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View Full Version : Itchy Raised Rash from Hay - Any Good Home Remedies?



dressagetraks
Aug. 22, 2009, 04:23 PM
In my search for winter hay, I tried a new source last week. I did carefully quiz hay person and inspect and sniff the hay beforehand - looked great, smelled great, never wet, freshly baled. Said to be orchard grass without any fescue component. I then bought only 10 bales to run it past the equine taste test panel and get their ratings. One of my mares is quite picky. I never buy a lot from a new source until the horses have approved it.

I'd already decided not to get my winter's worth here, because the horses, while eating it, were not as enthusiastic as I've seen them. They do promptly pitch in and do clean it up, but the ear language is a bit off, and the pile shuffling dance is more before they settle down. So I decided to scrap this source and get no more.

Meanwhile, my left arm, which is the arm I always stack hay flakes on, about half a bale at a time, to carry them to the fence to toss over, is suddenly sprouting itchy red spots the last two days, increasing in a few areas to fluid-filled blisters. I am not allergic to hay as a general rule, but I can tell just looking at location that this is from carrying that hay in short sleeves.

What I've tried: Hydrocortisone cream OTC, Calamine, Benadryl 75 mg at a whack (it doesn't make me sleepy, and I have to take 75 mg to get any effect on allergies). Result: No difference from first two, Benadryl calms the itching down from frantic twitchiness to just wishing I could scratch. It is becoming progressively more defined, bumps getting more bumpety, fluid-filled ones increasing. Covers the inside of my arm from elbow to wrist.

What I don't want to try: Going to the doctor (no health insurance until September 1st) for systemic steroids. I know they would work. I do have a history of allergic reactions of all types and have a great and prompt reaction to prednisone. But I'd have to see the doc and pay for an office appointment first, and I don't want to pay for a doc visit unless there is no other option.

So does anybody have any good and cheap home remedies for contact dermatitis?

dressagetraks
Aug. 22, 2009, 04:37 PM
I've made a mental note to start wearing sleeves, but in many years of carrying a wide variety of hay thusly, it has never happened before. I'm clearly allergic to something in that hay, not just having a result of hay carrying in general. This is definitely an allergic reaction - looks quite similar to poison ivy with the blisters.

saddleup
Aug. 22, 2009, 04:43 PM
I get the same thing if I carry hay without long sleeves and gloves. I slather on a cortisone cream and take some Sudafed, and try to remember not to do it again. But then, I'm very allergic to all grasses, so my grass hay that I feed really affects me.

Bluey
Aug. 22, 2009, 05:11 PM
Since you don't want to go to your doctor, how about asking your vet for a shot of cortisone?:winkgrin:

Seriously, that must be miserable.
Could you try those Care Centers, where you can walk in and they treat you and you go home, not have to go thru drs and all that?

dressagetraks
Aug. 22, 2009, 05:17 PM
If no better by Monday, I will go to one. I was just hoping somebody might have some home ideas that I could try here this weekend first.

Yep, it is miserable. And I have a high tolerance for things being irritating.

Obviously not the hay I need to get a whole winter's worth of. :no:

nadasy
Aug. 22, 2009, 05:34 PM
Sometimes I've gotten this and have gone to the drug store and bought a granular powder called Domeboro's Soak solution mixed with water (modified Burow's Solution) or Aveeno oatmeal baths can be especially soothing for itchy rashes.

It's similar in style to Epsom Salts. I've also used Pin Tar soap, and Nelson's Sting Gel, and also keep on hand Jasons Witch Vera which is 84% Aloe Vera. I've used that more for studio boo boos from my torch, but also for the bumps when I've been just pulling weeds around fence posts when I'm mowing.

My mantra seems to be-Darn I should have known to wear long sleeves-well, now I do- At least Once a season. :lol:

Sorry this has happened to you. If it's poison ivy or a weed baled that was in the field with those teeny thorns that's good for absolutely nothing. In MD we had a weed that grew in the banks-dark green cellulose type of stalk with orange flowers. It grows in all the ditches on sides of roads and near streams. I've forgotten the name, but see it periodically. The sap from that will stop the sumac and ivy mess if you get it right on the bumps.

allpurpose
Aug. 22, 2009, 08:33 PM
You might try rubbing alcohol on the bumps if they're intact, as it takes swelling down quite nicely. Obviously, DON'T try this if you have open sores - it HURTS! :eek:

I seem to remember that one can purchase a mentholated rubbing alcohol in the first aid section of the drug store. The menthol might feel good as well.

You can also try a paste of baking soda, meat tenderizer and water. Might help stave off the doctor's bill!

Good luck!

birdsong
Aug. 22, 2009, 08:47 PM
Oh...that sounds painful. I'm a huge fan of desinex..the white zinc oxide stuff used for diaper rash. I find that if I coat that on removing the area from air it helps and also seems to heal pretty quick. Give it a try.

AiryFairy
Aug. 22, 2009, 10:15 PM
Meanwhile, my left arm, which is the arm I always stack hay flakes on, about half a bale at a time, to carry them to the fence to toss over, is suddenly sprouting itchy red spots the last two days, increasing in a few areas to fluid-filled blisters. I am not allergic to hay as a general rule, but I can tell just looking at location that this is from carrying that hay in short sleeves.

What I've tried: Hydrocortisone cream OTC, Calamine, Benadryl 75 mg at a whack (it doesn't make me sleepy, and I have to take 75 mg to get any effect on allergies). Result: No difference from first two, Benadryl calms the itching down from frantic twitchiness to just wishing I could scratch. It is becoming progressively more defined, bumps getting more bumpety, fluid-filled ones increasing. Covers the inside of my arm from elbow to wrist.

What I don't want to try: Going to the doctor (no health insurance until September 1st) for systemic steroids. I know they would work. I do have a history of allergic reactions of all types and have a great and prompt reaction to prednisone. But I'd have to see the doc and pay for an office appointment first, and I don't want to pay for a doc visit unless there is no other option.

So does anybody have any good and cheap home remedies for contact dermatitis?

Sure sounds like PI to me. Have you washed with some Tecnu to make sure you got all the oils off? What you should do ASAP is see if someone would call you in a prescription without an appt. (doubtful) for something called Temovate Gel, it's a topical steroid (whether you'd be allergic, who knows) and if caught early enough you can stop the blisters from forming and bleeding. I had PI once really badly on the backs of my thighs (took my pants off and sat on them) and that saved me a lot of agony. The other thing you can do at home is the 'hot water' method. Put the affected area under water as hot as you can stand it - the itching intesifies to the point where you want to scream or pee your pants, but then the nerves get overloaded and stop sending the itch signals - that can buy you a few hours of relief if the itching is really severe.

greysandbays
Aug. 22, 2009, 10:34 PM
In MD we had a weed that grew in the banks-dark green cellulose type of stalk with orange flowers. It grows in all the ditches on sides of roads and near streams. I've forgotten the name, but see it periodically. The sap from that will stop the sumac and ivy mess if you get it right on the bumps.

Jewelweed, aka Touch-Me-Not. And probably a dozen other common names as well.

Supposedly good for stinging nettle itch (and often grows near them), and I was told today that it's good for poison ivy, poison sumac, and poison oak as well.

You can crush the stems (very succulent) and rub them on the rash, or you can make a "tea" by putting the stems in hot water and letting them steep (and cool a bit). I understand this is more effective than the raw plant, but it doesn't keep well and must be used immediately. Don't know if it just becomes ineffective or turns nasty...

dressagetraks
Aug. 22, 2009, 10:55 PM
Thanks for all the suggestions. Rubbing alcohol has felt as good as anything so far, although I can't use it on the worst areas. Will get diaper rash ointment tomorrow and also have looked up a picture of jewelweed and will see if I can find some. Lord knows I'm growing everything else on my wild back 40. By the way, I'll take a bucket and check my wild blackberry (I think) patch.

This is looking more and more like classic poison ivy. I'm positive it was from the hay, though. Just my luck to buy some nice baled poison ivy. The horses might well have sifted extraneous out from their hay. I have huge crows that come down and pick up after the horses, as well as my turkeys, as well as the near-constant wind on my ridge, so if there were a few sprigs left as rejects, they probably wouldn't have stayed around long.

We're definitely not getting this stuff for the whole winter's worth. :no::eek:

I'm off to take 125 mg of Benadryl and then go to bed. Benadryl works for me on allergy symptoms at 75 and over, but anything under 75 has zero effect. 125 still won't make me sleepy, but it will hopefully damp the itches for several hours so I can sleep.

TKR
Aug. 22, 2009, 11:11 PM
Maybe a paste of baking soda and vinegar might help. I would go to one of the homeopathic/natural herb-remedy stores and ask what they would recommend. They might have something that would be very effective. Good luck!
PennyG

Mary in Area 1
Aug. 22, 2009, 11:34 PM
The same thing happened to me this year. The topical Benedryl gel is the only thing that worked. But THEN, my skin was so dry it was itching again, so now i'm slathering on the moisturizer. The Eucerin itch calming cream with menthol and oats is great.

Chief2
Aug. 23, 2009, 07:14 AM
If you have any witch hazel in your cabinet that could work as well to reduce the itching.

wateryglen
Aug. 23, 2009, 07:25 AM
Try Claritin. My doc prescribed it in lieu of benedryl for hives for me. If that doesn't work alone, try adding 75-150mg of Ranitidine with it. Really works for me. I also prefer Ivarest cream as it has calamine AND topical benedryl in it. Works!

I got a terrible case of scabies from hay once. Had to do a self treatment of that all over & hair shampoo you use for lice....can't think of the name. Got steroids and had to do the hot water washing of sheets/towels/clothing etc. What a pain!!!

Hilary
Aug. 23, 2009, 07:33 AM
The scalding water treatment works - definitely will kill the itch for a few hours during which time you can apply some topicals that may soothe it when the water treatment wears off.

imissvixen
Aug. 23, 2009, 07:45 AM
My latest cure for everything (like the guy with the Windex) is witch hazel. It is a bit like rubbing alcohol but it is also soothing. You can put it on all things irritated and itchy and in all places and it works well.

Also, I would ice.

Having bought meds for my aged mom who does not have prescription drug coverage I encourage you to try to avoid a doc with prescription if possible.

NEWT
Aug. 23, 2009, 06:54 PM
Ugh... I hate that. I get that rash too. So this year I purchased rose gardening gloves made by Foxgloves. They are a leather glove with a gauntlet that comes almost to my elbow. I LOVE them! They really do the trick protecting my arms. I purchased them from www.dorothybiddle.com

As far as healing your current rash, if you happen to have comfrey growing then that is what I use to heal this type of rash. I cut the thick stem at ground level, discard the leaf and make a long slice the length of the stem. Then, I use a knife to scrap out the wet center. Spread it over the rash, its very soothing and no trip to the doctors office. It dries in seconds with no residue.

Note: if you decide to plant comfrey make sure you get the non-invasive Russian comfrey.

Happy healing!

SevenDogs
Aug. 23, 2009, 07:00 PM
Aveeno Oatmeal Bath might help some. I had an RX allergic reaction and used Benadryl and Oatmeal bath soaks. Ice might also help cool the itching.

You an also try Bee Sting wipes. They temporarily numb the surface.

CB/TB
Aug. 23, 2009, 07:25 PM
Columbia Veterinary Powder! An all purpose healer for man and beast. A friend whos had TBs for years said she uses it when she gets a bug bite , poison ivy/sumac, etc. It's a boric acid base, so nothing scary. I used it on my old GSP's leg sore. It did what nothing els e could( antibiotics, bandaging, no chew sprays, etc) in a matter of a few weeks. I get it from KVVet, and have only seen it in one tack /farm store in Maine. Great stuff. The tecnu products are great. My son gets poison ivy by just looking at it so always has some on hand. I don't get it, but do get some skin reaction from some hay, too.

Trevelyan96
Aug. 23, 2009, 10:27 PM
there must be someting going around I look like I have measels or chickenpox. My mission to banish the creepy crawly things from my barn has turned into all out war. For evert cobweb I remove, I receive a thousand bite in return. Today I tackled the tack room, so my legs basiclaly look like a piece of pizza.

I have some seriously militant insects out there.!

nadasy
Aug. 24, 2009, 08:28 AM
That's the one, Grays and Bays ! thanks! Jewel Weed. If we knew we had come in contact with it, we used it by crushing it and just rubbing it on our arms and legs right after contact.

I had a horrid reaction to PI in PA, and it ran amok from my arm up and all over my face and down the same side. The doctor recommended Dombros Soaks, because I am allergic to the pills they had to use. This got it under control in about 4 days, which seemed like four months.

HuntJumpSC
Aug. 24, 2009, 08:32 AM
Can you try keeping an aloe plant on hand at the barn? They are great (although a bit messy) for boo-boos and rashes that pop up. I have several at my house that are huge (they keep srouting off the giant one that won't die), so I'm thinking I may take one to the barn and keep handy in my tack room. When it gets really big, you can repot it and plant the sprouts in new containers to share with friends.

Ghazzu
Aug. 24, 2009, 09:11 AM
Witch hazel, as suggested.

Extremely strong tea as a compress.
The tannins are astringent.

starkissed
Aug. 24, 2009, 09:37 AM
it would be poison ivy or something.

But as for remedies.
Apparently a baking soda paste works well.
And if you have DMSO in the barn for the horses, you can put that on it. Smells- uhhhggg terrible, but it actually works. My dad always puts it on bee stings right away and it works great to get rid of the itch and it has that steroid factor. And they are both cheap!!

TheRedFox
Aug. 26, 2009, 11:33 AM
oh no, sounds exactly like my chigger infestation that I got a few years ago. My grandmommy always told me when I was little to never sit on bales of hay or straw cause the bugs "could like to eat your ass up".

My legs were so torn up a few years back that the only things I could do to stop the itching was to soak in a screaming hot bath with bleach and salt. As soon as I would get out I would rub myself down with alcohol and tea tree oil and when the itching persisted, I rubbed hand sanatizer all over my legs and feet. The stinging and burning felt so much better than the itching. It all had to run its course. I hope you find some relief soon and am glad that you are wearing long sleeves.

bdj
Aug. 26, 2009, 12:42 PM
That sounds EXACTLY like the poison ivy reaction that I had years ago (also from poison ivy that had gotten baled in the hay).

What was recommended to me was stuff that comes from a local pharmacy called "Medi Summer Gel" - it seems to be packaged by the local pharmacies, because at one pharmacy it's "Edward's Medi Summer Gel" and "Hill's Medi Summer Gel" at another, but aside from that, it's the same stuff - a gel combo of all kinds of good stuff - smells really strong (like menthol), but it works pretty well to relieve the itching. Had to use it again this year after I got chigger bites and it's good for that, too.

Had a very weird allergic reaction to something this winter (lots of itching, and red bumps that just would. not. go. away - even after a course of Prednisone) and the nurse at my allergist's office gave me some Allegra, which was the only thing that made the reaction cease.