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I've got poison ivy - now what?


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calamine lotion.

 

I go a different route though...I take a shower in the very hottest water I can handle. Yes, it opens the pores and lets loose the poison over more of my body, but the water washes it away before any harm. A few times of this and the pores will dry up. NOT for the sensitive types! Of course, the shower idea is if I have PI on my body...if on my hands...wash my hands!

Edited by Rockin Roddy
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I wonder if it's possible to be immune to poison ivy? I grew up around areas where it was abundant. I always went hunting, fishing, hiking, camping and various outdoor activities and I've never had poison ivy my entire life.

Yes it is. I am.

 

I've literally crawl through before on more than occasion.

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I wonder if it's possible to be immune to poison ivy? I grew up around areas where it was abundant. I always went hunting, fishing, hiking, camping and various outdoor activities and I've never had poison ivy my entire life.
It's an allergy. Lots of people (like me) aren't allergic to it.

 

Some people believe believe that you can become allergic to it at any time and that these 'new' allergic reactions are very bad, but I'm just going to go with the simple fact that I haven't ever gotten it and am not at all careful regarding it, so I'm not going to worry about it.

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I wonder if it's possible to be immune to poison ivy? I grew up around areas where it was abundant. I always went hunting, fishing, hiking, camping and various outdoor activities and I've never had poison ivy my entire life.

For my first 50 or so years, I wasn't sensitive to poison ivy. My cousin and I would go camping and practically sleep in the stuff and never get the rash. Then last year, soon after I started geocaching, I reached through some poison ivy vines to retrieve a cemetery micro hanging on a fence, and the next day came down with a totally annoying rash. It took me a couple of days to realize I had my first case of poison ivy.

 

The lesson I learned is that you can be insensitive to it for many years, then find yourself with a nasty case when you least expect it. I now carry some stuff called Tecnu that I use whenever I think I might have been exposed to poison ivy. I haven't used it enough to give a testimonial, but it seems to work so far.

 

--Larry

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Ah, yes...I've heard that too about people getting after not having problems for years.

 

One explanation I heard, that I am guessing was more of a theory than factual, was that not all poison ivy is the same and that you can be more or less sensitive to different ivy in different regions.

 

I just hope my fortune doesn't change. That looks like good stuff, Larry, I may buy some just to have around for when I am caching with the kids...I don't know if they are allergic yet, but their mom is so best to be prepared.

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I wonder if it's possible to be immune to poison ivy? I grew up around areas where it was abundant. I always went hunting, fishing, hiking, camping and various outdoor activities and I've never had poison ivy my entire life.

 

Like TC, I've crawled through piles of the stuff on many occasions with little or no reaction. The worst case of PI I ever had was a rash about the size of a quarter that didn't itch, ooze or anything. It was gone in about an hour.

 

Poison Oak on the other hand spreads over me like wildfire.

 

I had my first encounter with Poison Sumac last fall... it took a while for it to start itching and I had calamine on it pretty quick, so it didn't have much affect.

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I haven't gotten any Poison Ivy but have you ever found yourself running (pracically running!) into a grove of Russian Olive trees? I'll tell you right now -- It's worse then Poison Ivy.

 

I don't know if we have those here in Iowa...I've never heard of them at any rate.

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One explanation I heard, that I am guessing was more of a theory than factual, was that not all poison ivy is the same and that you can be more or less sensitive to different ivy in different regions.

I've heard (how's that for authoritative :anicute: ) that, just like most allergies, you become sensitive after being exposed to the stuff over a period of time. Some people apparently have a stronger predisposition than others to develop the allergy, and suffer from it from childhood. The lucky ones seem to be permanently immune. I sure thought I was....

 

--Larry

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One time myself and a friend and his uncle were in a hayfield behind my grandmother's house, on the hill gathering wild strawberries.I went every place the two of them went.Within a day they literally covered with poison ivy.I didn't have anything except mosquito bites.We concluded I must not have a reaction to it.I've never been willing to retest that theory for some odd reason...

:D:):anicute:

 

I did hear one of the old timers around town(I'm only throwing this out for thread's sake,NOT advocating or endorsing it in any way or suggesting you do so) say that he got poison ivy one time on both arms.An old farmer that he knew told him to scratch it up real good and put bleach in the areas.He said he did and accordingly it hurt like the almighty,but he said it was gone in about two.

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I wonder if it's possible to be immune to poison ivy? I grew up around areas where it was abundant. I always went hunting, fishing, hiking, camping and various outdoor activities and I've never had poison ivy my entire life.

 

It is possible. However, people can develop allergies to things later in life.

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I did hear one of the old timers around town(I'm only throwing this out for thread's sake,NOT advocating or endorsing it in any way or suggesting you do so) say that he got poison ivy one time on both arms.An old farmer that he knew told him to scratch it up real good and put bleach in the areas.He said he did and accordingly it hurt like the almighty,but he said it was gone in about two.

 

Wow... I would love to see pictures of his arms. I can only imagine the scarring that would have taken place.

 

That sounds like something my grandmother told me... if you get poinson ivy, eat a couple of leaves. She wasn't alergic to it, so had never tried it herself. But... I do believe that doing so can actually kill a person.

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I did hear one of the old timers around town(I'm only throwing this out for thread's sake,NOT advocating or endorsing it in any way or suggesting you do so) say that he got poison ivy one time on both arms.An old farmer that he knew told him to scratch it up real good and put bleach in the areas.He said he did and accordingly it hurt like the almighty,but he said it was gone in about two.

 

Wow... I would love to see pictures of his arms. I can only imagine the scarring that would have taken place.

 

That sounds like something my grandmother told me... if you get poinson ivy, eat a couple of leaves. She wasn't alergic to it, so had never tried it herself. But... I do believe that doing so can actually kill a person.

 

There was none.The guy is in his forties/fifties right now,and you couldn't tell he ever had it.I'm sure he meant scratch it to open up the pores,not like breaking skin scratching.

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I did hear one of the old timers around town(I'm only throwing this out for thread's sake,NOT advocating or endorsing it in any way or suggesting you do so) say that he got poison ivy one time on both arms.An old farmer that he knew told him to scratch it up real good and put bleach in the areas.He said he did and accordingly it hurt like the almighty,but he said it was gone in about two.

 

Wow... I would love to see pictures of his arms. I can only imagine the scarring that would have taken place.

 

That sounds like something my grandmother told me... if you get poinson ivy, eat a couple of leaves. She wasn't alergic to it, so had never tried it herself. But... I do believe that doing so can actually kill a person.

 

There was none.The guy is in his forties/fifties right now,and you couldn't tell he ever had it.I'm sure he meant scratch it to open up the pores,not like breaking skin scratching.

 

Ok... still... Ouch!!!

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I did hear one of the old timers around town(I'm only throwing this out for thread's sake,NOT advocating or endorsing it in any way or suggesting you do so) say that he got poison ivy one time on both arms.An old farmer that he knew told him to scratch it up real good and put bleach in the areas.He said he did and accordingly it hurt like the almighty,but he said it was gone in about two.

 

lol, yeah, I am pretty sure bleach in open wounds is a bad idea. :anicute:

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I did hear one of the old timers around town(I'm only throwing this out for thread's sake,NOT advocating or endorsing it in any way or suggesting you do so) say that he got poison ivy one time on both arms.An old farmer that he knew told him to scratch it up real good and put bleach in the areas.He said he did and accordingly it hurt like the almighty,but he said it was gone in about two.

 

Wow... I would love to see pictures of his arms. I can only imagine the scarring that would have taken place.

 

That sounds like something my grandmother told me... if you get poinson ivy, eat a couple of leaves. She wasn't alergic to it, so had never tried it herself. But... I do believe that doing so can actually kill a person.

 

There was none.The guy is in his forties/fifties right now,and you couldn't tell he ever had it.I'm sure he meant scratch it to open up the pores,not like breaking skin scratching.

 

Ok... still... Ouch!!!

I knew of some Boy Scouts that put some on their fire and breathed in the smoke. They had blister all over. Even in their throat. A couple of them ended up hospitalised.

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I did hear one of the old timers around town(I'm only throwing this out for thread's sake,NOT advocating or endorsing it in any way or suggesting you do so) say that he got poison ivy one time on both arms.An old farmer that he knew told him to scratch it up real good and put bleach in the areas.He said he did and accordingly it hurt like the almighty,but he said it was gone in about two.

 

lol, yeah, I am pretty sure bleach in open wounds is a bad idea. :o

 

I believe it though,cause I've heard alot of old home remedies that didn't sound too safe,but darned if they didn't work.

 

Still,I'm all set with giving this one a try... :lol: I just hope I'm still immune and I won't have to worry about it... :anicute::anicute:

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When I was young, I merely had to be in an area with PI...not close, just in the area. I would break out so badly that I had to go to the hospital every year at one time or another (and was usually covered from head to toe...EVERYWHERE). I rarely get it these days, would have to actually rub it on my skin to get it...I think I grew immune to it!

 

I not O...duh

Edited by Rockin Roddy
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I did hear one of the old timers around town(I'm only throwing this out for thread's sake,NOT advocating or endorsing it in any way or suggesting you do so) say that he got poison ivy one time on both arms.An old farmer that he knew told him to scratch it up real good and put bleach in the areas.He said he did and accordingly it hurt like the almighty,but he said it was gone in about two.

 

Wow... I would love to see pictures of his arms. I can only imagine the scarring that would have taken place.

 

That sounds like something my grandmother told me... if you get poinson ivy, eat a couple of leaves. She wasn't alergic to it, so had never tried it herself. But... I do believe that doing so can actually kill a person.

 

There was none.The guy is in his forties/fifties right now,and you couldn't tell he ever had it.I'm sure he meant scratch it to open up the pores,not like breaking skin scratching.

 

Ok... still... Ouch!!!

I knew of some Boy Scouts that put some on their fire and breathed in the smoke. They had blister all over. Even in their throat. A couple of them ended up hospitalised.

 

How would they treat inhilation?Breathe in vaporized antibiotics?

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I did hear one of the old timers around town(I'm only throwing this out for thread's sake,NOT advocating or endorsing it in any way or suggesting you do so) say that he got poison ivy one time on both arms.An old farmer that he knew told him to scratch it up real good and put bleach in the areas.He said he did and accordingly it hurt like the almighty,but he said it was gone in about two.

 

Wow... I would love to see pictures of his arms. I can only imagine the scarring that would have taken place.

 

That sounds like something my grandmother told me... if you get poinson ivy, eat a couple of leaves. She wasn't alergic to it, so had never tried it herself. But... I do believe that doing so can actually kill a person.

 

There was none.The guy is in his forties/fifties right now,and you couldn't tell he ever had it.I'm sure he meant scratch it to open up the pores,not like breaking skin scratching.

Has it stopped stinging, yet?
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I knew of some Boy Scouts that put some on their fire and breathed in the smoke. They had blister all over. Even in their throat. A couple of them ended up hospitalised.

 

How would they treat inhilation?Breathe in vaporized antibiotics?

I don't know how they treated them. The boys were from a town not far from my hometown. This happened at a jamboree. I never heard the details about their hospital stay, just that one of them was in ICU for over a week, and in the hospital for over a month. I do remember that the two of them almost died before they got to the hospital. As an EMT and an assistant scout master, I was one of the ones that gave them aid on the way. They could barely breath due to the swelling. At least in the worse cases their mouths and throats swelled almost immediately.

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I did hear one of the old timers around town(I'm only throwing this out for thread's sake,NOT advocating or endorsing it in any way or suggesting you do so) say that he got poison ivy one time on both arms.An old farmer that he knew told him to scratch it up real good and put bleach in the areas.He said he did and accordingly it hurt like the almighty,but he said it was gone in about two.

 

Wow... I would love to see pictures of his arms. I can only imagine the scarring that would have taken place.

 

That sounds like something my grandmother told me... if you get poinson ivy, eat a couple of leaves. She wasn't alergic to it, so had never tried it herself. But... I do believe that doing so can actually kill a person.

 

There was none.The guy is in his forties/fifties right now,and you couldn't tell he ever had it.I'm sure he meant scratch it to open up the pores,not like breaking skin scratching.

Has it stopped stinging, yet?

 

Yeah... so everything that i've been reading says Bleach = really bad. It will relieve the itching, but what it does is burns off the top layer of skin. This exposes the open sores of the blisters to become primed for infection. In some cases the PI oil can then get into the sores and into the bloodstream spreading the infection throughout the body and requiring hospitalization.

 

Also not recommended is scratching the skin at all... not because it can spread the oils (which is a possibility if you haven't cleaned the area), but because it can easily break the skin. You want to keep the skin intact as much as possible to avoid the same issue as above.

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I wonder if it's possible to be immune to poison ivy? I grew up around areas where it was abundant. I always went hunting, fishing, hiking, camping and various outdoor activities and I've never had poison ivy my entire life.
It's an allergy. Lots of people (like me) aren't allergic to it.

 

Some people believe believe that you can become allergic to it at any time and that these 'new' allergic reactions are very bad, but I'm just going to go with the simple fact that I haven't ever gotten it and am not at all careful regarding it, so I'm not going to worry about it.

 

But it's not -just- an allergy. It's an allergy to a chemical that is produced with the "poison" from the ivy combines with the stuff in human cells.

 

As an allergy though, there may be people that just don't react to that allergen.

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How would they treat inhilation?Breathe in vaporized antibiotics?

 

Antibiotics treat bacterial infections. They'd treat this just like any allergic reaction. Antihistamines among other things. Possibly cortisone. Injected, I'd suspect.

 

I wonder if cortisone could be nebulized and inhaled.

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When I was about 10 I got poison ivy, oak and/or sumac all over my body after some was burned in a campfire. Luckily it was all external, but still not fun. I had a course of steroids to treat it and found out I had a sensitivity to calamine lotion. It made my skin burn. It was so bad that I was getting a recurring case of it every year for several years, but after that I've never had it again even though I'm had some encounters that would have likely given it to me. For treatment of the milder recurring cases I had luck with using witch hazel, as well as rubbing crushed jewel weed. I just crushed the leaves and stem and rubbed it on the rash.

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I did hear one of the old timers around town(I'm only throwing this out for thread's sake,NOT advocating or endorsing it in any way or suggesting you do so) say that he got poison ivy one time on both arms.An old farmer that he knew told him to scratch it up real good and put bleach in the areas.He said he did and accordingly it hurt like the almighty,but he said it was gone in about two.

 

Wow... I would love to see pictures of his arms. I can only imagine the scarring that would have taken place.

 

That sounds like something my grandmother told me... if you get poinson ivy, eat a couple of leaves. She wasn't alergic to it, so had never tried it herself. But... I do believe that doing so can actually kill a person.

 

There was none.The guy is in his forties/fifties right now,and you couldn't tell he ever had it.I'm sure he meant scratch it to open up the pores,not like breaking skin scratching.

Has it stopped stinging, yet?

 

Yeah... so everything that i've been reading says Bleach = really bad. It will relieve the itching, but what it does is burns off the top layer of skin. This exposes the open sores of the blisters to become primed for infection. In some cases the PI oil can then get into the sores and into the bloodstream spreading the infection throughout the body and requiring hospitalization.

 

Also not recommended is scratching the skin at all... not because it can spread the oils (which is a possibility if you haven't cleaned the area), but because it can easily break the skin. You want to keep the skin intact as much as possible to avoid the same issue as above.

 

Precisely why I was said I wasn't addvocating using it! :anicute:

Edited by vtmtnman
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But it's not -just- an allergy. It's an allergy to a chemical that is produced with the "poison" from the ivy combines with the stuff in human cells.

 

As an allergy though, there may be people that just don't react to that allergen.

 

Hm, everything I have read indicates it's simply an allergic reaction. I couldn't find anything that described what you were talking about where it's the result of a chemical that combines with human cell. If you have a link I'd be interested in reading that...here are some I found that look factually safe:

 

http://www.aad.org/public/Publications/pam...IvyOakSumac.htm

http://www.poison-ivy.org/html/faq.htm

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How would they treat inhilation?Breathe in vaporized antibiotics?

 

Antibiotics treat bacterial infections. They'd treat this just like any allergic reaction. Antihistamines among other things. Possibly cortisone. Injected, I'd suspect.

 

I wonder if cortisone could be nebulized and inhaled.

 

As you can tell I'm no doctor! :anicute::anicute:

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[Try a poultice of baking powder (water and baking powder to a thick slurry). It will burn like all get out, :lol::anicute: but will dry them right up! :anicute:

quote name='magellan315' date='Apr 27 2007, 08:01 AM' post='2836464]

I have small out break of poison ivy on one wrist. Does anyone have any reccomendations to dry it out so it stops oozing?

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This comes up every once in a while on this board and I feel the need to post.

 

First, PI is what is known as "contact dermititis", where something you came in contact with irritiated your skin. This means that you MUST come in contact with it to get it. That can be by touching the leaves, the vines, the roots, walking in smoke from burning PI, or even touching a pet that has walked through it. The thing that causes the allergic reaction is an oil in the plan called urushiol (your-oosh-ee-all). It exists on all the common "poison" plants such as PI, poison oak and poison sumac, as well as in cashews, mangos and gingko biloba. It has been said that eating cashews while you have a case of PI will make it flair up nastily. I haven't tested this at all, for obvious reasons. But my point is that you have to touch it. My mother's statement that I could get it just by "walking by it" was totally incorrect. Oh, the oil is also present in Japanese lacquer (the name urushiol is derived from the Japanese word for lacquer). THAT one I have tested and proved.

 

The blisters and oozy stuff are your body's reaction to the bad stuff in the poison ivy that you touched, mostly water and lymph I believe. By the time they appear chances are that you have deliberately or accidentally cleaned off all the oil from the plant. So you can't spread it more from scratching it. Nor can you make it go "inside" your body and infect you from within by scratching it. What you stand to do by scratching it is to open your skin to infection. You will also give yourself the impression that it is spreading because when you scratch an area you sensitize nearby skin, and if that skin has also contacted the oil, it may break out (whereas if you hadn't done all the naughty scratching it would not be as sensitive), and LOOK like you spread it. Bad boy! Of course, that doesn't stop me from scratching it. I admit that sometimes it is preferable to have a nasty wound than the itchiness.

 

What to do about PI?

 

First, learn to identify it. In my 50 years I FINALLY tell what is and what ain't poison ivy, but only in 90 percent of the cases. Any PI plant with leaves is easy for me to identify, and I know to stay away. I am pretty familiar with the vines too, even in the dead of winter. They look "fuzzy" for one thing. What I haven't learned to identify is the roots. Every spring I dig in poison ivy roots, and every spring I get a case of poison ivy.

 

Which is why I keep a bottle of Tecnu handy. I have had stellar results with it, and I find that I can wash with it hours after I have contacted the plants and end up with very little poison ivy, or none at all. It may or may not work for you, but I suggest you try it at least. There is also a product for use AFTER you get PI, Zanfel but it didn't help me at all. Others have had better results, so don't rule it out on my experience.

 

Rockin Roddy made a good point with running hot water over it. The hot water does relieve the itching, although I am not sure why. The blisters often break open under the water as he mentioned. However, since there is no poison in the blisters you cannot spread it this way. It is a temporary relief, but a very good one, especially with PI on the fingers and hands. Get the water as hot as you can stand it and hold your hand under for 15 seconds are so. Pat it dry and feel the relief for about 30 minutes.

 

If you have a very bad rash, or it is on your face, or on a sensitive body part (once I dig the roots with my hand I end up with it everywhere!), go to doctor. They will most likely prescribe steroids that will make the itching a little better and the rash last for a shorter time. For me that means 7 days instead of 10, and although that doesn't seem like much if you have an eye swollen shut from it you may think it is all the difference in the world!

 

More PI info is available on the web, including plant identification, facts about the oil and rash, and remedies, both home and commercial. Start with The Poison Ivy Information Center and Poison-vy, org. Even the FDA has some info on it.

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I wonder if it's possible to be immune to poison ivy? I grew up around areas where it was abundant. I always went hunting, fishing, hiking, camping and various outdoor activities and I've never had poison ivy my entire life.
It's an allergy. ...
But it's not -just- an allergy. It's an allergy to a chemical that is produced with the "poison" from the ivy combines with the stuff in human cells.
What's the difference?
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From what I can tell poison ivy is just an allergy--allergies are simply a name for the over-response of the immune system to (normally harmless) foreign invaders, be those urushiol antigens or pollen from plants. The type and severity of the reaction are specific to the invader and location of contact, but the end result to the body is the same--it tries to get rid of the thing it doesn't like.

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I've gotten PI many times. I use to work as a lifeguard and would take the liquid chlorine for the pool and dab it on the areas effected. I use to do the same thing with bleach. If you don't have calamine lotion around it does relieve the itchyness. I never scratched up the area or put it on open wounds (I would never recommend doing that either). I believe chlorine/bleach basically dries out the area.

 

I did a quick search for "poison ivy remedies" and found people also put aloe vera on the area. I would try to find a real aloe plant or a lotion with the highest percentage. It's worth a shot.

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<snip>I take a shower in the very hottest water I can handle. Yes, it opens the pores and lets loose the poison over more of my body, but the water washes it away before any harm. <snip>

The blisters of a poison ivy rash do not contain the "poison". You can't spread the rash by scratching or open the blisters. But you do need to be careful about secondary infections.

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I wonder if it's possible to be immune to poison ivy? I grew up around areas where it was abundant. I always went hunting, fishing, hiking, camping and various outdoor activities and I've never had poison ivy my entire life.

 

I learned one time in school that about 75% of the population is allergic. It is one of those genetic things where 75% have it and 25% don't. Or so we were told. In my family, 3 people are allergic (mom, dad, sister) and I am not allergic. My dad never really believed that I wasn't allergic, despite many camping trips with him being covered in it and me having no reaction. Then one summer we worked together on a river cleanup project and he always sent me into the patches of poison ivy to retrieve the trash (while wearing shorts). After several weeks of that, he finally believed that I wasn't allergic.

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From what I can tell poison ivy is just an allergy--allergies are simply a name for the over-response of the immune system to (normally harmless) foreign invaders, be those urushiol antigens or pollen from plants. The type and severity of the reaction are specific to the invader and location of contact, but the end result to the body is the same--it tries to get rid of the thing it doesn't like.

 

Yes, you are right. PI is just an allergic response to the allergen, uroshiol. Allergies are very hard to predict-some you outgrow, some get worse as you get older, and sometimes you can be exposed to something all your life, and develop an allergy to it in your 80's or 90's.

 

The Indians used "Jewel Weed" as one of the above posters mentioned. It is believed they made a slurry of leaves and water, and used it like a compress. Jewel Weed grows abundantely here in PA, not sure about other areas. Someone once told me they made this up and froze it in a ice cube tray and was very soothing.

 

Cortisone is a steroid and steroids are indeed available in inhalation form. Chlorox is NOT recommended for treating PI as others here have already mentioned.

 

I did a college report on PI-it was like 25 years ago, but nothing has changed.

 

And, the oil from any part of the plant can remain on garden tools, sneakers, hats, etc. and continue to cause the allergic response.

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This comes up every once in a while on this board and I feel the need to post.

 

First, PI is what is known as "contact dermititis", where something you came in contact with irritiated your skin. This means that you MUST come in contact with it to get it. That can be by touching the leaves, the vines, the roots, walking in smoke from burning PI, or even touching a pet that has walked through it. The thing that causes the allergic reaction is an oil in the plan called urushiol (your-oosh-ee-all). It exists on all the common "poison" plants such as PI, poison oak and poison sumac, as well as in cashews, mangos and gingko biloba. It has been said that eating cashews while you have a case of PI will make it flair up nastily. I haven't tested this at all, for obvious reasons. But my point is that you have to touch it. My mother's statement that I could get it just by "walking by it" was totally incorrect. Oh, the oil is also present in Japanese lacquer (the name urushiol is derived from the Japanese word for lacquer). THAT one I have tested and proved.

 

The blisters and oozy stuff are your body's reaction to the bad stuff in the poison ivy that you touched, mostly water and lymph I believe. By the time they appear chances are that you have deliberately or accidentally cleaned off all the oil from the plant. So you can't spread it more from scratching it. Nor can you make it go "inside" your body and infect you from within by scratching it. What you stand to do by scratching it is to open your skin to infection. You will also give yourself the impression that it is spreading because when you scratch an area you sensitize nearby skin, and if that skin has also contacted the oil, it may break out (whereas if you hadn't done all the naughty scratching it would not be as sensitive), and LOOK like you spread it. Bad boy! Of course, that doesn't stop me from scratching it. I admit that sometimes it is preferable to have a nasty wound than the itchiness.

 

What to do about PI?

 

First, learn to identify it. In my 50 years I FINALLY tell what is and what ain't poison ivy, but only in 90 percent of the cases. Any PI plant with leaves is easy for me to identify, and I know to stay away. I am pretty familiar with the vines too, even in the dead of winter. They look "fuzzy" for one thing. What I haven't learned to identify is the roots. Every spring I dig in poison ivy roots, and every spring I get a case of poison ivy.

 

Which is why I keep a bottle of Tecnu handy. I have had stellar results with it, and I find that I can wash with it hours after I have contacted the plants and end up with very little poison ivy, or none at all. It may or may not work for you, but I suggest you try it at least. There is also a product for use AFTER you get PI, Zanfel but it didn't help me at all. Others have had better results, so don't rule it out on my experience.

 

Rockin Roddy made a good point with running hot water over it. The hot water does relieve the itching, although I am not sure why. The blisters often break open under the water as he mentioned. However, since there is no poison in the blisters you cannot spread it this way. It is a temporary relief, but a very good one, especially with PI on the fingers and hands. Get the water as hot as you can stand it and hold your hand under for 15 seconds are so. Pat it dry and feel the relief for about 30 minutes.

 

If you have a very bad rash, or it is on your face, or on a sensitive body part (once I dig the roots with my hand I end up with it everywhere!), go to doctor. They will most likely prescribe steroids that will make the itching a little better and the rash last for a shorter time. For me that means 7 days instead of 10, and although that doesn't seem like much if you have an eye swollen shut from it you may think it is all the difference in the world!

 

More PI info is available on the web, including plant identification, facts about the oil and rash, and remedies, both home and commercial. Start with The Poison Ivy Information Center and Poison-vy, org. Even the FDA has some info on it.

 

Yes this topic comes up every spring and with it a hefty blend of fact, folklore, and just plain baloney. Read what's above by mloser and if you want more data check out the USDA site at USDA for poison ivy and use the search to look up poison oak, or sumac on other USDA pages. If you get a reaction to one of these plants you should get them all since the chemical agent is the same. Not all grow in every state or in every county of the states they are in .. there are range maps and habitat descriptions on the USDA site that will tell you where to expect it. I seldom get it, but I am careful to take a hot shower ASAP after I am exposed. Seems like that helps. Learn to identify it year round. It's really not so hard. Learning to identify a plant is really no more difficult than identifying an animal.. you just need to learn what to look for. Then avoid it when possible and wash afterward.

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One explanation I heard, that I am guessing was more of a theory than factual, was that not all poison ivy is the same and that you can be more or less sensitive to different ivy in different regions.

 

Well, I do know that the risk is different at different times of the year. Which season is the worst? I just don't remember.

 

[i knew of some Boy Scouts that put some on their fire and breathed in the smoke. They had blister all over. Even in their throat. A couple of them ended up hospitalised.

 

It's a common firefighter's problem. Poison Oak smoke sometimes gets to the volunteer workers at the fire break.

 

As for bleach? I have my theory, but I'd rather not touch that one.

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OK, kids, I'm no "expert" and have no medical training or anything close, but I've used full strength bleach on P.I. for as long as I can remember. Yes, it does burn if the blisters are open. Washing with warm, strongly soapy water helps too, right after known exposure. When I was a little hairball my mother had Fels Naptha laundry soap and would scrub me with that stuff. I think she used the laundry brush too......It was a hard, not real pleasant smelling yellow block of soap but it did seem to do a good job of removing the oils. I think they still sell it. When I see Ivy in the yard and want to pull it I have el cheapo throwaway work gloves that I put on, and I carry a couple of pair in my caching bag too. I think they run about $2 for a pack of six pair. I am allergic to the usherol (I think that's the spelling) but the gloves do the job.

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I did hear one of the old timers around town(I'm only throwing this out for thread's sake,NOT advocating or endorsing it in any way or suggesting you do so) say that he got poison ivy one time on both arms.An old farmer that he knew told him to scratch it up real good and put bleach in the areas.He said he did and accordingly it hurt like the almighty,but he said it was gone in about two.

 

Wow... I would love to see pictures of his arms. I can only imagine the scarring that would have taken place.

 

That sounds like something my grandmother told me... if you get poinson ivy, eat a couple of leaves. She wasn't alergic to it, so had never tried it herself. But... I do believe that doing so can actually kill a person.

 

There was none.The guy is in his forties/fifties right now,and you couldn't tell he ever had it.I'm sure he meant scratch it to open up the pores,not like breaking skin scratching.

Has it stopped stinging, yet?

 

Yeah... so everything that i've been reading says Bleach = really bad. It will relieve the itching, but what it does is burns off the top layer of skin. This exposes the open sores of the blisters to become primed for infection. In some cases the PI oil can then get into the sores and into the bloodstream spreading the infection throughout the body and requiring hospitalization.

 

Also not recommended is scratching the skin at all... not because it can spread the oils (which is a possibility if you haven't cleaned the area), but because it can easily break the skin. You want to keep the skin intact as much as possible to avoid the same issue as above.

I would not use bleach. When I lived in Oak Ridge TN, a few people advised me to use goat's milk (and swore by it). It burns at first, but stops the itch and dries it out. (it doesnt smell too good though) I don't think introducing bleach into your bloodstream is a good idea. Ive also heard that drinking goats milk will protect you from poison ivy - as long as the goats have been eating it.

http://www.poisonivy.us/view/comments.html...098&wid=279

http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/archives/he..._poison_ivy.asp

http://www.kountrylife.com/forum/messages/69845.html

Edited by 4wheelin_fool
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Started caching last year and got three bad cases of it. Opening up the blisters with hot water and then pouring 190 proof Everclear on it drys it up real fast. Hurts like hell but works great. To relieve the itching hold a hair dryer on it (pure bliss!).

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OK, kids, I'm no "expert" and have no medical training or anything close, but I've used full strength bleach on P.I. for as long as I can remember. Yes, it does burn if the blisters are open. Washing with warm, strongly soapy water helps too, right after known exposure....

 

Well, I am not an "expert" either, but I live with one and have multiple doctors in the family and general concensus is that this is a bad idea. Especially considering that there are multiple other alternatives that are much safer and just as, if not moreso, effective in treating this.

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I'm one of the lucky ones who doesn't seem to ever get it, but my wife is the exact opposite. She ended up in the hospital a few years ago from it. There's a product, I believe it's called 'Renew'(?), anyway it comes in two parts:one large bottle with the standard calamine-like lotion, and a smaller bottle that has a lotion to use right after you think you've been exposed to the PI. It removes the oils before they can irritate. It'll work on your dog too, before he passes it on to you.

Edited by JASTA 11
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I have used Anti-Itch Gel (external analgesic) by Band-Aid. My last 3oz tube cost $7.99 well worth it as it is like a miracle and doesn't itch. I have used it with Poison Sumac and Ivy. It is a clear jell. It used to be called Ruli Jell by Johnson & Johnson and stops the itch. :) I heard that a prescription for cortizone from the Doctor can have a rebound effect and you can get it worse. B) I never itched with poison sumac when I used it which I think is much worse than oak or ivy Good Luck, don't think cachers will ever stop hiding caches in PI.

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