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The story of our precious little girl's 17 months of life with Trisomy 18 (July 4, 2010 - December 15, 2011) and of us, re-learning to live "after Lilly."
"I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made ...." Psalm 139:14

Thursday, August 20, 2015

My lost battle against poison ivy AND fantastic treatments for acne and rosacea

As I shared in my last post, I have been battling against poison ivy since last week.  It has been an ugly (looking) battle but I thought I was winning, until my leg and foot began swelling up.  Do you know how hard it is to walk with a big, swollen leg?  A good reminder why knees are so important!  (Just try going up and down stairs a lot without bending your leg at all!)

On Monday, the back of my legs were oozing all sorts of nasty yellow looking stuff.  This is called "weeping" and had been happening for days.  But on Monday it was pouring down so often, that by late morning I thought I'd begin to weep - literally.  Instead of wasting time crying, I got online and did some searching. I read about people using a homeopathic remedy - Rhus Tox - to quickly stop the weeping.  Hmmm ...

Thankfully, a number of years ago I purchased this Homeopathic Remedies Kit.  It has served us well over the years.  I pulled out the vial of Rhus Tox 30c and took 3 pellets (tablets).  I ended up repeating the dose two more times during the day and after every time, the weeping lessened!  By the end of the day there was NO MORE oozing from my poison ivy covered skin!!  I WAS AMAZED!!  (This used up the rest of my Rhus Tox so I quickly ordered another vial.  I will never be without this stuff on hand again.)

But then my right leg began to swell.  From my upper thigh down to my toes.  (Swollen toes feel creepy!)  And much of the skin was red and hot to touch.  Sigh.  I was continuing with my high doses of vitamin C and Pantothenic acid (which greatly kept the itching down).  I added collodial silver to boost my immune system.  And I gave in and started taking Benedryl at night.  (Hate how that stuff can make me sleepy.)  But the swelling just didn't stop.  I finally had to admit to myself that I might have an infection that I needed help in treating.

Hiding in a box from Mama's nasty poison ivy

So today I went Urgent Care.  The doctor there was horrified when he saw my legs and I told him they actually looked better than they did.  He said I had the worst case of poison ivy he had ever treated in all his time working at that facility.  (OK - I stopped feeling like a wimp for going to the doctor for this.)

I ended up with a shot of a steroid and prescriptions for antibiotics and more steroids.  (I'll be greatly boosting up my probiotic intake as antibiotics don't always agree with my digestive system.)  I'm supposed to continue taking Benedryl.  And he told me to get some Zanfel, which is a poison ivy wash.

I ended up buying a generic brand of Zanfel and it is interesting.  It's like a paste that you rub on wet skin for about 3 minutes.  It feels so delightfully scratchy! Then you rinse with cool water.

So Lord willing, I'll be all healed up soon!

lots of watermelon growing in our garden - the chickens LOVE the rinds
Since the healing of skin is on my mind, I just wanted to recommend a line of face products that Tabby and I have found amazing for treating acne and rosacea.

For the past two years, I have gotten rosacea on my face during the winter.  Last year I cleared it up using essential oils.  (It took about 6 weeks.)  This winter, that treatment did not work at all.  I tried a couple other natural products, but to no avail.

At this time, Tabby was struggling with acne.  Actually, she had had it BAD for about a year.  All over her forehead, much of her face, shoulders and back.  I gave her lots of different natural products to try every few months.  But there was never much improvement.

This past spring, I started thinking back to many years ago, I used to use products by Paula's Choice.  (I had eventually stopped because I became obsessed with using only natural stuff.)  Paula Begoun, who created the line, has written and researched in the cosmetics world for decades.  She is known as "the Cosmetics Cop" because she scientifically studies so many products and rates them and reports the pros and cons for each.  She has published a number of books including Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me which rates many different make up lines and compiles lists of the best products.  As a result of her research, she also has created her own line of skin care products, known as Paula's Choice.

You can go to her website, and click on the tab at the top for "Beautipedia Reviews" to read summaries of her research many skin care lines.

After reading a lot of customer reviews, I decided to purchase the Paula's Choice kits for treating rosacea and extra-strength acne.  (There is also a "regular strength acne" kit here.)

The kits arrived and I gave Tabby her's.  We each remarked to each other the next morning that our skin was already feeling better and mine was looking better!  In fact, my rosacea was completely gone in only one week!  WOW!  And my skin looked so much better overall.

Tabby found that one of the products in the acne kit made her face really red and sting a bit.  So she backed off and (except for the cleanser which she used 2x a day) she only used the other things at night.  But within a few days, her skin was used to the products and she began using them all twice a day.

In about a month, almost all of Tabby's acne was GONE!  These days she occasionally gets a pimple but it goes away quickly.

Just hanging around - without lots of acne!

I can't tell you how impressed we are with Paula's Choice products!  Tabby especially wants other people to know about them and wanted me to post here about them - to help teens with acne.

All right.  I have been sitting here as long as I can stand it.  (Doctor's orders!  For real!  I'm propping my swollen foot.)  I just have to get up and do some other things now, swollen leg or not.

I hope you all are having a great week and staying away from poison ivy!!!


  1. oh my goodness! I can't believe you were able to stand it that long but soooooo glad you got some help.

    1. Notice I spared you (and my other readers) gross pictures of my legs. ;)

  2. You poor thing! Thankfully, I am not allergic to poison ivy or posion oak or any of those things. But Stephen gets a case of it every, single year. He usually gets it after the dogs run through a patch. The oil gets on their fur, he cuddles them, and he gets it on his arms or legs or something. They used to give him steroids for it, but he gets so mean with steroids that now he just tries to tough it out. He's never had it as bad you did, though.

    1. Poor Stephen! I actually wondered if I had gotten it from one of the puppies or goat kids. They often rub against the back of my legs and I usually wear skirts. And the poison ivy started on the back of my legs. Yuck! I find it fascinating that there are people like you that are immune to it!

  3. YIkes! It sounds like a very challenging week around your house. What a blessing to find something to treat the acne and the rosacea. So sorry the natural remedies didn't work for the poison ivy, though and glad you went in for extra help. Praying you are set free from it quickly!

  4. Zanfel is amazing! I used it last time I had poison oak and it cleared it right up. Hope it did the same for you!