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RE: Well I thought I was immune to poison ivy . . .

Post in 'The Inglenook' started by firefighterjake, Sep 1, 2013.

  1. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    43 years and never had a bit of it despite being outside all the time . . . even went to a motor vehicle accident years ago and was right in the middle of a patch. My wife who was there and the Assistant Chief who were beside me got it bad back then . . .

    Ended up with this about a week ago . . . while geocaching in the woods.

    I think the worse part is due to the fact that I had a fresh scratch and it may have got infected.

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  2. WellSeasoned

    WellSeasoned Guest

    My wife accidently sat on some while we were clearing a small lot of downed trees, it was one of those emergency bathroom situations. Hers had black in it, which is the worst, and is actually oxidizing your skin. She went to doctor being in a not so poison ivy friendly place, and was prescribed a steriod cream which cleared it up quick. Dawn soap for initial cleaning (dawn removes oils well, like dishwashing) and a bleach/water mixture to help dry it out. Benadryl anti itch spray to remove the allergic aspect of it and the itch, to reduce spreading. Heal fast!
  3. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Nasty, Jake! Get yerself a squeeze tube of Tecnu Extreme, and a 1 lb. tub of 0.1% triamcinolone acetonide (synthetic corticosteroid) in petroleum jelly. Wash with Tecnu, then apply the steroid. It'll be gone in 24 hours.

    If your doctor wants to prescribe prednisone (more common), tell 'em you'd rather have the triamcinolone acetonide.
  4. vinny11950

    vinny11950 Minister of Fire

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    Yikes, Jake. Get better soon.
  5. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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    Ouch! All I know is to watch out for ivy. I have never seen it so will likely get a bad rash someday...ack.

    Hope ya heal soon.

    A
  6. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Sorry to hear that. My wife and I both got a nasty case weeding our stone wall earlier in the spring. For mine I was alternating between cortisone and and caladryl lotion hourly and was still in agony for weeks. Catherine's showed up later but was even worse, doc gave her prednizone pills and the reaction she got to that was worse so she stopped.

    Our pharmacist gave her that tecnu soap Joful mentioned but it didn't do a thing for us. By the time we had symptoms it was weeks after exposure so the oils where already gone.

    Not fun. Hope it clears up soon.
  7. NortheastAl

    NortheastAl Minister of Fire

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    Sorry to see how bad you got it, Jake. That Tecnu stuff is great. The cleaner and the anti itch stuff. I would keep an eye on what looks like an infection there too.

    Good luck. Feel better.
  8. Jack Straw

    Jack Straw Minister of Fire

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    You have my sympathy......
    I'm 48 and this summer is the first time I have ever had a problem with it.:( I got it all over my right arm picking rocks.

    Yesterday I noticed I was kneeling in it while cleaning the lawn mower. I ran in the house and took a shower right away, :cool:
  9. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    There must be more to that story. No way will poison ivy show up "weeks" after exposure. There was something else going on, or an accidental secondary exposure of which you're not aware.

    Skin is funny stuff... exposure to one irritant can cause a rash which will make you more susceptible to other allergens/infections, which might not otherwise bother you.
  10. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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  11. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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    Jeremy, your wife is certainly correct. When the reaction to poison ivy shows up that late it suggests your wife had never been exposed to urushiol (the active component in poison ivy) before. What urushiol does is reacting with the proteins sitting on the surface of your skin cells. Those modified protein structures are then recognized by your immune system as "foreign" and therefore classified as dangerous. It takes then about one week for the T cells to be fully active and a few more days until the B cells produce enough antibodies to bind to those modified proteins and initiate a reaction. Although it is commonly referred to as an allergy, it would better be classified as an autoimmune reaction (e. g. like multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis) because the immune system attacks its own cells. Once you had been exposed the body will develop memory cells which ensure a quick reactivation after a new exposure. That mechanism is beneficial when you get your shots but means for poison ivy that you will have a very quick reaction the second time around.
  12. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Jake, that is a wake-up call to keep those scratches covered before going into the weeds and woods. Hope you heal quickly as that can be nasty stuff.
  13. Ehouse

    Ehouse Minister of Fire

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    It's also wonderful stuff. I'm becoming more and more convinced that Skin performs a sacrificial function (like tonsils) by drawing potentially devastating internal infamations to the surface.
  14. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    I'm allergic but never hat it look that nasty unless I scratched it raw.
    I'd have a medic look at that ! ;)
  15. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    I think it's getting better . . . and I'm pretty sure the reason for the worse looking stuff is because I had some scratches on my leg prior to going into the woods. Now I've just got to resist the urge to scratch.

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