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Be Careful of Poison Ivy, Poison Oak and Poison Sumac!

| 4/29/2013 9:31:14 PM

Often in gardening and working around the yard or farm I come into contact with poisonous plants. Coming into contact with poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac can cause serious problems. It can cause serious skin rashes with intense itching that can easily spread on your body and to others. Some people say that it is not contagious, but I do not believe it because I had it once and my husband contracted it from me without ever coming into contact with the poisonous plants. I guess it may depend on how sensitive of an allergic reaction you have to these plants. Once having the rash it can last from 1 week to 6 weeks.

The first step to avoid coming into contact with these poisonous plants is being able to identify these plants. I have photographed these plants around my farm. Look carefully at the photos below.

Poison Ivy 

Poison Ivy 

Poison Oak 

Poison Oak 

4/30/2014 2:49:44 PM

I find calamine lotion to be very helpful, but messy.

4/25/2014 4:50:56 PM

Great informational article. All the precautions are wonderful. Last year there were multiple forest fires throughout Oregon and the drifting smoke was extreme and drifted for miles. People were developing rashes on exposed parts of their bodies and did not know why. Respiratory problems were a plague. The people were advised to wear masks that were designed to block out vapor particles, not the simple masks that are commonly worn in exam rooms or hospitals. Some facilities were handing out the required masks as a courtesy to the public. The people that were too vain to wear the masks had severe breathing problems and respiratory infections due to the smoke and the poisonous oils in the air. I am experiencing my first outbreak for this year and I am always looking for additional advise. Washing in cold water does not allow the skin pores to open as much and therefore helps to prevent the absorption of the rash causing oil. Washing as soon as possible after exposure is important. It can help to decrease the severity of the rash. If a rash does become present use the products that are recommended in this article. Keep the rash dry and if the rash is extreme then visit a doctor. Secondary infections are common and require additional care.

5/1/2013 12:54:05 AM

TPW, I am one of those extremely lucky people that has a natural immunity of poison ivy. In fact one time I was pulling off the ivy from a tree in my back yard when a neighbor came over and informed me that it was poison ivy. I finished up the job of cleaning it up figuring it was to too late any way. When nothing became of it, I didn't think much about it until my wife washed my clothes. It turned out she was highly sensitive to poison ivy and contracted it from touching the clothes as she put them in the washer. I never lived that one down for quite awhile. Have a great poison ivy/oak/sumac free garden day.

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