Poison Ivy / Oak is in bloom! Here are a few photos.

7:23 p.m. on April 22, 2012 (EDT)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
998 reviewer rep
3,475 forum posts

I have seen an unusually large amount of Poison Ivy / Oak this year in places I frequent.

I thought I'd share some photos for those who might not be sure of what it looks like...and if you have some photos please feel free to post yours!

Maybe even discuss how you avoid getting Urushiol (the toxin that can cause rashes ) on you or how you treat exposed skin if you may have.


DPP_Moultrie_Passage_20119.jpg
Ivy


DPP_Moultrie_Passage_20118.jpg

Oak


DPP_Moultrie_Passage_20143.jpg

Ivy


DPP_Moultrie_Passage_20121.jpg

Oak


DPP_Moultrie_Passage_20116.jpg

Oak (the plant in front of the Pine tree)

Mike G.





7:29 p.m. on April 22, 2012 (EDT)
REVIEW CORPS
1,245 reviewer rep
1,270 forum posts

Wow, snakes, poison ivy/oak, ... looks like not having a "real" winter this year has us in for quite a summer...

9:08 p.m. on April 22, 2012 (EDT)
TOP 25 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
1,145 reviewer rep
599 forum posts

You forgot the worst of them all.....poison sumac.

 


hwkb17_017_18_19.jpg

The swellings can become down right painful rather than just annoying in the case of the other two. Inhaling the smoke can lead to death in rare cases. Stay clear!

9:16 p.m. on April 22, 2012 (EDT)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
998 reviewer rep
3,475 forum posts

Yes, I did leave that out didn't I!

I don't have any photos of Sumac, it seems to elude me.

Speaking from experience...inhaling the smoke from burning Ivy can lead to the emergency room, shots, and steroids for a few days.

I'll keep trying to get a photo of Sumac.

Mike G.

9:27 p.m. on April 22, 2012 (EDT)
TOP 25 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
1,145 reviewer rep
599 forum posts

trouthunter said:

Yes, I did leave that out didn't I!

I don't have any photos of Sumac, it seems to elude me.

 

Thank your lucky stars! Hahaha. Hopefully I didn't just wish it on you....

Man I've never inhaled the smoke. If you don't mind me asking Mike, how did that happen? I've learned a little bit, in Wilderness first aid, about situations where it could happen. I kinda brushed it off as highly unlikely. I'd be interested in learning from your experiences.

9:45 p.m. on April 22, 2012 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1,238 forum posts

My cousin was a State Highway Department Superintendent for two counties in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.

He informed that his "guys"  (the workers) used Clorox (or, Purex) BLEACH (on their skin) to quell the spread of these infernal weed's dreadful, itch and blistering.

Be advised:   can permanently scar skin-tissue, if used to excess.

                                    ~ r2 ~

9:58 p.m. on April 22, 2012 (EDT)
1,631 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

I have used the bleach treatment. Scratch the blisters open and pour a bit of bleach on them. 

It will dry it out.

I am also the same person that uses Isopropyl as aftershave. Been doing it for about as long as I can remember. 

10:10 p.m. on April 22, 2012 (EDT)
73 reviewer rep
301 forum posts

trouthunter said:

Maybe even discuss how you avoid getting Urushiol (the toxin that can cause rashes ) on you or how you treat exposed skin if you may have.

Let's look at treatment:

There is one "trick" to Urushiol - It takes it about an hour to actually bind to your skin.  So, if you are able to wash yourself within an hour of contact with cold water and soap, you will likely decrease the rash very significantly and, if lucky, eliminate it.  Also keep in mind that it will stay on clothing and transfer to skin quite willingly.

After an hour, it's time to just be as comfortable as possible.  Since it has bound to the skin at that point, washing will not be very effective.  However, cool water and/or compress will help the swelling and blisters.  Topical and oral antihistamines can help (especially if used early on). 

If/when blisters form, treat them with care and keep an eye out for infection.

11:12 p.m. on April 22, 2012 (EDT)
60 reviewer rep
115 forum posts

Just reading this is making me itch.

When I was about 5 my great grandmother had me eat a leaf of poison ivy. My great great-grandmother was a full blood native American who grew up with her tribe, and I'm sure this came from that heritage. She told me it would be like a vaccine. I had no reaction then and have always been quite immune to poison ivy up til recently. I have never had the nerve to take a booster leaf, so to speak, as part of me thinks I won't be so tolerant a second time. But my grandmother ,88 now, eats a leaf every spring.

11:28 p.m. on April 22, 2012 (EDT)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
658 reviewer rep
2,148 forum posts

I have found Jewelweed to be quite effective at preventing and relieving plant induced dermatitis.  I am not effected too horrendously by Poison Ivy, though I have become more sensitive to it as I have gotten older. I have done layman's tests with Jewelweed by treating rash on one leg but not the other. The treated rash clears up much sooner, and is much less painful during the healing process. When I have wiped down Ivy contacted areas with the fresh Jewel juice I have not had any significant dermatitis from the ivy. This has proven true, even when I had just trudged though dense thickets of the evil plant. 

10:51 a.m. on April 23, 2012 (EDT)
TOP 25 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
2,424 reviewer rep
1,291 forum posts

where i live, mid-atlantic, the tricky part of these is that they end up on huge vines that climb trees.  so i end up with the stuff on my face if i'm not careful.  out in the bay area, i have bushwhacked through 7 foot high stands of shrubs infested with poison oak.

because i react badly to poison oak in particular, the only sure way to deal with an outbreak, for me, is going to the doctor and getting a prescription for oral steroids. 

the best way to avoid getting a reaction from urushiol (the oil that causes the irritating reaction with your skin) is to wash the exposed area with a soap designed to remove the oil within an hour of exposure. 

an old thread on this site had a lot of good information:

http://www.trailspace.com/forums/backcountry/topics/39115.html 

 

1:25 p.m. on April 23, 2012 (EDT)
245 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts

scratch scratch

2:47 p.m. on April 23, 2012 (EDT)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
998 reviewer rep
3,475 forum posts

Jake W said:

trouthunter said:

Yes, I did leave that out didn't I!

I don't have any photos of Sumac, it seems to elude me.

 

Thank your lucky stars! Hahaha. Hopefully I didn't just wish it on you....

Man I've never inhaled the smoke. If you don't mind me asking Mike, how did that happen? I've learned a little bit, in Wilderness first aid, about situations where it could happen. I kinda brushed it off as highly unlikely. I'd be interested in learning from your experiences.

 When I was in my early twenties and before I knew what the plants looked like, I was clearing out a "scrubby area" of the yard and after a few days the pile of stuff I had dried up - I lit a match to it and stood there with a hose to make sure the fire didn't spread.

Unfortunately the smoke from the burning sap spread pretty good and in an hour or so I was off to the Emergency room.

Mike G.

3:29 p.m. on April 23, 2012 (EDT)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
658 reviewer rep
2,148 forum posts

I haven't yet had any Poison Sumac incidents yet either. 

One of my younger brothers had never been affected by uroshiol until a few years ago. He spent a couple hours in a dense thicket with tons of Poison Oak. A day later the reaction was bad enough to be life threatening. Intravenous steroids were required to get it under control, and over six months before it all cleared up. Unfortunately, he can barely look at the stuff without breaking out since then. 

10:22 p.m. on April 23, 2012 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1,238 forum posts

Caleb ~~

As per your suggestions last year, discussing this same topic, I sourced jewelweed product.

Here >>>> Poisonivystop@yahoo.com  <<<<<<

I purchased three small jars of jewelweed salve, and five cakes of jewelweed soap.   I have their magnet on my refrigerator.

"I'm prepared".

Also; I should add, that over my years working construction along the Atlantic Coast, I had numerous episodes of the dreaded PI condition.   It grows along the sand dune vegetation.   I had to go to a hospital once, with it.

I learned that when I went surfing in the Atlantic, the rash, blistering and itch would abate, upon a few hours in the saltwater.   Dried the 'weeping' sores, nicely.

BTW -- I learned that jewelweed often grows right next to poison ivy.    Imagine that !

                                ~ r2 ~

11:46 a.m. on April 24, 2012 (EDT)
245 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts

surfing for a cure sounds good

5:46 p.m. on April 24, 2012 (EDT)
121 reviewer rep
291 forum posts

I had been taught that Jewel Weed is only effective if used from the fresh plant and only within 15 minutes or so of contact/exposure and once the rash had set in, it was too late. I had tried it anyway to see if it would help an established rash and it didn't seem to, least not for me. I'll be interested to know if your products work or not Robert.

It grows wild practically everywhere around here and once you know it, is very easy to identify. I transplanted some from a local wild area to my yard and now it comes up in my yard every year.

Where washing with soap is concerned, just be aware, it needs to be a soap that is detergent, not emollient. In other words, it needs to cut grease. i.e., dish detergent, Gojo etc. Most hand soaps will thin it, spread it around and lock it into the skin. Last couple years I've taken to rinsing with Witch Hazel which works very well, even on established rashes. Super dosing on B-complex & vitamin C also works really well to clear up a rash fast.

And yes, ocean saltwater is excellent for getting rid of it.

9:40 p.m. on April 24, 2012 (EDT)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
998 reviewer rep
3,475 forum posts

To wash up I have been using a mixture of Orderless Mineral Spirits & Dawn Dish Liquid mixed half and half. I wash up as needed after going off trail during the "green season".

I know it's not what many people may consider biodegradable, but I use it sparingly and it seems to work very well. Mineral Spirits is one of the main ingredients in some of the commercially prepared soaps for this purpose.

I have not tried Witch Hazel yet (as mentioned above), but I'm open to any good ideas.

Mike G.

8:12 a.m. on April 25, 2012 (EDT)
RETAILER
27 reviewer rep
103 forum posts

I was heavily infected just a week ago. had it on my arms, legs, stomach, inner legs (near some sensitive areas) I even had it between my fingers. Had a steroid shot, cleared it all up in a week.

From what I can gather Poision ivy, oak, and sumac, secrete the exact same oil so whenever someone says "one is worse" its really a null statement.

Hot oatmeal baths are great for soothing. What i have done in the past too is to take a bath and dissolve an entire bar of soap in the water. AS already mentioned its the oil that causes the reaction and the oil can bond to the skin. After it has bonded it is very hard to remove. The rash spreads by spreading the oil not scratching the blisters. The blisters do not spread the rash. Taking an extended bath and using a whole lot of soap helps to remove any excess oil. And I do mean scrub the life out of the infected areas until you have no more soap.

-MG

11:33 a.m. on April 25, 2012 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1,238 forum posts

Why I DO NOT wear shorts while hiking ... even on hot Summer days.

The perceived cooling is simply not worth the risk of brushing against some form of these plants.

I get tanned legs at the beaches.

                                  ~ r2 ~

7:45 a.m. on May 1, 2012 (EDT)
143 reviewer rep
69 forum posts

YES, ditto on the long pants.  Poison ivy/oak/sumac has not been a concern of mine for years.  I just got to Japan during our 200 and something inches of snow this winter.  Now that it's all nearly melted and I'm heading in the woods, I really need to consider all the posing ivy I am being told about.  If I'm fortunate, Ivarest can control the small stuff (bug bites too) but steroid cream is necessary for more.  Long pants and shirt please!

A doctor warned me that reactions only get worse throughout life.  I don't if any studies prove that but I've seen it to be true on me.

I'm VERY open to any bright ideas you folks may have at defeating these plants.  Bring it on.

10:35 a.m. on May 3, 2012 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1,238 forum posts

Kinda in the UGH !-department ... but, from what I have learned, the indigenous Native-Americans used their own URINE to mitigate the symptoms of poison-ivy. 

Hmmm ....

     When in Rome ... do as the Romans do ....  (?)

                                     ~ r2 ~

11:32 a.m. on May 3, 2012 (EDT)
1,631 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

I wear shorts but I also wear gaiters(year round.) Not only does it keep me from having to empty my boots but it is alot easier to wash the oils from our skin irritating friends off a pair of gaiters than it is to wash it off out skin after being on trail for days. 

3:32 p.m. on May 3, 2012 (EDT)
REVIEW CORPS
813 reviewer rep
511 forum posts

Some more specimens.  These are on a nearby mountain bike trail where I live.  You don't want to wreck while riding this trail!  Leaves of three, let it be.


IMG00084-20120503-1028.jpg


IMG00086-20120503-1031.jpg

5:26 p.m. on May 3, 2012 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1,238 forum posts

Went on a day-hike, this past week-end, in Jefferson Patterson Park, St. Leonard, Maryland.

A LOT of poison-ivy and poison-oak about.

I saw a VINE of poison-oak wrapping itself around the trunk of a huge pecan-tree.   The VINE was about the girth of my wrist (!!).

No "playing Tarzan" on this one !

                                 ~ r2 ~

7:42 p.m. on May 3, 2012 (EDT)
200 reviewer rep
4,133 forum posts

 

Back when I was in boy scouts ( 1968-71) someone brought back some dead Poison Oak wood by mistake, in the Sierra and when it was burned on the campfire, whoever sat in the smoke had their face skin puff up especially around the eyes and lips. Growing up and always playing in the woods no matter where I lived, California, New York and Arkansas I was always managing to get into the Poison Ivy, and was always covered in Calmine(?) lotion.

My mother in New York used to make wine from the non-poisonous variety of Sumac flowers sap.

10:01 p.m. on May 3, 2012 (EDT)
121 reviewer rep
590 forum posts

I'm immune to poison ivy. Never encountered poison oak or sumac. As a kid my dad would break out in blisters from the slightest poison ivy contact. I could roll around in the stuff and nothing would happen.

1:58 p.m. on May 12, 2012 (EDT)
51 reviewer rep
23 forum posts

I have had quite a bit of experience with PI in the past year. I used to get it when I was a kid, but it was never too extreme. The main treatment in the past was always a dab of plain Clorox bleach to the affected area using a cotton swab to dry it out, and then wait for it to heal. Last year, however, I got Poison Ivy and Chiggers at the same time. The PI was all over my legs and arms, and the chiggers were everywhere else. The combination of these two were preventing me from operating normally throughout the day, and I couldn't fall asleep at night. The areas of infection were too big to treat with the bleach, and I was fearful of the long term effects of treating my skin with such a harsh chemical. This caused me to do some heavy experimentation with products claiming to heal PI and stop the itching in general.

I tried all sorts of Jewelweed, none of which had ANY effect. I tried the anti itch creams (aveeno, gold bond, etc.) Also, NO effects whatsoever. The method that I had success with was a combination of 2 homeopathic medicines taken orally.

Rhus Tox 30X : small white "altoid" like pills that you dissolve under your tongue. I did this 4-10 times a day whenever I felt like itching. Purchased at a health foods store in town.

Boericke and tafel oral ivy: a liquid which you dilute in water and drink. 7 drops in a 1/4 cup of water 3x a day was the best dosage for me at the time. I had to buy this online, I couldn't find it anywhere local.

This was the only treatment that I had any sort of success with, and all my rashes and itch from the chiggers and PI were gone within 2 weeks.

I am convinced that this is the only thing that will work for me and YMMV. I have plenty of the stuff left over from last year to re-treat any new infections I will have this year (I somehow get PI on my legs even if I wear pants all summer long, so I see this as inevitable)

1:53 p.m. on June 6, 2012 (EDT)
REVIEW CORPS
813 reviewer rep
511 forum posts

Well I was mountain biking last week and came into contact with some blasted poison ivy!! Got it on my right forearm.  Must have been growing on a tree at just the right level.  Had to get the steroid shot and I am taking a 6 day corticosteroid medication.  This is how it looked after the 2nd day and it's much improved now.  No more swelling.  I hate this stuff.

 
IMG00124-20120604-1044.jpg

1:54 p.m. on June 6, 2012 (EDT)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
658 reviewer rep
2,148 forum posts

Wow, so sorry Rob :(

6:06 p.m. on June 6, 2012 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
391 forum posts

I worked in an Illinois state park for a summer after high school.  30 total people working in the park.  Everyone but me got the Ivy.  I thought I was immune to it.  Hiking near Brookings, OR, never going off-trail, I ran into Oak.  Didn't go away for a couple months and after shots, petroleum jelly ointments (got all over everything and sucked almost as bad as the Oak), and washing my gear a couple times.  Had to throw out maps and get OCD on the gear.

I was told the oils stay active for a year or more on exposed clothing and gear, so you can keep re-infecting yourself.

Everyone in Oregon recommended Tecnu, but it didn't do a thing for me.  I washed and treated with it before I had to head to a doctor.

2:00 a.m. on June 7, 2012 (EDT)
REVIEW CORPS
813 reviewer rep
511 forum posts

Dawn dish detergent works well. I had a previous encounter with it (ivy) while biking several weeks before this encounter. I got home within an hour and washed the areas I thought may have come in contact with the ivy, arms and ankles, using Dawn. I let it sit for a minute before rinsing it off and then did it again. I seemed to have beat it. Last Thursday I rode and I remembered brushing against leaves with my right forearm while turning a corner (much of the trail winds through tight trees). Well I looked back and thought, "yep, that's ivy" and made a mental note to get home fast. Well, that plan didn't go as planned and the oil did its thing!

1:10 p.m. on June 7, 2012 (EDT)
REVIEW CORPS
770 reviewer rep
1,252 forum posts

That’s quite a bubble you have going there my friend!

My wife is highly allergic to such poison plants and she swells even larger than that from the slightest encounter. Once she started a new job in a neon manufacturing company after getting really bad poison oak and spent her first day being called “bubble” in reference to the golf ball sized puss bubble that had grown on her wrist. Eventually they learned her actual name…:)

I’m allergic but luckily I don’t have big reactions.

1:21 p.m. on June 7, 2012 (EDT)
REVIEW CORPS
770 reviewer rep
1,252 forum posts

@Raiders99999

FWIW regarding Chiggers….the old timers around here swear by ingesting a small amount of sulfur to prevent Chigger bites.  They say to eat two (un-burnt) paper matches and you’ll be chigger free for the day. Or you could take a sulfur tablet but they said that was overkill.

I’ve never personally gotten a chigger bite that I’m aware of, which is remarkable considering how much time I’ve spent in the backcountry in my life. Now tics are different story….

12:05 a.m. on June 12, 2012 (EDT)
447 reviewer rep
277 forum posts

#1 for jewelweed antidote - IF you can find some.

Once in the 1950s, as a 7 year old I wiped with poison ivy! Doc said it was the worst case he'd ever seen. Yeah. Bet he told that story a lot.

I was miserable for a week. Lots of rags soaked in Calamine lotion...

 

9:03 p.m. on June 22, 2012 (EDT)
10 reviewer rep
37 forum posts

i have gone years without catching any poison ivy, oak, or anything like it but so far this year i have ended up with two severe cases of poison oak

6:25 p.m. on June 24, 2012 (EDT)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
998 reviewer rep
3,475 forum posts

Chris Utz said:

i have gone years without catching any poison ivy, oak, or anything like it but so far this year i have ended up with two severe cases of poison oak

 I don't doubt it at all, I am seeing an awful lot of it this year, it's everywhere!

Mike G.

August 28, 2014
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

 
More Topics
This forum: Older: Another Park Ranger Dies... Newer: Hungry on the trail
All forums: Older: Trail Work Tools Newer: Two-man roped team w/novice on Rainier: good idea?