August 26, 2013

Poison Ivy

One thing to watch out when your weeding your garden is Poison Ivy. I encountered this issue last week when I working on doing a massive yard cleaning.

As Rush Limbaugh would say "For those of you in Rio Linda..."

Toxicodendron radicans, commonly known as poison ivy, is a highly poisonous North American plant that is well known for its production of urushiol, a clear liquid compound found within the sap of the plant that causes an itching, irritation and sometimes painful rash in most people who touch it. (I have heard that some people are known to get irritation when the wind blows through poison ivy.)

I wore some heavy leather gloves when I was pulling out weeds, as many of the weeds were thorn bushes. I believe that I got contact with the Poison Ivy when I was putting the weeds into the paper bags. I didn't notice any redness on my arms till about 24 hours later. I don't know exactly where I got in contact with the Poison Ivy.

My reaction to Poison Ivy peak about 3 days later. I did take Benadryl ( Diphenhydramine ) and used some anti-inching lotion to help calm the inching. Some of it worked as I wasn't inching all that much. About 5 days later the palm of my hands started to have big bubbles and at some point they popped. It was at this point that I noticed that my reaction to Poison Ivy was going away or very much diminished.

I was told that the best way to get rid of Poison Ivy is to use Roundup. As pulling up the root of the plants isn't always 100% effective. However, in order to do this, you need to know where the plants are. Anything with three shining leaves is a good clue, but unfortunately that isn't always a Poison Ivy plant.

My two lessons from this:

  • When treated poison ivy will last about a week. Probably less if using prescription medicine.
  • Wearing heavy gloves is not enough to protect from poison ivy, make sure to also wear long sleeve and wash all clothes immediately after any exposure.


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