Huge skin reaction to arborvitae??

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grommal

Feeling the Heat
Mar 4, 2009
487
Eastern PA
Well, about 2 weeks ago I finished a big job chopping up, cutting down, and yanking out a bunch of arborvitae. I've never had any kind of reaction to any kind of plants before. I decided to chainsaw the trunks to make some junky-but-free firewood. But, I broke out in the most amazing, blistering, weeping rash on my arms and legs (wore shorts) that I've ever seen. Now, I'm the kind of guy who's never even had poison ivy, even once, despite years of hunting and fishing and hiking in the woods.

So, what's the deal here? I've trimmed the arbs many times with no irritation. But now that I really ripped into them, including the chainsaw, spraying myself with chips, sap, etc., I was a complete mess. Finally got better, but had the Dr. prescribe some oral steroids to get my immune system to calm down. Wow, what a rash!

Has anybody else had such a reaction to arborvitae?

I figure they won the battle, but since I'm still here and they're not, I won the war, anyway!
 

DanCorcoran

Minister of Fire
Jan 5, 2010
2,205
Richmond, VA
I suggest consulting a dermatologist, not a hearth website.
 

grommal

Feeling the Heat
Mar 4, 2009
487
Eastern PA
Um, right. I've been to the dr and got prescription steroids to shut off the immune system response. Healing now. Just curious is anybody else has ever been hammered by these innocuous shrubs.
 

Wood Heat Stoves

Minister of Fire
Cutting into any plant with a chain saw is a lot different than just touching your skin with it. I had a similar experience with poison oak where I cut into a parch with the chain saw which pureed it and threw it into my face. A few days later I got a terrible case of poison oak. Now I'm very careful when cutting not to cut into poison oak or any other plants.
 

Backwoods Savage

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2007
27,811
Michigan
Sounds nasty for sure. A tough way to learn a lesson for sure too.
 
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