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Poison Sumac


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So, while cacheing last week I guess I came across some poison sumac. I know it's sumac because I'm not allergic to the ivy or the oak.

 

I have never had such a toturious thing in my hole life. I have tried cream after cream and nothing works to stop the ich for longer then five minutes.

 

Share some of your experences here and if anyone knows anything to stop it let me know

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Washing with Tecnu has helped me with poison ivy.

 

I also find Cortisone 10 to work fairly well to stop the itching. Taking an antihistamine might also help.

 

An old remedy is a cloth dipped in a solution of 4 parts water, 1 part Clorox and wiped on the infected area.

Edited by briansnat
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I know it's sumac because I'm not allergic to the ivy or the oak.

 

Oak, sumac, PI, it doesn't matter. It's the same substance that cause the allergic reaction, urushiol.

 

Many immune people do eventually become allergic. I was immune to poison ivy until I was in my mid 20's. I could roll naked in the stuff and not have a reaction. Then one day...

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I went caching in long pants and a tankini, and darn if I didn't get the worst rash around my middle! I've been using BiteMD with Aloe for Kids (because I have an eight year old and don't want to dose him with too much when he gets bit). Well, I've been using it, and it works pretty well. It has Benzocaine 5% and Benzalkonium Chloride .13%. It's a little oily but doesn't seem to stain my clothes.

 

While I'm writing this, i need to go reapply to my... darn it that nature calls just as you're half-way down the trail!!

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TECNU TECNU TECNU TECNU

 

I wasn't allergic to PI until one year at summer camp when I got it from inhaling the smoke from a camp fire that just happened to have some burning in it. That resulted in a trip to the ER on the way back home from camp and a shot in the buttocks.

 

That was 20+ years ago and I'm just recently starting to build up a resistance to it.

 

I find that a really hot shower helps with the itching. Best case- lather up with Tecnu and then rinse off in the hot water. Take three benadryl and wake up 2 days later with less of an itch.

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I know it's sumac because I'm not allergic to the ivy or the oak.

 

Oak, sumac, PI, it doesn't matter. It's the same substance that cause the allergic reaction, urushiol.

 

Many immune people do eventually become allergic. I was immune to poison ivy until I was in my mid 20's. I could roll naked in the stuff and not have a reaction. Then one day...

 

Oh the visual image......

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Waching with Tecnu has helped me with poison ivy.

 

I also find Cortisone 10 to work fairly well to stop the itching. Taking an antihistamine might also help.

 

An old remedy is a cloth dipped in a solution of 4 parts water, 1 part Clorox and wiped on the infected area.

 

I hate my life......

 

 

lol jk I was immune as a kid, but i guess all that has changed

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Here's what Wikipedia has to say about it: Urishiol-induced contact dermatitis

 

I had poison ivy several times as a young man, and at least once was very severe. I KNOW that I've been exposed to it many times as an adult, but have had no reaction. Nevertheless, I don't take any unneccessary chances with it. It could be that I've become immune to it, but it could also be that I simply have not had a big enough dose yet... and I don't care to find out which!

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Super Ivy Dry. No prescription needed. You can find it in most pharmacies.

 

Comes in a small pump spray bottle and dries the heck out of the blisters. Usually stops ivy in its tracks no matter what the stage - unless you get into a super potent batch.

 

Deane

AKA: DeRock & the Psychic Cacher - Grattan MI

 

I used to take baths in Tide solution when I was a boy... dried the blisters out pretty well. But today I'm not so sure that it didn't also cause it to spread the oils and make matters worse.

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I had read on here(and can't find it agan) about some sort of whipes you could carry with you to prevent this.

 

This is my third night of not being able to sleep because the iching desire is just to great, i would love to avoid this in the future.

 

One site for wipes

 

there is also a blocker lotion available.

I got both but never have tried the wipes (knock on wood) and the blocker coats where ever you put it in white.

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About 15 years ago, I was staying at a campground, and in the campground store they sold special shoe laces that turned color when exposed to poison ivy. I can't find anything like that in Google, so I guess they didn't sell, but thought it was at least an interesting idea.

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I have found that flooding the affected area with water as hot as you can stand will provide some hours of relief.

I have recently been subject to a case of contact dermatitis due to incompatible laundry detergent + hard water...mostly on my feet due to socks washed in the offending combination. I get the best results by starting out fairly warm, and increasing the temperature gradually...until I am nearly scalding myself. This same treatment has worked in the past for PI exposure, and was recommended by my physician at the time.

 

You might also try Benadryl anti-itch spray.

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As a child I would get break outs of the Sumac on my face so severely that my eyes would swell shut for a week if not more. I was highly allergic to the stuff. Ended up having to get shots in the hind end once a week for about two months in a row and haven't had another break out since. I'm now in my 40's.

 

Good luck with finding the right solution to help you. I can relate to what your going through.

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I haven't tried the blocker lotion simply because it seems inconvenient. I'd have to keep buying it in bulk and rubbing it on even if I didn't know for sure I'm going to encounter the offending plants. I have a dedicated pair of shoes for caching. I always wear jeans/long pants, I keep a pair of plastic gloves in my cache bag and a plastic bag in the car to put my shoes in if I take them off before going somewhere else. I have a few times washed my shoes in Tecnu when I get home. I'm VERY careful about removing pants/sock/shoes to make sure I don't touch skin with potentially oiled clothing or gear, then cleaning it thoroughly. The oils will stay on gear for a long time and can get you later. It's a pain, but I've only had the rash once in 6 months and it was minimal. And believe me, just thinking about Briansnat rolling nekkid in PI is making me itch. I am extremely allergic. So being hyper aware of what may have contacted the oil and washing with Tecnu when I get home seems to be working.

 

Also, I remember reading that the initial washing should be with cold water. The hot water may be good for the pain and itching later, but cold water will prevent the oil from spreading apparently.

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I'm battling a fairly bad case of poison ivy right now. I'm very allergic. For the first time, I tried the hot water approach and it is amazing. Run water as hot as you can stand it on the affected area. The itching becomes intense under the water and then fades. This has given me hours of relief. It's amazing.

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I had read on here(and can't find it agan) about some sort of whipes you could carry with you to prevent this.

 

CortAid has wipes as well. I have used them after I know I had contact with PI vines, and had the tiniest bit of a reaction (it was almost 45 minutes from contact to when I used the wipes).

 

I now carry several in my caching bag.

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Hi,

 

Here is a copy of a post I placed in another forum with a like topic.

 

Hi there

 

Having been in the tree cutting industry, maintaining power lines in South Carolina (a state with a massive amount of the poison plants), I have had poison ivy, oak and sumac dozens of times over major portions of my body. In desperation I have tried every "cure" known to mankind, and a few of the ones only known to martian-kind as well. After that I smartened up and spent a large amount of time researching the facts about the plants. I now consider myself to be somewhat of an expert on the subject.

 

I believe I could write a book about it but for now here are the important points.

1) In all of these poison plants the active ingredient is Urushiol oil. Urushiol oil is a clear liquid that once exposed to air turns black and will look like pine sap on your skin.

2) The time to noticeable reaction after exposure depends on the thickness and density of the skin exposed, it can be as quick as 15 minutes in delicate areas, like the inner thigh, or as long as 48 hours in thicker skinned areas, like the forearm or hand. The only way to be affected is through exposure to the Urushiol oil, the seepage from blisters and such CAN NOT spread the reaction. It can seem as if it is spreading from blister seepage due to the fact that it will take longer for the thicker skinned areas to react.

3) Once exposed if you can wash vigorously with cold water (soap will help), or wipe the exposed area with rubbing alcohol within 15 minutes you can remove the Urushiol oil before it absorbs. Urushiol oil can stay on your clothing, car seat, GPSr ETC. and cause re-exposure for up to 7 years. It is important to clean anything that may have contacted the Urushiol oil. This form of re-exposure also lends to the wives-tale of spreading infection with blister seepage.

4) Once the allergic reaction has begun the most immediate relief you can find is to run warm water on the exposed area, SLOWLY turn the hot water up until it will cause you physical pain to turn it up any more, wait until you get used to that temp. and then turn the hot water up until it will cause you physical pain to turn it up any more, repeat this step until you reach a point where for 30-45 seconds you feel an insane, outrageous, irresistible itching in the exposed area, this feeling will pass quickly and there is no mistaking it when it happens. This is the heat causing a massive release of histamine, this is a biological reaction and will happen. Once the histamines are released it is physically impossible for the exposed area to itch. I HAVE TRIED ALL THE STUPID CURES LIKE OATMEAL AND ALL THE DANGEROUS CURES LIKE BLEACH. THIS IS THE ONLY THING THAT WORKED. Sorry don't mean to yell, I just can't stress this enough.

 

I have never tried the pretreatments to prevent exposure (due to the unreasonable expense of using the product 8 hours a day 5 days a week), so I can not offer an opinion on them. However I have tried a product called Oral Ivy, it is Urushiol oil suspended in an alcohol solution (like using Rattle Snake venom to make Rattle Snake anti-venom) after exposure to Urushiol oil taking Oral Ivy cut the time I was suffering by at least 60%. The makers of the product also say it can help you develop an immunity to the Urushiol oil.

 

I hope this helps and feel free to contact me with any questions.

Mike

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I've got an accidental discovery that worked real darn well for me recently! Tinactin foot powder spray. I was itching and suffering and loosing my mind trying anything at all I could think of. Cortizone cream was like a flash in the pan, but the foot spray powder was amazing!

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I always cache in shorts. And thankfully have only gotten PI once, and it was terrible. I also recommend the Ivy Dry spray. It takes a few days but will dry it up. Also take Benadryl to help with the allergic reaction.

 

For what it's worth, here is a tip a friend gave me, and since I started doing this, no more PI reactions: if you think you've been exposed to urushiol, clean the area as soon as you can with rubbing alcohol. This is supposed to help remove the oil. I keep a bottle and an old wash cloth in the car and wash down with alcohol after caching in areas with PI present. So far, it's working for me.

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I found this interesting page recently.

 

Some of the information goes counter to what we usually hear, but he cites numerous references to reputable journals. For example, we often hear that a PO reaction is just that, a reaction, and not a true allergy, but it seems that the truth is more complex.

 

He also says that, contrary to common belief, urushiol normally occurs only in the resin canals in the plant, and is only found on the surface after bruising or other attack.

 

(what follows is copied from an email discussing a situation where the first crew to work a heavily PO-ed area on a trail being built suffered no reactions, but the next crew had a couple of very severe reactions)

 

Based on this, it does seem possible that the second crew to work on a section might be exposed more than the first. The first crew might be able to cut the PO and move the stalks away before much resin is released. If some of the plant is left on or near the trail -- as it certainly was the day I worked there -- then I could easily believe that the resin might seep out on the cut ends and even into the soil, where it could more easily expose the next crew. This is only a guess.

 

Edward

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I am very sensitive to poison oak. I hated spending the money on technu! rediculously over priced. This stuff is inexpensive and WORKS!!! even after you have it it will help it go away way faster. being that is is made in my home town I had to try it. come to find out the military is now buying it, greyback forestry uses it, and tons of other contractors that are in contaminants every day buy it in bulk. I know it works and its CHEAP!!! Marie's Poison Oak Soap

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I got a glorious case of poison ivy last time I went caching.

 

I bought Ivarest and was most disappointed. It was basically a calamine lotion with some menthol in it....it took forever to dry and then if you bumped the area, it just peeled off and you were itching again. I'd seriously avoid wasting money on that brand.

 

SO I went to the pharmacy and got overwhelmed by the selection of remedies for poison ivy/ oak/ sumac. I took two of them to the counter and asked the pharmacist which was better (they listed two different active ingredients). He said neither and that if it was him he would get the "corticool" I bought that and it has been GREAT! If you put too much on, it still peels off like a sunburn when its bumped, but if you only use a little and rub it in good it really helps. I think it not only helped the itching, but it's helped it to heal much faster than normal too.

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Super Ivy Dry. No prescription needed. You can find it in most pharmacies.

 

Comes in a small pump spray bottle and dries the heck out of the blisters.

Usually stops ivy in its tracks no matter what the stage - unless you get into a super potent batch.

 

Deane

AKA: DeRock & the Psychic Cacher - Grattan MI

 

Got in a batch if it real bad, blisters & all, Super Ivy Dry killed the pain instantly, pain came back in about 6 hours, second application killed period, that was the end if it.

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ITCHING LIKE CRAZY? THIS REALLY WORKS FOR RELIEF AND YOU WON'T SCRATCH YOUR SKIN CAUSING SORES!

 

Use a blow dryer on the exposed areas. It will seem to itch for a moment then the heat will allow your skin to release the Histamine to relieve your itch.

 

Trust me...it works.

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I dont know if this works for you or not but it works wonders for me and it is the cheapest thing I have found to "PREVENT" itching or even breaking out I buy a travel size bottle of regular hand sanitizer (usually 2 or 3 oz btl) to carry with me and what I do is...

 

Buy the squeeze btl NOT the pump it is not practical to carry

 

Mix 1/2 a btl of hand sanitizer (which is 60-62% ethyl alcohol) with

91% Isopropyl alcohol

 

I mix it because the sanitizer is gel and seems to help spread the I.P.A better with less waste

 

I mix it 50/50 and if I even think I have come in contact with Ivy, Oak, or Sumac I just squirt a little in my hands and apply....total cost "maybe" $2...

It is definately the best thing I have found..like I said to "PREVENT" future problems....and it takes up very minimal space

 

To ease the itching you can try/use JEWELWEED (spotted touch-me-nots) it contains Lawsone with relieves the itching....

You can boil the leaves and use the liquid..just "DO NOT" use it when it is boiling hot like that or you can freeze it and rub the "ice cubes" on the rash to relieve the itching..it contains a "natural anti-histamine..

I hope this helps you and others

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Super Ivy Dry. No prescription needed. You can find it in most pharmacies.

 

Comes in a small pump spray bottle and dries the heck out of the blisters.

Usually stops ivy in its tracks no matter what the stage - unless you get into a super potent batch.

 

Deane

AKA: DeRock & the Psychic Cacher - Grattan MI

 

Got in a batch if it real bad, blisters & all, Super Ivy Dry killed the pain instantly, pain came back in about 6 hours, second application killed period, that was the end if it.

I've been very allergic to PO, PI and PS my whole life and Super Ivy Dry is what I use.
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great post ekim1432008.

 

you should write a book, would be a niche market for sure, but might be something people are looking for. Perhaps just a webpage with info.

 

 

I got poison Ivy extremely badly a few times as a child. like really bad. I had gone camping or rolling around in the stuff in the spring, when the oil is most concentrated, and the leaves aren't even out yet, so you can't identify the plants. I'm seriously allergic to the stuff.

 

 

I've not gotten poison ivy as an adult, even though I'm in the woods constantly, but that's because I'm always on the lookout for the plants, and will avoid them like the plague they are. If I am in an area with ivy, I am sure to shower well and wash clothes immediately upon return home. A little vigilance goes a long way to preventing an outbreak.

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FREE SOLUTION: jewelweed, aka Touch-me-not.

 

Look up images via Google images.

 

Crush the leaves and rub on affected area ASAP. It should relieve the itching quickly. Do not wash the juice off for 8 hours. Juice might leave a faint green mark on your skin.

 

I tried this against stinging nettle and got permanent relief in 20 seconds. I was amazed. It works better than any store-bought solution. One application, and no more stinging. I have not personally tried it against poison ivy, but the original source I got this idea from was in reference to PI.

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I dont know if this works for you or not but it works wonders for me and it is the cheapest thing I have found to "PREVENT" itching or even breaking out I buy a travel size bottle of regular hand sanitizer (usually 2 or 3 oz btl) to carry with me and what I do is...

 

Buy the squeeze btl NOT the pump it is not practical to carry

 

Mix 1/2 a btl of hand sanitizer (which is 60-62% ethyl alcohol) with

91% Isopropyl alcohol

 

I mix it because the sanitizer is gel and seems to help spread the I.P.A better with less waste

 

I mix it 50/50 and if I even think I have come in contact with Ivy, Oak, or Sumac I just squirt a little in my hands and apply....total cost "maybe" $2...

It is definately the best thing I have found..like I said to "PREVENT" future problems....and it takes up very minimal space

 

I agree with this. We buy the cheap hand sanitizer and as soon as we get back to the vehicle we wipe down with it. I've only gotten it one time since we started using this method, no one else in the family has gotten it at all.

I was never allergic to it as a kid, but in the past few years I have the ability to get it now!

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Here is something I find a lot of people fail to do when in contact with poison ivy, oak or sumac.

 

Besides washing the clothes you had on, you need to wash your sneakers & shoelaces to remove th oils. Wipe your hiking sticks. Technu works for all of this. Anything you had with you & might have spread oils too.

 

ALSO, if you didn't shower after contact, you might have transferred oils to bed linens. Change the sheets.

 

And so on & so on.......

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After several bad attacks from urushiol we did our homework. The "immunity" is basically how your skin reacts to the urushiol oil in all parts of the plants (and even in dried leafs so don't burn them in a fire and breath the smoke, you can react in your throat and lungs). The urushiol oil binds with your skin cells and by the time you break out (as long as you've washes any residual urushiol oil off) the oil has done it's deed and is no longer spreadable from the blisters. Reactions can take anywhere from 24 to 72 hours depending on the amount on your skin so places you got a high dose on may break out right away, light contact places could take three days. That's why people think it spreads. Once your skin has reacted all you can do is try to control the itch and help your skin heal. Calamine and skin treatments and other things to control itch and try to prevent infection from scratching.

 

There are also preventative creams you can use before hiking on exposed skin and that has helped for us, but what it appears to do is dry the top layer of skin out which seems to keep the urushiol oil from binding. Also makes me think people with drier skin probably get it less then people with oily skin. Just a theory.

 

Best thing to do is avoid it. The urushiol oil can remain active on clothing or things for up to a year and doesn't wash off easy. Whenever we've been hiking and every remotely think we contacted it, every stitch of clothing goes in a hot water wash, including boots. Hiking sticks get wiped down with strong cleaners... everything. Cortaid (I think) makes some great poison ivy wipes that you can carry with you, if you think you contacted something, wipe everything down with it. So far we've done good with that even after blasting thru a massive field of poison ivy to get to a cache... oops. Long light hiking pants not only help that, but are a big help for those of us who blast thru palmettos and thorns without a thought to what we're doing to our legs. But then again you have to remember to wear them :)

 

Oh yeah, if it's really bad, Aveno bath!!!! Works great!!!!

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Domeboro!!!!

 

It used to be perscription. Now you can get it over the counter. It is an astringent that dries up and heals, Poison Sumac, Ivy Oak Etc. The downside is that you apply something like a wash cloth soaked with it and let it do it's thing for as long as you can sit still. It works GREAT! It is worth the trouble as it eliminates it 100%. I have used it for 20 years now. It was originally perscribed by a skin specialist when my hands and arms were so bad I was almost hospitalized.

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A caching buddy walked right through it, and I urged him to shower and wash all clothes, shoes etc. He didn't.

 

A couple of days later, he could barely get in to work!

 

He went to the doctor, got some prescription meds. Some tablets which I think were antihistamines. I think there was some cream, but the tabs took the itch away and he didn't mess with the cream.

 

So - I vote that you just go to the doc.

 

:(

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So, while cacheing last week I guess I came across some poison sumac. I know it's sumac because I'm not allergic to the ivy or the oak.

 

I have never had such a toturious thing in my hole life. I have tried cream after cream and nothing works to stop the ich for longer then five minutes.

 

Share some of your experences here and if anyone knows anything to stop it let me know

I know what you contracted as far as the poison sumac has probably cleared up by now, but for future reference, I found a wonderful site that makes natural products from jewelweed. The Indians have used it for centuries and a little lady in Tennessee has three different forms of application. I have been allergic since a child and I discovered her site two years ago. I had it all over my body after caching in the woods of North Carolina. Being an over the road driver, I needed something quick. As I was going home in two days, I ordered a kit of her products and they were waiting on me when I got home in Wisconsin. I got home and washed with the soap and applied the salve. The next day I washed with the soap again and applied the salve again. The following day the it was already drying up. Now when I know I am going to be caching in the woods, I apply the spray to my skin, and I have been poison free for the past two years. Go to this site to check it out www.altnature.com. Please pass on this information to anybody who contracts poison ivy, oak, or sumac.

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So, while cacheing last week I guess I came across some poison sumac. I know it's sumac because I'm not allergic to the ivy or the oak.

 

I have never had such a toturious thing in my hole life. I have tried cream after cream and nothing works to stop the ich for longer then five minutes.

 

Share some of your experences here and if anyone knows anything to stop it let me know

 

What is sumac doing down a rabbit hole??? :)

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Back in 2005 I had a severe case due to a a fall on a rock ridge scraping up a large section of my leg. On the way out, I must have got poison Ivy in it.

 

After a week of trying tecnu and the the pink stuff to dry up the discharge, it kept spreading. When 30% of my legs were covered in a rash, I headed to the doctor. He prescribed Prednisone, a corticosteriod.

 

About 4 hours after my first dose of prednisone, the itching stopped and the sores stopped leaking. It has side effects and should only be taken for a severe case, but after a week of misery it's like a miracle drug.

 

Now, when I wander through the deep woods without following the trail, I make sure to wash right away with a poison Ivy soap when I may be exposed.

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