better. *Heat* is the expedient cure!

I'm outside a lot. And, tend to wear dark clothes, exclusively (attracts mosquitoes). But, don't usually get bitten unless I've left the rainwater barrels go too long without being emptied (3 days and mosquito larvae manifest).
Or, if a neighbor has let their pool go sour.
Usually, it's hot enough here that any time during daylight hours finds the mosquitoes "hiding" -- to stay out of the Sun. Just avoid early morning (no problem, I sleep in every day! :> ) and early evening and your paths seldom cross.
Bigger concern is for pets -- who insist on going out at all hours to "do their business".
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You can get chicken pox twice, especially if you have it at a very young age. My son had it twice while growing up.
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In alt.home.repair, on Thu, 17 Sep 2015 17:45:48 -0400, "Ralph Mowery"

Stand by for his doctor's phone number.
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On 9/17/2015 2:45 PM, Ralph Mowery wrote:

Yes, as I learned. The question still remains: which of the other childhood diseases can similarly take a second bite... And, is "two" the limit?
What I had *not* remembered re: chicken pox was the body ache that preceeds the other (itchy) symptoms! And, you are apparently contagious before the pox appear!
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Don Y wrote, on Thu, 17 Sep 2015 17:19:18 -0700:

Nope.
Theoretically, there is no limit.
Just like there is no such thing to immunity to poison oak or ivy or sumac.
There is just the mathematical possibility.
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Ralph Mowery wrote, on Thu, 17 Sep 2015 17:45:48 -0400:

You don't actually "get" it twice. It just never left.
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Per Ralph Mowery:

And then there is shingles - same virus, and some people get multiple cases of shingles.
--
Pete Cresswell

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(PeteCresswell) wrote, on Fri, 18 Sep 2015 09:57:26 -0400:

Shingles. Herpes Zoster. Chickenpox.
All are caused by the same non-living viral particle.
The only difference is in your immune response.
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In alt.home.repair, on Thu, 17 Sep 2015 14:33:34 -0700, Don Y

I had a dog who was an arbitrageur. Any time, day or night, NY, London, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, the markets were open somewhere.
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Don Y wrote, on Thu, 17 Sep 2015 14:33:34 -0700:

It's *not* a repeat "infection".
You never eliminated the first infection.
The virus cleverly hid, in caves, near you spine, way upriver on a nerve, and just waited, like a guerrilla, to pounce upon the unsuspecting natives downstream.
The virus never left. It was just waiting for your immune system to let its guard down momentarily.
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Don Y wrote, on Thu, 17 Sep 2015 14:33:34 -0700:

Kids as young as teens get shingles.
But, you're right. It's normally something that happens as we age, and as a consequence, our immune system falters momentarily.
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micky wrote, on Thu, 17 Sep 2015 13:06:51 -0400:

Plus, Herpes Zoster can then re-infect kids, giving *them* Chickenpox.
Oh my, how something that is not even living in the first place, can wreak such havoc.
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Don Y wrote, on Thu, 17 Sep 2015 07:53:41 -0700:

Chicken pox & Herpes zoster both are due to the same non-living Herpes virus.
What happens the first time you get exposed, is that the virus *wins* until your antibody titre, which takes time to build up, is high enough to battle the virus on its own term.
It's sort of like how it took the USA six months to a year to build up enough of a navy to start soundly defeating the Japanese Imperial Navy way back in the early forties.
In the end, the USA soundly defeated the Japanese, just as your body soundly defeats the Herpes viral particles which took hold of your cellular machinery to make them slaves of the Greater Herpes Co- Prosperity Sphere.
But wait... a few of the Herpes viral particles go guerrilla. They hide out in the deep jungles of your nerves, in caves called basal ganglia, just at the terminus of deeply hidden jungle "rivers" of nerves, where the immune system isn't deep enough to penetrate the darkness.
They lie, in wait, for the rest of your natural life!
One day, someday, when they sense a weakness in your immune system (for whatever reason), they *burst forth* anew! Lo and behold, you're (almost) ready for them!
You sense them pouring forth, so you ramp up your always-on-guard immune system, and wipe them out - but not before they travel from the ganglia downstream a nerve, giving the characteristic one-side-of-the-body long line of Herpes Zoster.
... now back to our regularly scheduled program ...
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On 9/17/2015 6:01 PM, Danny D. wrote:

I was affected bilaterally and in several different portions of my body. Both hands, face, both sides of back, etc. Not the "single nerve" that is common with shingles.

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Don Y wrote, on Thu, 17 Sep 2015 18:20:18 -0700:

I guess that simply means the Herpes guerrillas hid out in ganglia (caves) that connected to different "rivers" tied to your spine.
It's merely the luck of the draw.
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Per Danny D.:

Great analogy....
--
Pete Cresswell

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micky wrote, on Thu, 17 Sep 2015 09:29:34 -0400:

I have never found Calamine lotion (I realize this is a "spray") to be of much usage. Sure, it takes your mind off the itch.
But, the itch is from those nerve cells which are killed by accident by the cytokines released during the immune response. The way the body gets rid of the quinone hapten is to spray the local area with "anti-personnel grenades" of cytokines, which destroy the cells which the hapten bound to.
This immune response tactic works great, except that your nerve cells are hurt by the collateral damage from the anti-personnel grenades.
Calamine isn't going to change that. I don't know if anything, other than a contact anesthesia will actually work - but - what I often do is take the hottest shower I can handle.
For some reason, my lesions feel "better* after the intense burning, and, the theory (which I am not sure is correct) is that you make the neurons fire so much, that they run out of something they need in order to continue to fire (either calcium, sodium, potassium, or one of the neurotransmitters).
It's short lived, but, itch relief nonetheless.
I realize that's "bro science", so, take my advice with a grain of salt. :)
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Per bob haller:

Sounds like that is the most logical course of action.
This little plot was calling out to me because of it's 2-3' elevation above the garden-variety lunar tide/storm surge.
--
Pete Cresswell

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