Earlier this summer while trimming hedges I inadvertently got into poison oak and the rash showed up on my arms and...my scalp! Apparently I had taken my cap off and run my hands through my hair. In any case, dealing with the rash on my arms was no problem as Calamine Lotion worked very effectively.
It’s interesting that in a 1992 press release, the US Food and Drug Administration announced that no proof had been submitted showing calamine to be effective in treating the irritation of insect bites or stings, or the rashes from poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac.
But then in a September 2, 2008 document, the US Food and Drug Administration recommended applying some topical over-the-counter skin products, such as calamine, to absorb the weeping of the skin caused by poisonous plants such as poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac. For relieving the pain or itching caused by these plants, the same document recommends a cold water compress and cortical steroids.
If that seems odd, it shouldn’t. The FDA is crooked as a dog’s hind leg. Some of the FDA’s own scientists have charged that politics, not science, is behind the FDA’s actions.
One of the most controversial questions that has consistently plagued the FDA is related to its approval process. Considering some of the ads for medicines seen on television with their long list of side effects (one I saw even admitted in the fine print that its success rate was only one in four!) I would not trust the FDA.
In fact, one physician I know will not prescribe any new drug until it’s been on the market for two years because he wants to see what they aren’t telling him about it.
As for Calamine Lotion, my dad worked on the railroad all his life and he got into poison ivy at least once a year and his go-to treatment was Calamine Lotion. The FDA aside, it works.
Unfortunately, you can’t put Calamine Lotion in your hair, so the only solution was to wait for it to clear up on its own. It did, but another problem developed that plagued me for 2-3 months...hard bumps on the back of my head that wouldn’t go away and itched like crazy. A dermatologist recommended a topical steroid to be applied one or two times a day. It helped a tad with the itching, but that’s all.
Then I bought some Neutrogena T/Sal Scalp Therapeutic Shampoo that cost almost nothing...$6.00 a bottle. It contains 3 percent salicylic acid and the bottle said it’s good to get rid of dandruff, psoriasis and it’s an anti-seborrheic, so what could it hurt to try it?
Recommended use is twice a week and I really didn’t expect to see immediate results, but there was a noticeable improvement with the first use as the itching was less. After about a week there was almost no itching and the bumps were fewer and smaller. After a month, the bumps were gone. Good stuff!