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Thread: Poison Ivy Video

  1. #1
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    Poison Ivy Video

    This video came out a few years ago and is nice reminder that its also poison ivy season

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4oyoDRHpQK0

    His suggestion to practice with axle grease is a good one. When I work on my Unimog which requires plenty of greasing and it takes awhile to remember how much work it takes to get lithium grease off.

    So much better to be proactive as once it gets in the skin its going to do its damage no matter what topical products are used.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 05-22-2017 at 10:10 AM.

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    Senior Member hikerbrian's Avatar
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    I'm probably going to get poison ivy just from watching this video, I'm that sensitive. Thanks PB! ;-)

    I think I'll keep some Dawn and a washcloth in my shower during PI season. Looks like that works really well. I've also recently had good luck with Benadryl cream for minor cases. Poison ivy in my yard is one of a very few things I'll pull out the Roundup for...
    Sure. Why not.

  3. #3
    Senior Member hikerbrian's Avatar
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    Having spent several weekends this summer working to eradicate poison ivy from my yard, and also being an experimentalist, I've tried several methods of preventing contact and minimizing the rash. Here are my results:

    1. It does not matter how vigorously I scrub, or which product I use. If my skin contacts any part of a poison ivy plant, I'm going to get a rash. I've scrubbed as quickly as 1 hour after first possible contact, and I still got a considerable rash.
    2. Technu really does seem to help. I've tried regular body soap, Dawn dish soap, and Technu, and I scrubbed like heck with a wash cloth each time. The time I used Dawn was the worst rash I got, and it lasted the longest. It's possible that was also my worst exposure, but my point is Dawn does not prevent the rash for me. I think the identity of the surfactant actually does matter.
    3. Scrubbing with Technu once or twice a day for the first 3 days after exposure seems to shorten the duration of my rash from 2-3 weeks down to about 1 week.
    4. Benadryl cream remains the best product for me for decreasing the itch factor once the rash appears.
    5. Long pants seem to prevent a rash on my legs. Duh. But...
    6. Long sleeves (and work gloves) seem to make the rash worse on my arms. I think this is because inevitably my sleeves get some oil on them, and then the oil gets rubbed all around my wrist, making the exposure worse. I have not yet (but will soon) tried forearm-length rubber gloves.

    So now RoundUp and I are becoming pretty friendly, and every time I pull it out, Getto Boys' 'Still' and that scene from Office Space run through my head in the most maniacally satisfying way.
    Sure. Why not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hikerbrian View Post
    4. Benadryl cream remains the best product for me for decreasing the itch factor once the rash appears.
    I've found that washing the rash in hot water (not TOO hot) helps reduce the itching significantly.

    https://forums.anandtech.com/threads...lmost.1403027/

    https://www.drweil.com/health-wellne...ls/poison-oak/

    https://poisonivy.aesir.com/view/water.html

    https://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2012...n-ivy-itching/

    In the 4th link, a doctor explains why the hot water works.
    Last edited by jfb; 10-13-2017 at 09:37 AM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    I was very susceptible to Poison Ivy until I turned 30. Now, I never get it.

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    Senior Member nartreb's Avatar
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    How about a test of benadryl vs cortisone?

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    Senior Member hikerbrian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfb View Post
    I've found that washing the rash in hot water (not TOO hot) helps reduce the itching significantly.

    https://forums.anandtech.com/threads...lmost.1403027/

    https://www.drweil.com/health-wellne...ls/poison-oak/

    https://poisonivy.aesir.com/view/water.html

    https://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2012...n-ivy-itching/

    In the 4th link, a doctor explains why the hot water works.
    Nice, worth a try! I've always figured that since the rash is an inflammatory immune response, the best way to reduce that response would be to avoid hot water. But the prospect that histamines would eventually deplete themselves makes sense too.

    Nartreb, I've tried Cortisone cream, and for me at least it didn't relieve the itching. Not as well as Benadryl, anyway. But I think these things depend a lot on your particular immune reaction and response. So YMMV, for sure.
    Sure. Why not.

  8. #8
    Senior Member TEO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hikerbrian View Post
    I'm probably going to get poison ivy just from watching this video, I'm that sensitive. Thanks PB! ;-)

    I think I'll keep some Dawn and a washcloth in my shower during PI season. Looks like that works really well. I've also recently had good luck with Benadryl cream for minor cases. Poison ivy in my yard is one of a very few things I'll pull out the Roundup for...
    The worst case of poison ivy that I've had was made considerably worse by Caladryl, a topical calamine-like lotion that contained Benadryl. My doctor advised me to topical forms of benadryl should be avoided.

    From Dr. Alan Greene on Parents.com: Be sure the lotion does not contain benzocaine, zirconium, or a topical antihistamine, such as Benadryl. These can actually make the rash worse by producing their own allergic reactions when applied to already sensitive skin.

    Instead, take Benadryl orally, and use an OTC topical corticosteroid. Better yet, see your doctor and get both a prescription corticosteroid cream and an oral pill (e.g. Prednisone).

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    Senior Member hikerbrian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TEO View Post
    My doctor advised me to topical forms of benadryl should be avoided.
    Thanks for sharing, TEO. I've seen this written several places on the web, including on the American Academy of Dermatology website - an organization I'd think would know about such things. On the other hand, the label on the Benadryl cream I use says expressly that it can be used for cases of poison ivy. The FDA does not specifically test all labelled claims for over the counter products, but they would take notice if a claim was patently untrue or unsafe. This makes the situation about as clear as mud.

    I'm inclined to think that through mechanisms that aren't well understood, Benadryl can make a poison ivy rash worse for some people some of the time. Furthermore, an untreated poison ivy rash isn't likely to kill you or even require a doctor's visit. So most doctors probably see the potential benefit NOT outweighing the possible cost. Hence, your doctor's advise.

    Based on probably a dozen mild to moderate cases of poison ivy over the past 10 years or so, I have found that Benadryl really does seem to work for me, and I haven't had any adverse reactions. That said, I'm inclined to try the hot water trick and if that works I'll toss the Benadryl.

    Oral Benadryl makes me really sleepy, so it's not a solution for me unless I want to stay home from work. I've seen no efficacy at all using over the counter corticosteroid creams, but the prescription strength stuff is much stronger and may work (haven't tried). Prednisone is pretty powerful stuff and the side effects can be quite serious. Seems like that's appropriate for cases where you've breathed in smoke from burning poison ivy or perhaps for when you've, ah, grabbed the wrong kind of leaf following an emergency pit stop in the woods... ;-) I've had it pretty bad, but not THAT bad, so that's different territory than what I'm talking about. TEO, did you end up with an oral or IV corticosteroid in your case? What was your experience? The only person I know who had IV Prednisone had pretty serious and long lasting hormonal/mood issues. [Yes this is a single anecdotal data point, and yes we should treat such things with caution...]
    Sure. Why not.

  10. #10
    Senior Member TEO's Avatar
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    My understanding is that if you're taking a short course of Prednisone, such as you would for treating poison ivy, the risk of adverse side effects is low. Remember, virtually the entire pro cycling peloton spends their entire career taking corticosteroids.

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    I have had a few serious cases of poison Ivy in the past and the only thing that work were oral steroids. Like any other drug if taken as directed the rewards outweigh the risks. Most of the topical solutions really don't do much as once the urushiol blows up the ski cells nothing is going to put them back together again. The only real relief is cranking down the immune response which in case of people sensitive to poison ivy goes into overdrive.

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    Senior Member Puma concolor's Avatar
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    Interesting, hikerbrian.

    In all my years of tramping around the mountains, I never once had a poison ivy exposure, but a few summers ago (2014, I think), I too decided to attempt to get poison ivy off my property. Specifically, I cleared a large patch of woods thereby expanding the size of my yard but my new woodline border was basically a solid wall of poison ivy. Not wanting the kids to get a bad exposure, I went to work.

    Round one went about as you’d expect. Donning just work gloves as protection, I got a solid exposure up and down both arms. For round two, I wore sweatpants and a long sleeve hoodie and found the oil just soaks through and it was even worse with my legs having been exposed as well from kneeling down in the stuff for hours. Round 3 found me in a full HazMat suit and this actually worked. However, two springs later, I decided to pull up some roots in a different area pretty deep into the woods before the PI actually started to grow. Didn’t really take any precautions other than gloves. This was the most surprising exposure since I had no idea the oil was on the roots as well.

    But anyway, hot water was my best friend for my exposures. I was literally scorching my skin with the hottest water available with the hand held shower head. In a weird way, it was actually kind of a good sensation ... not only having the tolerance for that kind of super hot water, but actually finding relief from it.

    Anyway, in all of this, the HazMat suit (pretty cheap online) was the best idea I had. Looked ridiculous in my woods but it worked.
    Last edited by Puma concolor; 10-14-2017 at 04:34 PM.

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    I was told by a former wildlife biologist that poison ivy and sumac and the like were planted along some trails in national and state parks to keep people from wandering off the trail. I hate the stuff our government does sometimes.

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    Senior Member iAmKrzys's Avatar
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    I have heard (no scientific references or evidence to back this up) that using shampoo works better then soap because shampoo have compounds that will bind to poison ivy oils. Hence if I don't have Tecnu with me and my hands itch even a tiny bit I try to immediately wash them with shampoo after possible exposure. I'm not sure if that really works or not, but I don't have any evidence to disprove it so far.

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    Senior Member Raven's Avatar
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    For extreme itch, I find peppermint oil (pure essential oil) works great. I used Benadryl cream for awhile which gave me relief more than most but peppermint oil removed the itch. 5-10 drops rubbed into the spot. $5 a bottle. Smells pretty nice too. YMMV
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