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ottercreek
The First USA Noel


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How many of you have every known anyone who claims that the don't get poison ivy? I have known a few....It is like there are some people who say this, but my guess is that is a macho thing that is just talk. I am not sure what the poison is in poison ivy but unless it is essentially something akin to an allergy that 99% of the population gets, that chemistry does not change from one person to another. It would be like saying if you spilled acid on me, I dont get burned. Please forgive my total lack of research on this one, but it peeves me to hear people claim they are somehow immune to the ills that the rest of us have to put up with. Other people say they don't get sunburn (talking about bleech white people who claim this) that they are immune to other things that science says you cant just be immune to without having a major difference in you body composition from the rest of the human race...Okay, if you want to be macho, please pick something else....Anyone know the science?
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Amperage
The Red and the Green Stamps


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As I understand it, poison ivy is a lot like latex.

Some people are born incredibly sensitive to it, and will break out if they're even near the stuff. Some people will develop a sensitivity to it quickly and then will break out if they touch it. Some people will develop a sensitivity to it after prolonged exposure and then will break out if they touch it. And some, few, rare, people will only develop a sensitivity to it if they're in constant contact with it for a very, very long time.

Except that more people are born sensitive to poison ivy than are not, and more people aren't born sensitive to latex than are.

I count my blessings as, thus far anyway, I have never show any sensitivity to poison ivy. And yes, it drives everyone else NUTS when they break out in a rash and I don't.

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chillas
Coventry Mall Carol


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quote:
Originally posted by ottercreek:
Please forgive my total lack of research on this one, but it peeves me to hear people claim they are somehow immune to the ills that the rest of us have to put up with.

It peeves me when people start yammering on about things they don't know anything about. It would be one thing if you were just asking for information, but you openly admit you don't understand it yet still have formed a very strong opinion about it. Here's an idea -- understand first, then form an opinion. What do you think?

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blucanary
Jingle Bell Hock


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I'm one of those who doesn't seem to have any reaction to it. I can't count the number of times all my friends got it and I didn't from the same exposure. It actually happened last week. My roomates got a rash from working in the yard and I didn't.

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grackle
The Red and the Green Stamps


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A good friend was immune to poison ivy for 37 years. She'd often help people remove it from their yards. She has no idea what caused the timing for the sudden change to reacting very strongly but she is highly sensitive to it now. She went from blithely wrenching dug up plants out with her hands to now getting a reaction from touching clothes that had brushed up against it.
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RangerDog
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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It has no effect on me. Zero. Zippy. Zilch. I hope I don't end up like grackle's friend.

Ranger "leaves of three, let it be" Dog

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Give a man a fish, and you'll feed him for a day; give him a religion, and he'll starve to death while praying for a fish

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guruwan2b
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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I'm one of those people who break out if I get within 10' of the stuff. I broke out once when I walked through smoke from burning yard rubbish. I guess Mr. Guru had thrown some Poison Ivy in the fire.

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ULTRAGLORIA
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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Everyone is sensitive to poison ivy. And the more you handle it, the more sensitive you become.

Amparage is correct. And grackle's friend is a classic example. The friend handled poison ivy a lot. Thus she became more sensitive to it every time she handled it. If she'd left it alone, she probably never would have developed a reaction the few times she did come in contact with it; and might think she was 'immune'. But she wouldn't be immune. She just has a very low sensitivity.

So, all you out there who think you're immune to Poison ivy, oak and summac, you're not. You just have a high threshold. Avoid the stuff anyway.

Ottercreek, there is no chemical relationship between acid and the oils in poison ivy. You analogy is flawed, as the reaction one has to acid on the skin is chemical not allergic.

A more valid example would be, say, peanuts. I can eat them. You can eat them. Joe over there eats them and dies. Does that mean you and I are being macho by claiming we can eat peanuts without dying?

As for sunburn, that is also correct. People have varying amounts of melanin in their skin. That and other factors mean that I can sit in a shaded room and get burned while my friend can work all day in the garden and be fine.

Plus there are some drugs, such as ibuprophen, that can make one more sensitive to ultraviolet rays.

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Everyone is entitled to their own opinions; but everyone is not entitled to their own facts. - Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan

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Slainey
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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I learned early on what poison ivy looked like and have always tried to avoid it. I never knew if the reason I wouldn't get a rash when my friends did was because I was careful or because I had a different immune system. Now I never Chicken pox either even though I was trapped for a week with my poxed sister during a snowstorm. There was no way for me to avoid her.

Some people are allergic to world and some are not and everything in between. The histemine system is still a bit mysterous.

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RangerDog
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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Now here's an interesting article everyone should read!

Eat your way to Poison Ivy immunity

Ranger Dog

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Give a man a fish, and you'll feed him for a day; give him a religion, and he'll starve to death while praying for a fish

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CannonFodder Global Trotter
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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Mark me down also as a person who seems to be immune to poison ivy. I've been out in the field and my entire squad has come up with it, while I never had a mark.

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"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die."

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Rhiandmoi
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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A friend of mine is nearly immune (rather not sensitive) to poison oak, because I don't think we have poison ivy in California. That is I have never seen it, and I have been many places where it *should* be growing. But we have poison oak like crazy. Anyway, when his mom was pregnant w/him she got systemic poison oak and the poison oak antihistamines got transferred to him.

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Dark Jaguar
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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I do believe I've mentioned my own extreme sensitivity to the stuff. I would imagine everyone has a reaction to it, even if subdued, because that stuff is DESIGNED to get a reaction out of creatures, so they stay away. So, stay away from those plants, they WANT to be left alone! I think they should evolve to be bright blue and red stripes though, so we can know from a distance to stay away. Ya hear that poison plants? Evolve already! I give you a projected 2006 deadline for completion of the project and 2008 for full incorporation into the entire species! That should do it.
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lawguy
We Three Blings


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I have never had poison ivy, not once...never.

Why? I don't know, but I have low-crawled through the stuff, used a weedeater on it, walked through it (none of which I did on purpose). People around me got it, I never did. I don't know that I am "immune", but I certainly can't be too senative to it.

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Dark Jaguar
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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Indeed... Well, you don't really "get" poison ivy, you get a rash FROM it.
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Slainey
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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Hey, Dark Jaguar, if poison ivy were that cute it would be condemed to live in planters at malls and office complexes around the world. No one deserves that, not even poison ivy.
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ranran yousei
The Red and the Green Stamps


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My husband would get poison oak (similar plant) often as a child. His family had an entire woods out their back door for three years (then they moved).

At some point, for some reason, he stopped having the reaction (while still living at the place in the woods). He can grab the stuff, rub it on himself, and nothing. Not a sinlge red irritation. He's been like this for over 20 years now. He rarely comes into contact with the plant anymore, but whenever he does, he tests the immunity, and it's still there.

I'm not sure how much is bunk or how much is accurate, seems to me the reports I read vary each time I read a new one, but as memory serves (and this can be way off at this point), people's reaction can change from one end of the spectrum to the other, at any given time. You may be sensitive to the plant, and always will be. You may not be sensitive to it, and never will be. You may develope an immunity, or lose the immunity.

I've also heard (I'm not so sure this is true, as I've yet to meet anyone that it's happened to) that you can develope "memory spots". Say, for example, your first time was on your left arm, the rash developes, you suffer, it goes away. Next time, your leg brushes up against it, yet, the rash developes on your left arm again. It was explained that the body just sends the 'irritation signals' to the old location because there's message mix ups in the wiring. Could be possible, not sure. This could also be explained maybe by, your leg skin isn't as susceptible, so less/no irritation occurs, and since you didn't realize you came into contact, you inadvertantly spread the oil, and now it seems you have a "memory spot." I'm more apt to believe the "spread without knowing" idea (especially since I used my own brain power to reason that one out), over the "mixed up wiring" theory that was touted on the news blurb. The oil does spread, the rash does spread (if you don't prevent it). Although, it is entirely possible that I could be wrong.

(By the way, the 'memory spot' thing I had heard was also regarding poison oak, not ivy.)


Me, I've never had it. I've been blessed enough to avoid it like the plague.


ranran "now I feel itchy..." yousei

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MarkS
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by ULTRAGOTHA:
Everyone is sensitive to poison ivy. And the more you handle it, the more sensitive you become.

Amparage is correct. And grackle's friend is a classic example. The friend handled poison ivy a lot. Thus she became more sensitive to it every time she handled it. If she'd left it alone, she probably never would have developed a reaction the few times she did come in contact with it; and might think she was 'immune'. But she wouldn't be immune. She just has a very low sensitivity.

So, all you out there who think you're immune to Poison ivy, oak and summac, you're not. You just have a high threshold. Avoid the stuff anyway.

Not according to this:

http://www.dermadoctor.com/pages/newsletter61.asp?WID=%7B152E5EF6-F047-41A1-8C6B-FD479F496B02%7D

"While some people certainly have the luck of the draw and are naturally immune to poison ivy, others become so over time. And worse, some people seemingly lose their immunity for no apparent reason at all."

So Otter, it seems your "macho friends" may be telling the truth, after all.

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Simetrical
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I have never come down with any poison ivy-related rash, to my memory. This probably has to do with the fact that I rarely have anything to do with any sort of greenery at all. I haven't the foggiest idea what poison ivy looks like.
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blucanary
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quote:
Originally posted by ULTRAGOTHA:
Everyone is sensitive to poison ivy. And the more you handle it, the more sensitive you become.....

That's not true at all. That's like saying everyone is allergic to peanuts. Poison Ivy/Oak/Sumac all have Urushiol on their leaves. This is a common Allergen. Depending on when you first came into contact with it, or possibly the first few times, you may develop an allergy. It's possible to develop allergies later in life, and it's possible for allergies to diappear. It depends on the persons immune system, since allergies are an imunno-response.

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lawguy
We Three Blings


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quote:
Originally posted by Dark Jaguar:
Indeed... Well, you don't really "get" poison ivy, you get a rash FROM it.

and your point would be...?

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Four Kitties
Layaway in a Manger


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[hijack] lawguy, did you get my PM? [/hijack]

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2ASquared
I Saw Three Shipments


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quote:
Originally posted by ranran yousei:

At some point, for some reason, he stopped having the reaction (while still living at the place in the woods). He can grab the stuff, rub it on himself, and nothing. Not a sinlge red irritation. He's been like this for over 20 years now. He rarely comes into contact with the plant anymore, but whenever he does, he tests the immunity, and it's still there.


Hey, same thing happened to me. When I was younger and went crawling through the woods with friends, I would come home each day with a rash from poison Ivy. But recently, I have been able to walk through giant patches of it without getting a rash at all. (This really irritates my friend who I forgot still got bad reactions to it and he followed me through a bunch of poison ivy)
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CatPurrson
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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Yeah, what MarkS said! [Smile]

Poison ivy is just another allergen. An extremely common one, but an allergen. It's that lovely oil on the leaves, urushiol(sp?) that causes the problem. With any allergen, some people already have antibodies (IgE, specifically) to that allergen, and react the first time they come into contact with it. Others may not produce antibodies until the 2nd or 200th time, if ever.

AFAIK, right now I'm *not* allergic to poison ivy, but that could change. My dad wasn't allergic when he was young, but as he got older he became quite allergic and had to be very careful whenever he did yardwork. My sis has been allergic since she was very young. Me, I rolled on the stuff as a kid with no problem whatsoever, but now I wouldn't want to risk picking up a handful of the stuff.

I've heard doctors tell people to wash with a really strong soap (Dial being one I've heard recommended) if they suspect that they've come into contact with the oil. If you do this quickly enough, you might head off a reaction, or at least make it less severe. The only way a poison ivy rash will "spread" is if you haven't gotten all of the oil washed off and it gets smeared around.

Hope that was helpful.

CatPurrson

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People who hate cats may have been rats in a previous life.

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GooglyEyes
The First USA Noel


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Following CatPurrson's post, the allergens from poison ivy/oak can also stick to your clothes through many washings. You can put on clothes that have been through the wash a few times and if you happen to brush against a molecule (probably facetious) you can be re-exposed even years later.
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