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Itchy Raised Rash from Hay - Any Good Home Remedies?

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  • Itchy Raised Rash from Hay - Any Good Home Remedies?

    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?
  • Original Poster

    #2
    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.

    Comment


    • #3
      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.

      Comment


      • #4
        Since you don't want to go to your doctor, how about asking your vet for a shot of cortisone?

        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?

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          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.

          Comment


          • #6
            Itchy red rash from hay

            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.

            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.

            Comment


            • #7
              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!

              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!
              Riding: The art of keeping a horse between you and the ground.

              Comment


              • #8
                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.
                "My treasures do not sparkle or glitter, they shine in the sunlight and nicker to me in the night"

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by dressagetraks View Post
                  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.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by nadasy View Post
                    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...

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      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.

                      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.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        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

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          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.
                          \"I refuse to engage in a battle of wits with someone who is unarmed.\"--Pogo

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            If you have any witch hazel in your cabinet that could work as well to reduce the itching.
                            "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein

                            http://s1098.photobucket.com/albums/...2011%20Photos/

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              nurse weighs in....

                              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!!!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                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.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  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.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    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!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      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.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        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.

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