Anti Itch cream?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by sticklelm, May 16, 2013.

  1. sticklelm

    sticklelm LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 336

    Ok... for all you experienced landscape veterans out there, what is the best cream or supplement for rashes and itchy skin? (poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumic, and whatever plants makes you itch!)
  2. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,104

    Awww, man. I have itchy blisters just from reading this.


    I found out a few years ago that I'm highly allergic to poison ivy - the hard way.
    Had it on both arms, both legs, chest, stomach, and "more".

    I have no idea what you mean by "supplement", or "cream".

    Are you asking about "relief" from the itching, or "preventing" the itch?

    Just today, my mower handle brushed against some poison ivy.
    I turned it off, went to the truck and got my Ivarest cleansing foam and wiped it down before continuing.
    I have a "poison ivy box" filled with all sorts of washes, sprays, and "blocks".

  3. rlitman

    rlitman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,763

    I'm allergic to the sun, so I'm using all sorts of prescription stuff from the dermatologist.

    I've tried everything OTC, and for the most part, it all sucks. If it isn't prescription, and is sold for itching relief, it seems to generally fall into four categories:
    1) cortisone. This stops the allergic reaction, but 1% OTC does just about nothing. 2.5% prescription does just a little more than nothing. The "good" prescription stuff I have can do serious damage to your skin if used long-term.
    2) benedryl. does much the same thing as cortisone, but is less effective
    3) lidocaine. This is a pain killer. The strongest lidocaine I've seen OTC is in Bactine (2.5%). Don't be fooled by benzocaine. That stuff is much weaker. The pain killer will actually interrupt the "itch" signal a little bit, but only for a short while.
    4) menthol. This is what's in icy-hot, but generally sold in MUCH weaker concentrations. It is also the "pain killer" in iva-rest, and in Gold Bond skin lotion. It doesn't really stop the itching/pain, but the cold/hot sensation distracts you somewhat. On real bad days, I've used icy-hot cream, and it kinda sorta works out.

    Now, I'm not knocking iva-rest, it also contains soaps that supposedly help remove the agent from poison ivy. Poison ivy is a 2-part problem.
    First you have to remove the chemical from your skin. Iva-rest is primarily meant to help with this.
    Then, you can apply something to sooth the skin for the weeks it takes to heal, so you don't scratch your skin off. This is what the stuff I mentioned above is meant to help with.

    Oh, and here are two "out of the box" product suggestions you should ask a pharmacist to help with.
    1) dibucaine. This works like lidodaine, but takes about 20 minutes to soak in and start working. BUT, it will continue to work for up to around 8 hours (I find that lidocaine's pain killing action is gone in under an hour). There are OTC formulations of this, but you'll want to ask your pharmacist where to find them (they're not going to be on the top shelf of the "itching" section).
    2) pramoxine. This is another pain killer. Unlike the others I mentioned, this is not in the "caine" family. It is also really fast acting. Put it on, and it feels cold, numb, and no more itch, in seconds. That lasts for an hour or so. This is also packaged OTC in combination with hydrocortisone. A great match for insect bites IMHO, but again, talk to your pharmacist to find this, it isn't easy to find on the shelf.
  4. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,545

  5. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,104

    Yeah, I keep a bottle of Tecnu in the basement by the laundry tub and a bottle in my shower.

    Any time I think I MAY have been exposed, I "decontaminate".


    The Ivarest is handier for cleaning up "in the field, because it doesn't need as much water to rinse it off, so I keep that in the truck.
  6. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,545

    I swear by Tecnu, it's the best OTC thing for poison ivy there is.
  7. kirkmbrown2001

    kirkmbrown2001 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 265

    I use alot of the Coretex brand products.

    They make single dose products like sunscreen, bug repellent, sting relief, poison ivy, anti-itch, and more. I have their sunscreen towelettes, bug repellent towelettes, pre and post poison ivy contact towelettes. Always keep a few in my truck.

    Here is a link for their pre-contact and post-contact poison ivy products:
  8. Armsden&Son

    Armsden&Son LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,358

    Tecnu for sure....... I honestly don't even follow the directions... I just put it on and leave it and it works sooooooo good! I honestly believe that over the years I have built up a tolerance to poison ivy/oak/sumac... Has this happened to anyone else?
  9. gusbuster

    gusbuster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,932

    dad always used plain old vinigar....burns like heck, but no more itch
  10. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,104

    I don't know about building up a "tolerance", but allergies DO come and go for many people.

    I grew up out in the country and played in the forest for years with no reaction to the stuff. I didn't have my first reaction to poison ivy until about 4 years ago. (in my 40s)

    I also developed seasonal allergies (yeah, including grass) in my thirties.

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