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Poll 47: Poison Ivy
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Have you ever gotten a rash from an encounter with poison ivy while out geocaching?
Yes
53%
 53%  [ 25 ]
No
44%
 44%  [ 21 ]
Possibly, what's poison ivy look like?
2%
 2%  [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 47

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TazD
Site Admin


Joined: 10 Nov 2007
Posts: 1265
Location: Tazmania

PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:59 pm    Post subject: Poll 47: Poison Ivy Reply with quote

It's that time of year again when poison ivy can be found in abundance. For those of you that have trouble identifying it I have included a picture below so you can see what it looks like. So this week's question is: Have you ever gotten a rash from an encounter with poison ivy while out geocaching?





Last edited by TazD on Thu Jul 15, 2010 1:20 pm; edited 1 time in total
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c-fire



Joined: 10 Sep 2009
Posts: 352

PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I got a little bit of it last year, now I'm much more careful and carry alcohol swabs in my pack. As I understand it, everyone has a certain tolerance level(and the level varies for each person) for the oil from the plant, but once that tolerance level has been reached, you'll always get the rash if contact is made. Since I grew up on a farm, I reached that tolerance level a long time ago. Sigh.
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AvonPaintball



Joined: 17 May 2010
Posts: 113
Location: Avon, NY

PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always have it in the summer... Always.
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chilehead



Joined: 07 Nov 2007
Posts: 1297
Location: Fairport, NY

PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think I've ever gotten it. I know I've been through it, and I typically don't worry about exposure too much because I seem immune. But I hear that doesn't last, so some day I'm going to blow up with a rash when I finally do get it.
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TazD
Site Admin


Joined: 10 Nov 2007
Posts: 1265
Location: Tazmania

PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've definitely gotten poison ivy while out caching. In fact, one of my earlier hides was located right on a poison ivy plant. What a newb! Embarassed It was winter when I hid it and didn't recognize it for what it was. I'm much better at recognizing it now, even in it's winter form.
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sno_man



Joined: 04 May 2009
Posts: 1363
Location: West of Rochester

PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm very sensitive, and have gotten rashes at least once a year from poison ivy. In fact, the worst one for me last year was from multiple trips to find WP2 of SOMEBODY's "Salmon Creek Walk" cache. I'm not sure exactly where my tolerance level is, but I have become very vigilant about looking for it before looking for the cache. I've taught both of my boys to identify it too so hopefully they will learn to avoid it.
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FoggyNite



Joined: 14 Sep 2008
Posts: 45
Location: West Henrietta

PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I went 50 years with no problem. Growing up on a farm and being outdoors as much as I am I know I was exposed a lot. Then all of the sudden (while out caching) I had a reaction and now I have to be careful. Not sure if I just developed a sensativity or reached my saturation point of exposure but I much prefer the way I was.
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J-Dog



Joined: 10 Nov 2007
Posts: 311

PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

IF any of you have trouble identifying poison ivy, i can give lessons. I'm an expert identifier. Just ask Taz! Embarassed

I never had a problem with poison ivy. I could walk through it without an issue. Then all of the sudden, i started having very bad reactions to it. I HATE poison ivy!

Interesting story: My grandfather got poison ivy really bad when he was a 16 year old youngster on his dairy farm. He was miserable. In fact, he was hospitalized. The doctors couldnt do anything for him. After he was discharged from the hospital, he went to see a local "medicine man" who was part of a local native american tribe. The medicine man advised him to eat two leaves of the poison ivy to clear his system and to do so every spring in order to avoid another bout of infection. Grandpa was so desperate at that point that he actually did it! And every year of his life from that point forward, he always ate two leaves of poison ivy. He swore by it.

--J-Dog
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Blue_stone



Joined: 19 Nov 2007
Posts: 206
Location: Where ever I happen to be sitting

PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I definately have had issues with PI. Since I was a kid, I would get it 3 or 4 times a year, usually taking a month or two to get over each exposure. I would get it so bad, that it looked like raw, 3rd degree burns. Its actually left scars that have lasted several years.

They say that people who havent had issues with it can develop more severe reactions with age and continued exposure. I have also heard of examples where people who have HAD issues with it, get less severe reaction as they age. This seems to be true in my case.
The last couple of years, when I get it, I usually just get small blisters, instead of the huge, leaky blisters and raw wounds.

In addition to the usual pictures of the small leaves and plants that grow close to the ground, be aware that PI also loves to grow up on trees. These are usually vines that grow tightly to tree trunks, and look very hairy. They can grow right up the entire length of the tree. I've seen leaves on these vines that are the size of footballs. It can be very deceptive, as the leaves usually only grow out from the vines high up, overhead, and can be so full, that the tree it grows on can actually be dead, and the PI leaves fool you into thinking its the tree that is leafed out. I've seen PI vines growing on trees that can be anywhere from 1" to several inches thick. Its very easy to grab them thinking they are just part of the tree trunk. These vines and hairs are just as bad, if not worse than touching the leaves themselves, then wiping sweat off your brow, or even answering natures call can lead to nasty outbreaks. And yes, trust me, I have had this type of exposure having gotten PI in the worst places on your body you can imagine. Wink
Luckily these most sensitive spots seem to be the quickest to heal.



As far as prevention, I've found a product called Tecnu, sold at WalMart, that seems to help alot. There are a couple other similar products that work the same. As far as treatment AFTER the rash, I've found Calagel, also by the makers of Tecnu, works wonders for me.

The best way to head off an outbreak is not only to be observant, but to use apply a product like Tecnu as soon as coming out of the woods, possibly changing clothes as weel, so you dont get any on your car seats, and then taking a COOL shower, NOT hot or warm shower as soon as you get home. Hot/warm water opens your pores, which allows the PI oils to get into the skin. Tecnu can also be used in the laundry, to "disinfect" your caching clothes.





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dakboy



Joined: 24 Sep 2008
Posts: 533
Location: Cdga

PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never had a reaction to it. Whether I've been incredibly lucky, or I actually don't react to it, I don't really know - I know that I've come in contact with it a few times, at least my clothes & my hair. But it can be transferred from clothes to skin.

I'm not about to intentionally rub my arm with a leaf just to find out what my status is.
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sno_man



Joined: 04 May 2009
Posts: 1363
Location: West of Rochester

PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Be aware also that different varieties of poison ivy can look quite different in appearance. Most everything I have seen around here looks like what is in the pictures. However, in Maine the plants I have seen have smaller, thicker, and darker green leaves, and the plants themselves look more like bushes.
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HaleStorm



Joined: 14 Nov 2007
Posts: 164
Location: Greece NY

PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The last a remember, I had counted seven cases of rashes due to PI last year. Most came during the AYTE series (thanks Taz). All of my cases were mild due to learning how to spot it and treat it better.
Each of the years before that, I had a few severe cases that stayed with me for long periods.
I'm hoping that I can continue to keep the rashes mild. My main course of action is to wash my hands and arms very well whenever I stop for lunches while out caching, and when I get home after any possible exposure, I always use Tecnu Extreme and shower right away.
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tber1981



Joined: 25 Oct 2009
Posts: 257
Location: Palmyra, NY

PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got it for the first time this summer, at Captain Jon's Canal Side and Nascar Cache. I wasn't really paying attention until I was in the middle of it. Oops.
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MacCrew



Joined: 10 Nov 2007
Posts: 281
Location: Penfield, NY

PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember getting it as a kid, but never as an adult, even though I have been told a few times by fellow cachers I had my hands right in the thick of it. As Chile said though, I hear the more you are exposed, the more likely to get it, so one of these days my luck is going to wear out!
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howieandjan



Joined: 12 Apr 2008
Posts: 164
Location: Leicester NY

PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Howie-never although he lives in fear of it.

Jan- at least once per year, EVERY year. The worst case yet was when I stuck my face in some at a Taz cache!

Jan
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