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Author Topic: Poison Ivy myths
snopes
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Down through the years, poison ivy plants and the discomfort they inflict have spawned numerous myths.

http://www.knoxnews.com/kns/science/article/0,1406,KNS_9116_3130800,00.html

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Xia
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All I got was a registration form... Can't view it.

Just wanted to say though one thing that is NOT a myth but some people apparently don't realize is you should NEVER burn poison ivy! Nasty!

Also, if you're walking in the woods with a dog watch that the dog doesn't get into poison ivy (especially if they sleep in your bed!) Dogs are not affected by it, BUT if they get the oils on their fur and then you touch them, you can get the rash...

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super chicken
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Whenever I got in to the poison ivy as a kid, my mom made me go wash with warm water and soap. It would remove the oils from the plant, and circumvent the rash. Works every time.
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Xia
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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'Lava' soap works especially well, to get rid of the oils if you know you walked through a patch of poison ivy.

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Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

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LibrarianJen
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I didn't realize until very recently that not everyone is allergic (or, would react poorly) to poison ivy. I have never had any reaction to poison ivy, and I have been on more wilderness/Girl Scout/ camping trips than I can count, all over the country. I always thought I was just lucky that I had never encountered any, but I was recently told that I'm probably not allergic to it. (?)

Of course, this may be one of the "myths" outlined in the article, but I can't read it until I register!

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GooglyEyes
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In regard to the oils, if not properly washed they can stay on your clothes or car or whatever for quite a while.

Also, you can have multiple flare-ups even months down the road.

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Brad from Georgia
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All I know's at night when you're a-sleepin, Poison Ivy comes a-creepin' all around.

Brad "a common cold'll fool ya, and whoopin' cough will cool ya" from Georgia

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Mickey Blue
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Its a fact not all people are allergic (I dont know what it says in the article, didn't feel like registering).

I'm not allergic, I could pick up some leaves and rub them all over and I would have no ill effects (aside from some confused stares). Its a somewhat useful "gift".

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Hazed
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I wasn't able to read the article, but this reminds me of a funny story. My husband claims to be severely allergic to poison ivy, (I've never seen him get it, but that's not to say he never has), and he's so scared if a customer comes up to him to buy poison ivy medicine, (he works in a drugstore), he acts as if they have the plague or something, and tries his damndest not to touch them! [lol]

Oh, yeah, onto the story. I went to band practice with him one night and his guitar player mentioned he had poison ivy on his arm. Of course my husband freaked out so Al, the guitar player, pretended to rub in on him, playing around, saying it was just a myth that people could get poison ivy through body contact. My husband swore that he could because he was so allergic. Anyway, they started arguing about and it got so bad my husband even threatened to quit the band...all because of stupid poison ivy!! [lol]

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GranolaSuicideSpawn
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by jenjoseph:
I didn't realize until very recently that not everyone is allergic (or, would react poorly) to poison ivy. I have never had any reaction to poison ivy, and I have been on more wilderness/Girl Scout/ camping trips than I can count, all over the country. I always thought I was just lucky that I had never encountered any, but I was recently told that I'm probably not allergic to it. (?)

Of course, this may be one of the "myths" outlined in the article, but I can't read it until I register!

It was: "You've been exposed to the leaves of poison ivy numerous times and haven't broken out yet, so you're immune.
Not necessarily. You're probably just very lucky. Experts say 90 percent of people are allergic to the oil, and the more you're exposed, the more likely you are to become sensitized, so for most of us, it's just a matter of time."

I knew about burning poison ivy because my grandmother was standing in clouds of smoke from burning poison ivy and she got the rash over just about every inch of her body; she thought she was going to go insane from the torment. Something to be avoided at all costs!

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Snow-Dog
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From personal experience. When I was little, I used to get it occasionally, but now I can pick the leaves and rub them on myself and I won't develop a rash or any itchies.


Snow-Immune now-Dog

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Pogue Ma-humbug
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quote:
Originally posted by Snow-Dog:
From personal experience. When I was little, I used to get it occasionally, but now I can pick the leaves and rub them on myself and I won't develop a rash or any itchies.

Snow-Immune now-Dog

I'm the opposite extreme. I go near poison ivy and I break out in head-to-toe, oozing rashes.

Pogue

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Cure the Blues
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quote:
Originally posted by GranolaSuicideSpawn:
It was: "You've been exposed to the leaves of poison ivy numerous times and haven't broken out yet, so you're immune. Not necessarily. You're probably just very lucky. Experts say 90 percent of people are allergic to the oil, and the more you're exposed, the more likely you are to become sensitized, so for most of us, it's just a matter of time."

It can go both ways. Some people get much, much worse because the T cells responsible for the immune reaction that causes the rash get more and more hypersensitive. The people who have a diminishing reaction or never react to it most likely have an alternate set of suppressor T cells that also recognize the poison ivy allergen but unlike the other T cells, they "know" that it's harmless. They then actively start muzzling the allergic response. Basically, it boils down to 2 opposing immune responses with one set of T cells claiming that poison ivy is "Public Enemy #1" while the second set realizes that this is much ado about nothing and tries to stop the yammering of the first set. Which side wins ultimately determines whether you get an allergic response, and most people just aren't that good at developing a suppressive response to the poison ivy allergen but are excellent at mounting a "shoot-first-ask-questions-later" attack. Predictably, desensitization attempts work very poorly, if at all, and can sometimes make the situation worse.

This same reaction also occurs with heavy metals (like nickel itch), some chemicals (like topical antibiotics, perfume). It's also seen in fungal infections and some particularly nasty bacterial infections, and is the basis for the TB skin test. So, this reaction is very useful and doesn't just exist to make people miserable. I may also add that people with exceptionally severe allergic reactions to poison ivy/oak/sumac may want to stay clear of mangos and cashew shell oil, as they are both in the same family.

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DawnStorm
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quote:
Originally posted by Pogue Mahone:
[.

Snow-Immune now-Dog

I'm the opposite extreme. I go near poison ivy and I break out in head-to-toe, oozing rashes.

Pogue [/QB][/QUOTE]


You and my brother should get together--seems that all he has to do is look at a picture of the stuff. Me, I take allergy meds anyway so any poison I get only provokes a mild reaction that soon disappears. A fringe benefit of having hay fever and having to take meds anyway.

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Nolly
Fin City


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quote:
Originally posted by Cure the Blues:
I may also add that people with exceptionally severe allergic reactions to poison ivy/oak/sumac may want to stay clear of mangos and cashew shell oil, as they are both in the same family.

< hijack >
Thank you for the info! Very interesting to know what my body is doing inside-I have hyper-sensitive/allergic skin. I love mangoes but get a very nasty rash wherever the juice happens to drip. I'm ok eating it-it's just if it gets on my skin-especially my arms (yes, I'm a messy eater [lol] )
Out of curiosity, are kiwi and pineapple in this group as well? I get a similar reaction (except I cannot even eat those-my mouth ends up full of canker sores)
Nol 'T-cells-a-blazin' ly

ETA:
Did a search and found that they're not related-however, all the fruit I'm 'allergic' to -papaya (papain) pineapple (bromelain) kiwi (actinidin)-contain enzymes that can be used as meat tenderizers! Ugh! No wonder! [Eek!] < /hijack >

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Sara at home
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quote:
Originally posted by super chicken:
Whenever I got in to the poison ivy as a kid, my mom made me go wash with warm water and soap. It would remove the oils from the plant, and circumvent the rash. Works every time.

My brother, like Pogue, gets the rash over his entire body when exposed (and I do mean "entire"). Mom always had him wash with warm water and Lava if she thought he had been exposed. Don't recall it working for him but he's an extreme case.

However, as time goes on, I have become more sensitive to the oils. So I went searching for info a while back. These days, it is recommended that you wash with cold water and detergent. The theory is that warm water makes the oils break up and spread over more skin area thus spreading it; cold water keeps the oils "clumped" and easier to wash away. **shrug** And detergent is better at removing oils than soap. I use dishwashing detergent rather than laundry because I believe they are gentler.

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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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