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Author Topic: Poison Ivy: Myth vs. Fact
snopes
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http://www.ktbs.com/health/3345361.html
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tagurit
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quote:
the active chemical causing the rash can persist on the dead plant for up to 5 years!
[Eek!]

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Bach_girl
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Even industrial grade rubber gloves are penetrated by the Poison Ivy chemicals.

DAMN! That is some toxic stuff

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musicgeek
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One thing they didn't mention -- NEVER burn the stuff to dispose of it -- the oils can be carried in the smoke, which if inhaled can lead to a case of internal (!) poison ivy -- particularly nasty stuff!

Government Poison Ivy info page

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LeaLea
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Ok, he said that scratching does not spread the rash. Then how does my son start with a little rash on his arm and 3 days later he has a rash on the other arm, his leg, his face, his back, and any number of other places?

And here's a helpful hint: Emu oil works really well for relieving the itch and making the rash go away faster.

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Franny
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Lealea- I have seen all the assertions that scratching doesn't spread it. I think it is bunk too.

Rus Tox is a homeopathic remedy that has given me some relief in the past.

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DemonWolf
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quote:
Originally posted by LeaLea:
Ok, he said that scratching does not spread the rash. Then how does my son start with a little rash on his arm and 3 days later he has a rash on the other arm, his leg, his face, his back, and any number of other places?

And here's a helpful hint: Emu oil works really well for relieving the itch and making the rash go away faster.

If any of the oils from the plant are still present on the skin, even the tiniest amount, then touching the area (to scratch) can spread it, but if all of the oils are washed off and none of it remains, then the rash cannot be spread by scratching.
I think that the article, while correct, was over simplified.

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tagurit
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quote:
Originally posted by DemonWolf:
quote:
Originally posted by LeaLea:
Ok, he said that scratching does not spread the rash. Then how does my son start with a little rash on his arm and 3 days later he has a rash on the other arm, his leg, his face, his back, and any number of other places?

If any of the oils from the plant are still present on the skin, even the tiniest amount, then touching the area (to scratch) can spread it, but if all of the oils are washed off and none of it remains, then the rash cannot be spread by scratching.
That's my take, too. I broke out with the case of poison ivy from hell on the bus on the way to WV when I was a kid. I paid my younger cousin a penny at a time to scratch my feet and she never caught a thing. I had poison ivy everywhere. Here's how you do it: Place one barefoot, scantily clad 10 year-old in a field teeming with the stuff, then toss her in the bathtub because she's going to be traveling the next day and needs to be clean before bed, then stuff her in a hot sweltering bus for 10 hours or so. Voila! I had poison ivy on my poison ivy.

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Explore, enjoy and protect the planet
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Polyeth12
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My dad swears the best way to get rid of the rash is wash the affected area in borax! [Eek!] He's done it and says it hurts like heck, but it gets rid of the rash right away.
Not that I'm recommending anyone acutally do this, but I thought people might find this "cure" amusing...or disturbing.

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Cambion
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quote:
The blister fluid is free of the chemical causing the rash, so does not spread the rash.

I figured this one out on my own. When I had poison ivy, I scratched the rash bloody with a soft-toothed brush and it didn't spread anymore than before I brushed. Is it for poison ivy that calomine lotion is always used? I remember being coated in that crap at some point, but I don't remember if it was for chicken pox or poison ivy.

Pretty interesting facts there...the one about the oils from the leaves penetrating industrial rubber gloves is just...wow. That's some powerful stuff.

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Hyla Cinerea
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I am so glad I'm immune to the stuff like my dad is. I've walked through patches of it before, with not an itch. Lately I've taken up the habit washing my feet and anything that touched the ivy in a solution of baking-soda and water, to avoid tracking the oils around. In a chemistry class we were told it is supposed to neutralize the oils. Not sure how effective it is, or if its just an old-wives tale or not, but its harmless at least.

On the plus side, almost everywhere I see poison-ivy growing, I also see jewel-weed growing, and jewel-weed sap is very useful for stopping poison-ivy itch. Just got to make sure you use fresh sap. Cooking or freezing it makes it uneffective, or so I've been told.

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Avril
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Ugh. I had a case once that left me bedridden--all over my torso. I had to take lots of antihistimines for the itch, but the oozing and pain kept me from moving.

It has to be one of the most disgusting experiences I've ever had.

It is one of many reasons I avoid the "great outdoors," though I'm not at all high maintenance.

Avril

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lazerus the duck
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Countryside bad, City good. Give me a teen with a knife any day. At least arterial bleeding doesn't spread if you scratch it.

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snapdragonfly
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well, we've had this discussion before, but it never loses it's relevance.

I disagree with the last paragraph of the article. Once you get it, the best thing for it is Zanfel, which DOES REMOVE the oils, or that other product that also does (forgot the name though.) Wish I had remembered it when I got that bout of sumac in May - I am still scarred! from the damn stuff! Zanfel Zanfel Zanfel. I have found the hydrocortisone creams and calamine lotion to be about as effective as trying to empty the bathtub with a teaspoon. Just doesn't even noticeably help at all.

Zanfel!

Oh, and that news station KTBS is my local affiliate, that was interesting.

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Sara at home
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quote:
Originally posted by lazerus the duck:
Countryside bad, City good. Give me a teen with a knife any day. At least arterial bleeding doesn't spread if you scratch it.

It's in the cities, too. Trust me.

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Assume that all my posts will be edited at least once. Dyslexic -- can't spell, can't type, can't proofread.

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Sara at home
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Poison ivy spreads to other parts of the body because it sometimes becomes systemic. Eruptions can continue for two weeks. When that happens, it has nothing to do with the oil anymore. The parts of the body that came in contact with the oil usually finish erupting withing a few hours, at most a day.

I get it mildly systemic. My brother gets it majorly, over his entire -- and I do mean entire -- body. I always break blisters and it just doesn't make a difference. It's either going to spread downhill from the blister or it isn't whether you break the blister or not.

The other way it spreads to parts of the body which didn't come in contact with the oil is because people tend to pick up their oily clothes and handle them. That's how my mother got poison every time my brother did until we figured it out.

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Assume that all my posts will be edited at least once. Dyslexic -- can't spell, can't type, can't proofread.

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trialofmiles
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quote:
Originally posted by snapdragonfly:
Once you get it, the best thing for it is Zanfel, which DOES REMOVE the oils, or that other product that also does (forgot the name though.)

For the other product, you're probably thinking of Tecnu, which I've used and so far it's worked well in preventing rashes from poison sumac, etc.

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Brad from Georgia
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Some may remember Mrs. from Georgia's run-in with the dread vine earlier this summer. We sprayed it, bagged it, and hauled it away, and I managed not to get any of the vile secretion on my skin, evidently. My mom swears that she's immune to poison ivy and therefore I should be, too, but I'm not gonna take the chance. Besides, our doc says it's possible to become sensitized to it even late in life and all of a sudden have a terrible reaction.

Not that it's so late in my life, o'course....

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Doug4.7
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quote:
Originally posted by Brad from Georgia:
Some may remember Mrs. from Georgia's run-in with the dread vine earlier this summer. We sprayed it, bagged it, and hauled it away, and I managed not to get any of the vile secretion on my skin, evidently. My mom swears that she's immune to poison ivy and therefore I should be, too, but I'm not gonna take the chance. Besides, our doc says it's possible to become sensitized to it even late in life and all of a sudden have a terrible reaction.

Not that it's so late in my life, o'course....

When I was younger, I was immune to the stuff. I once sat in a pile of it and got nothing. My uncle used to get paid to removed it because he was also immune. It was so much NOT a problem that I really never learned to recognize the weed.

Fast forward 20 years and we have some in our backyard. I cleaned up our back yard (including some of the dreaded weed) and thought nothing of it. I got a rash that I could not identify. When I went to the doctor's office, he said it looked like just like a mild poison ivy rash. I told him I was immune and his response was, “Not anymore.” Great. So now I have to figure out what the crap looks like. My wife is no help because she is also immune (and didn't seem to lose it with age). [Frown]

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snapdragonfly
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quote:
Originally posted by trialofmiles:
quote:
Originally posted by snapdragonfly:
Once you get it, the best thing for it is Zanfel, which DOES REMOVE the oils, or that other product that also does (forgot the name though.)

For the other product, you're probably thinking of Tecnu, which I've used and so far it's worked well in preventing rashes from poison sumac, etc.
Yes! that was it. I never can remember the name of it.

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"Wolves, dragons and vampires, man. Draw the nut-bars like big ol' nut-bar magnets." ~evilrabbit

(snurched because one of my nutbar family members is all about wolves and another one is all about dragons...)(with apologies to surfcitydogdad)

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00-Saleen
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I've heard that brown laundry bar soap also helps to get the oils off. Haven't had it myself for years, but it seems to be the home-cats favorite place to hide.
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diehard
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Could the bar be Phels-naptha? We also use Clorox on paper towels it burns like the dickens but will dry it up in a few days(just not on the face).

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Megan'sMom
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Another immune here. One of my friends in college got a particularly bad case trying to climb (drunk) over a fence covered in poison ivy while wearing fairly short shorts. The fence collapsed and you can guess the rest. I'd never had it and didn't know what to do. Another friend suggested washing her legs down with bleach (diluted) and I got elected to do the washing since I, most likely, would not get the rash. It seemed to help her (although from her language I think it hurt like hell - that may have been the large amount of alcohol talking though) and I didn't get a rash.

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DawnStorm
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quote:
Originally posted by Sara at home:
My brother gets it majorly, over his entire -- and I do mean entire -- body.

Your brother and my brother should get together and form a support group. I swear, he could look at a b/w photo of poison and get it! I've had mild cases in the past that usually clear up in a few days; taking allergy meds anyway is a big help. Guess that's ONE perk of having other allergies. It's the only one though.

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USA-Mick66
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quote:
Originally posted by Doug4.7:
quote:
Originally posted by Brad from Georgia:
Some may remember Mrs. from Georgia's run-in with the dread vine earlier this summer. We sprayed it, bagged it, and hauled it away, and I managed not to get any of the vile secretion on my skin, evidently. My mom swears that she's immune to poison ivy and therefore I should be, too, but I'm not gonna take the chance. Besides, our doc says it's possible to become sensitized to it even late in life and all of a sudden have a terrible reaction.

Not that it's so late in my life, o'course....

When I was younger, I was immune to the stuff. I once sat in a pile of it and got nothing. My uncle used to get paid to removed it because he was also immune. It was so much NOT a problem that I really never learned to recognize the weed.

Fast forward 20 years and we have some in our backyard. I cleaned up our back yard (including some of the dreaded weed) and thought nothing of it. I got a rash that I could not identify. When I went to the doctor's office, he said it looked like just like a mild poison ivy rash. I told him I was immune and his response was, “Not anymore.” Great. So now I have to figure out what the crap looks like. My wife is no help because she is also immune (and didn't seem to lose it with age). [Frown]

Ditto, I was never one to catch it, until I sat in a pile of it for 6 hours while fishing...put me in the hospital for a day...it was so horrible, I scratched it raw, doused myself in bleach, gasoline, brake cleaner, etc. for any kind of relief.

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00-Saleen
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quote:
Originally posted by diehard:
Could the bar be Phels-naptha? We also use Clorox on paper towels it burns like the dickens but will dry it up in a few days(just not on the face).

I believe the brand name is Octagon--it comes in a red and white wrapper.
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