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Poison Oak.
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K ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Poison Oak. on 08/02/2010 15:15:13 MDT Print View

I get that it's an allergic reaction, some people more susceptible than others.I am quite allergic to it. I read over and over that the more you get exposed, the more likely you will react to it, even if originally, seemingly immune. I also know 2 older people who now work in it all the time and barely react to it, compared to when they were younger and only occasionally exposed to it. I have done all the reading, do all the protective clothing, washing and all that. I now have to work in it, daily. I have been for a week, trying to limit it to 2 hours at a time ( with full on gear) before I take everything off and shower with Zanfel and all that. I have a few rashes, but not as raw and irritated as I have had in the past, probably due to all the measures I am taking. I am hoping to hear of others, who have had a decrease in reaction to it. I am weed whacking it, machete"ing" it, piling it with a pitch fork, pushing the piles with a tractor and so forth. Any hope or will I go broke with all the gear, soaps and ridiculous amounts of laundry?

Jennifer W
(tothetrail) - MLife

Locale: So. Cal.
Re: Poison Oak. on 08/02/2010 15:43:25 MDT Print View

I have had the rash probably six times. As a kid, I had a severe reaction, including huge circles of seeping clumps. The first time was the worst. The second time it was a little less severe, but still really bad. I was at the point of promising God that as soon as I was better, I would pray and be thankful every day that I didn't have poison oak.

Over the years it does seem to have gotten less severe. The last time it was just one seeping clump on my arm.

Now, I really can't say if it is because I have become less allergic, more cognizant of avoiding it, smarter about prevention and clean-up, or just lucky.

I recently learned that the original Windex, the stuff with the ammonia, works great in removing the oil.

Just last year, we were finishing Heaps Canyon in Zion and the ropes, all the gear, and all of us were dragged through a bunch of poison oak at Emerald Pools. We stopped at the store and bought all the Windex they had. Everything was doused with the Windex and everyone washed down with it.

No one got the reaction that week and no one got anything from the ropes or gear later.

I became a believer in the Windex after that. Also, it's much cheaper than the other "Poison Oak" products.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: Re: Poison Oak. on 08/02/2010 18:13:27 MDT Print View

Interesting tip on poison oak, the Windex that is.

I understand for most folks that the more exposure over time one gets to PO, the more severe the reaction.

However, I've also read that there are those whose bodies somehow adapt. The article I read was about some woodworkers who worked with wood containing urushiol (the irritant in PO). The guys either had serious problems and quit -- or they adapted and were able to work with urushiol laced sawdust in the air.


Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: NoCo
Re: Re: Re: Poison Oak. on 08/02/2010 18:37:26 MDT Print View

Get a goat to eat it. I am mildly allergic but a coworker...gets it bad. He helped me clear a little bit of it and broke out bad even in areas that were well covered. He use to get it bad as a kid but had hoped to be better now. No such luck. Still very allergic!

Adan Lopez
(Lopez) - F

Locale: San Gabriel Valley
Poison Oak on 08/02/2010 18:46:59 MDT Print View

I remember as a youngster, trying to open my eyes, peeling the dried layers of yellow stuff off my eyelids. The only remedy my parents knew of at the time was lemon juice, my arms and legs had to be restrained when applying it.

Technu has been working well for me now for years but it's expensive. I'll give windex a try next time.

I feel for you Kat, I hope you find a solution.

John Nausieda
(Meander) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Poison Oak on 08/02/2010 18:56:18 MDT Print View

Technu is indeed glorious and worth every penny. These are auto-immune responses and they usually get more severe upon repeated exposure. I get it in response to Deadly Nightshade, common in the NW. My wife had a similar reaction and developed hives. Don't mess around Technu at least gets the oils off of you.They make a pretreatment as well if you expect exposure. I use it when I even suspect exposure. Wear long sleeves etc. Isolate your laundry from other loads. Over the years I used to shrug off exposure . That was a major mistake. I can feel an exposure within 5 minutes now.

Kier Selinsky
(Kieran) - F

Locale: Seattle, WA
Re: Poison Oak on 08/02/2010 20:43:52 MDT Print View

I haven't ever had a reaction, so I can't testify to this, but some I've known use Dawn dish soap and cold water. Cold water to close your pores, dish soap because it's engineered to break down and encapsulate oils, and Dawn because it's gentle on your skin. take it FWIW

K ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
tips on 08/03/2010 06:57:20 MDT Print View

Thanks for the tips. I am particularly interested in the pretreatment. Woke up this morning with quite an extensive rash on arms and legs ( skipped the Tyvek suit). I am going to try sticking to " cooling" foods and avoiding high caloric and heat inducing foods and see if the rashes subside a bit, or at least become less of an irritant. Thanks again BPL folks.

Edited by Kat_P on 08/03/2010 06:58:17 MDT.

Ike Mouser
(isaac.mouser) - F
poison ivy on 08/03/2010 11:01:32 MDT Print View

I get it all the time, i just ignore it. I would not recommend getting immune system steoird shots, they cause massive damage to bones in the long run. You could ed up with bone transplants. Just let it be, get some caladryl at kroger, works good without damaging your body. My main concern is getting it on my gear, thats why i never sleep in my pants in my hammock.