Attack of dreadful Itchies.......

New Leaf

Well-Known Member
Guys, I have the weirdest thing going on and was wondering if it may ring a bell with anyone?
I spent all day Sunday in the yard hacking away at weeds. Monday rolled around and I had a few itchy welts on my right hand- finger webs and finger. I figured "Meh, something must have bit me..."
Needless to say the welts multiplied and have taken itchy to a new dimension, to the point where no sleep was to be had last night. Then my right eye felt "scratchy". I noticed a few more welts on my right side and under my bra and pretty much thought through web research (cause everything you read on the Internet is true.....) that it may be shingles?
Went to my doctor today and he said it didn't look like shingles and that shingles "weren't generally itchy".......(raised eyebrow because every web account attests to itchy, burning pain which is what's going on). He gave me 5 days of 50 mg prednisone with advice to see my dermatologist if it doesn't resolve.
Well, I got on the phone and made an appointment with the nurse practitioner for tomorrow, the welts are still weepy and intermittently itchy, burning, throbbing. I thought since I have a note for tomorrow off, I might as well go get another opinion, epecially since my PCP commented that he has "never, ever seen anything like it".....ahem, not too comforting doctor........
Have you guys ever dealt with something like this?
Geez, I was giving my spiel to the kindergarten parents at the annual welcome orientation yesterday and my hand felt like it was a hunk of burning itch fire. Fingers swollen like bumpy sausages........ I kept my composure but all the while brewing inside was an epic public meltdown of itch induced mania.
Picture the horrified parents as I throw down my notes, emit a bloodcurding scream and rant....."Aaaaack it burns! My fingers are so eeffffing iiiiitchy!!!!! Now it's on my stomach tooooo? Aaaaarrrrggghh!

ME- :919Mad:.... :censored2:..... :panicsmiley:
Parents- :wow:.... :916wildone:....:kidseyessmiley2:

Luckily I did not go there.......sure as heck felt like it.....

So, if it's bug bites, why mostly on one side? Likewise for an allergic response?
Hopefully, I will get some answers and relief at my appointment tomorrow.
This is a throwback to a few summers spent in my youth as the pink tinged calamine kid after run ins with poison ivy...... I also have achy flu like symptoms......
I have never taken prednisone before so if I get a bit weirder than normal I am blaming the medication, oh and lack of sleep and insane itchiness.

Any experience/advice/remedies in mind I would be most grateful for.
Going to go soak in an oatmeal bath......thanks all for letting me vent.....
Itchy Leafy


Well-Known Member
Shingles don't usually come on that quickly. It sounds like you came in contact with something you are allergic to perhaps a chemical that got on the plants.


Crazy Cat Lady
Honestly? Sounds like poison ivy, poison oak, or poison suman, assuming any of those grow in Hawaii. Herpes does itch, especially when its healing, but is more characterized by a burning, stinging nerve pain along the tract of the affected nerve.

The path of the areas affected don't sound like shingles (herpes zoster), either.

What you have sounds like a dandy contact dermatitis, which could be caused by contact with a toxic plant or something you are allergic to. The pred pack is a start. Some pred cream might not hurt, so long as herpes is ruled out.

Oatmeal baths are good. Use ONLY unscented products labelled hypoallergenic. If this spreads, or doesn't start to clear, see a dermatologists, GPs are not experts in diagnosing skin disorders.

Sorry you are so itchy. That's just miserable


Well-Known Member
There are some NASTY weeds out there! I agree it sounds a lot like some kind of poison ivy, but I'd think a doctor would recognize that. A lot of plants can cause this though, especially ones with white sap or hairy leaves. Definitely see a dermatologist.


Crazy Cat Lady
Meanwhile, until you figure out what plant it was, or until the rash clears, avoid the sun like the plague. Many contact dermatitises from plants are photoreactive, meaning sun exposure can really set them off.

Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
Sound like poison ivy to me. My husband tangles with it every year. The oil from the leaves gets on you, then if you scratch the initial site then touch another part of your body it will be there also. If it gets on your clothes and you touch your clothes it will spread. When you shower, unless you have really washed your hands well, it can spread to other parts of your body because it an oily substance.
The prednisone should help. Hope you get some relief.

New Leaf

Well-Known Member
Thanks so much for your response everyone. I have an appointment this morning with my dermatologist nurse practitioner, so hopefully will get some relief. It seems a bit better but I had some itchy attacks last night.
There isn't any poison oak, ivy or sumac here, but I am allergic to mango sap, wasn't around any mango trees. I was pulling out some new looking wild grass and a hairy vine..... maybe it was one or the other? Or a bug? It's weird that my right side got the brunt of this. Glad it doesn't sound like shingles to anyone. (Yay). Will let you know what the derms office says.
In the meantime trying not to scratch!
Mahalo Nui!


Well-Known Member

Pencil plant? That's apparently a nasty Hawaiian plant.

:) Not shingles - they usually start on the body and are more painful than itchy. My best friend had it years ago. Awful.


Lol...I have a pencil plant in my house!

Itchy rashes are the worst! One of my son's is just getting over a severe rash that was caused by a drop of blood platelets....cause unknown. It was crazy spreading.....platelets have gone back up but rash is taking forever to fade.

Good luck! Itchiness can. Drive you nuts.


Well-Known Member
Contact dermatitis. Spreads more than you think, because you rub it and then touch somewhere else. Or pull a shirt on over that arm, and it picks up some of the problem on the way by.

It's a bit late now to localize this... for future reference, you could have kept the welt area covered in gauze or similar, to reduce spreading. Glad you are going to someone who knows skin issues.

New Leaf

Well-Known Member
.......and contact dermatitis it is. So I have a scrip for steroid cream and a lower tapering dose of prednisone which is good.....after this second 50 mg dose today I feel like I have had about 10 cups of coffee.
Will avoid contact with people lest I do something rash (pardon the pun), stay home and power clean my house.
One interesting remedy the NP gave me was a bleach bath- 1/2 cup in a full tub of water and soak in it......kills whatever bacteria is lurking.

Thanks all so much for your thoughts.
Insane, I remember now about the spreading from my poison ivy days.
Hopefully I can figure out whatever I ran into and avoid it next time.......

Still itchy but a bit better


Crazy Cat Lady
That's sort of funny. Not that you're itching your brains out, or that the pred is making you climb the walls, but that my grandmother's treatment for itchy rashes was recommended by a person trained in modern medicine.

A bleach bath...hmmmm....


Roll With It
I am sorry you are so miserable. I hope that this passes quickly. After a bleach bath kills off whatever bacteria, an oatmeal bath will help soothe your skin.

The best oatmeal baths do not come in those pouches at the drug store. Those are not nearly as effective as the kind I used to use with the kids' eczema. I would take an old sock or the foot of an old pair of pantyhose and put 1 cup of old fashioned oats in it. Tie the end of the sock closed and put it into the water as the bath runs. Soak in the water. My kids always mushed the sock around and it let out more of the parts that help. You can do that if you want, but it really isn't necessary. At the end of the bath, throw the sock away. I always had a huge bag of stray socks, so it wasn't a problem to find more, but I guess you could clean out the sock if you wanted.

You can use minute oats if that is all you have, but do NOT use instant oats as all the helpful stuff has been processed out. Flavored oatmeal packets are also bad to use because they make a huge mess and don't help your skin.

I like this option because it was much easier to clean out of the tub than the packets of powder were.

Another way to do an oatmeal bath at home with-o spending a fortune on those little packets is to take your old fashioned oatmeal and grind it in your food processor or blender until it is very fine, almost dust. Then dump that in to your bath to soak in. It will be a bit more difficult to clean out, but you will only spend a few pennies a bath compared to well over a dollar a bath the last time I looked at those packets. Plus you get a less processed oat and that has more of the parts that help.

I hope this helps after the bleach bath. I had not heard of bleach baths other than from a redneck friend of my husband's. That man used to take a bleach bath after a sunburn to bleach the red out of his skin. It was one of the dumbest things I had ever heard. A bleach bath to help end contact dermatitis by killing off bacteria? THAT makes sense to me.

Get well soon!

New Leaf

Well-Known Member
Susie that is an awesome tip for an oatmeal bath, I am all about saving money with home remedies. Since the rash is mostly on my hand I could use a small tin as well. Am a bit better this morning. Now to figure out what I got into that caused this. Sunday was humid and drizzly and I was a sweaty mess. Probably not helpful. I tangled with some burrs and am thinking that maybe those are the cause. I have been stuck by a few before, but this time a bunch of them got me, maybe that was it? Needless to say, I have a ton of yard work so need to figure out the cause and avoid it like the plague.
The derms notes also suggest a bleach spritz. GN, I too am amazed at modern medicine recognizing
"old folk" remedies. Mom reminded me of washing with fels naphtha soap when I was stricken with poison ivy rash. I wonder if I can find it here. Probably in the laundry section?
Thanks all for your well wishes. Smaller dose of prednisone today and back to work I go. Hopefully I won't be too batty!
Have a wonderful Thursday gang.
Trying not to scratch.....


Active Member
I awoke yesterday to a belly-full of skeeter bites. Blah. As the day wore on, my wrist and knees started itching - unrelated to the belly-bites ;-) I believe I may have brushed against some poison ivy hiding amongst the blackberry bushes....

I am using Melaleuca essential oil. Some relief.

I feel ya man!


Active Member
Ooops - meant to mention: Back in the day, a shot of cortisone from the docs and a pack of over-the-counter Benadryl fixed up a bad patch of poison ivy for me.

I'm considering the Benadryl again. (The previous experience helped SO much that I had to throw out the remainder of the pack once I was healed, as I'm a recovering addict and the Bennies were calling me.....)


Crazy Cat Lady
Hmmm...never thought of getting high on Benadryl as a fun thing. I was given a very high dose of the stuff to counter an allergic reaction years ago...spiders crawling out of everywhere.

You're not missing out on anything.

I'm sorry your craving are still with you so strongly that you couldn't keep the Benadryl on hand in case you needed it again.


Active Member
I know, I would have never imagined Benadryl would be so dreamy! Oh and this was YEARS ago, like, 2 husbands ago LOL!

Which is why I'm considering giving it a try again.

Scent of Cedar *

Well-Known Member
Online search indicates vinegar to cut the oil, and baking soda paste to absorb what is left at the site. When the baking soda dries, it flakes off, taking any remnants with it.

That makes sense, if the oil is what spreads the poison ivy. Then, to the dermatologist. That stuff is nothing to mess around with.

Hope you are more comfortable today, Leafy.



Active Member
A week later and I am in aich-ee-double toothpicks!! Turns out the belly bites were also part of the poison ivy. Hot baths and baking soda paste and oral Benadryl haven't seemed to slow it down. OMG I'm so uncomfortable!! Going in to see the doctor this afternoon.

Leafy, how are you faring??