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Poison Ivy rash or bug bites?
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mlee27 posted:
My mom has all these oozing, itchy, large blisters on her arms. They started out as really small, red bumps a day after she did yard work in the backyard. She said she was working near the bushes of the woods behind our house. Then day by day, the red bumps developed into watery blisters that kept getting larger and larger until they burst and oozed out liquid. It's been almost a week now since she did the yard work. Her blisters haven't gotten any better, and they're starting to spread even more up her arms. We're not sure if she got in contact with poison ivy, poison oak, or an insect that bit her and injected poison. My mom isn't going to see a doctor until Monday, but her itchy blisters are driving her crazy. We've been putting alcohol, salt water, and oatmeal on them. However, we stopped putting the oatmeal because it made it worse. So what's the culprit of these blisters and what can we do until we see the doctor?
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Mary Ruth Buchness, MD responded:
mlee27,
It really sounds like poison ivy or oak. Poison oak is most common in the south-east. Hopefully, your Mom has seen the doctor by now and gotten treatment. She needs to familiarize herself with the appearance of the plant (check out poison_ivy.com) so that she avoids it in the future. She shouldn't garden without gloves, and should put her clothes directly into the washing machine when she finishes gardening, and shower at once. In the future, there is a product called Super Ivy Dry that will help with the itching and to dry out the blisters. There are also products to put on the skin before potential exposure, one called Technu, to prevent the poison ivy rash.


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