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"Leaves of three, let it be"
"Berries white, run in fright"
"Hairy vine, no friend of mine"

These rhymes remind us of how to spot Poison Ivy and Poison Oak.

A rash forms within 24 to 72 hours of contact, depending on where the plant touched you. It usually peaks within a week, but can last as long as 3 weeks.

At Poison Ivy Immunology | bio.umass.edu they say,
  "The poison ivy plant and its relatives are common throughout the United States. Poison ivy leaves are coated with a mixture of chemicals called urushiol. When people get urushiol on their skin, it causes an allergic contact dermatitis.
It is found in in all parts of poison ivy, oak and sumac plants whether dead, dormant or thriving.

This is a T cell-mediated immune response, also called delayed hypersensitivity, in which the body's immune system recognizes as foreign, and attacks, the complex of urushiol-derivatives with skin proteins. The irony is that urushiol, in the absence of the immune attack, would be harmless. The most common treatment for severe contact dermatitis is with corticosteroids, which diminish the immune attack and resulting inflammation. A recent recommendation for mild cases is to use manganese sulfate solution to reduce the itching. Jewel weed is also recommended."

The best prevention is to use gloves and protective clothing.

Every part of a poison ivy plant, from the stem to the vine to the leaves, is poisonous - even after the plant is dead.

Do not burn poison ivy. The smoke can contain some of the oil which can irritate your respiratory system.

You can apply a lotion that contains bentoquatam such as IvyX which will protect you.

You can wash the oil off; According to some sources you need to do it in 10-15 minutes, but I've waited longer and it seemed to work.
Tecnu Extreme Poison Ivy Scrub and Original Outdoor Skin Cleanser, says you can wait 2-8 hours.
Cortaid Poison Ivy Care Treatment Kit ($30) contains a scrub to remove oil and spray to dry out the rash and reduce itching.

There are special products, Tecnu soap it the best known. Zanfel is another. Octagon and Dr. Bronner's soap are also recommended

Cost-effective post-exposure prevention of poison ivy dermatitis. - PubMed - NCBI.nlm.nih.gov says,
"Our study showed 70%, 61.8%, and 56. 4% protection with Tecnu, Goop, and Dial, respectively, when compared to the positive control, or to the possible maximum response, with a cost per ounce (in a local drug and automotive store) of $1.25, $0.07, and $0.07, respectively, for a decrease in protection that is nonsignificant."

You can also:
1. Wash the contact areas with lots of cool water.
2. Wipe the skin with rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol.

Post-rash treatments:

If it is bad enough you can get a secondary bacterial infection which requires antibiotics.

Prednisone can be prescribed. Prednisone belongs to a class of drugs known as corticosteroids. It decreases your immune system's response to various diseases to reduce symptoms such as swelling and allergic-type reactions.

If the blisters break and ooze, the fluid does not contain the oil that causes spreading.

Cortaid Poison Ivy Care Treatment Kit ($30) contains a scrub to remove oil and spray to dry out the rash and reduce itching.

Calahist Lotion With Pramoxine Topical will relieve itching. $5 at Wallgreens.

Spray or bath with comfrey leaf and plantain leaf tea.

A compress with a washcloth soaked in milk.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Try Palmolive dish soap (the green soap) diluted in hot water. Regular hand soap doesn't work, it often just spreads PI oil around.

Aloe Vera
Fels-Naptha bar soap

Cleaning tools
How can I clean yard equipment that has come into contact with poison ivy? - Gardening & Landscaping Stack Exchange comments:
- All you'll need is laundry detergent and a cheap scrub-brush you can toss at the end of it and your garden hose, no power wash needed, and wear some disposable dish gloves, too.
Tecnu soap label, says you can use it to wash clothes and tools also.
They say to soak clothes in a bucket with a tecnu mixture for several hours then launder them by themselves.
Do not burn it. There are stories of swollen bronchial tubes requiring hospitalization from breathing the smoke.

Poison Ivy and Oak Guide, How does poison ivy work | Tec Labs
At Poison Ivy Immunology | bio.umass.edu
Treating Exposure to Poison Oak and Ivy | International Mountain Bicycling Association
Obnoxious Plants--Poison Ivy and Nettles | NCnatural.com
Urushiol-induced contact dermatitis - Wikipedia
Treating Exposure to Poison Oak and Ivy | International Mountain Bicycling Association
MaryJanesFarm Farmgirl Connection - Dr. Bronners Peppermint soap for poison ivy! | MaryJanesFarm.org
Homeopathy and Home Remedies for Poison Ivy
Octagon Soap
Poison Ivy Remedies | EarthClinic.com
29 Tested Home Remedies for Poison Ivy - Home Remedies - Natural & Herbal Cures Made at HomeHome Remedies - Natural & Herbal Cures Made at Home | HomeRemedyShop.com

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last updated 15 July 2017