Note: This page is not an advertisement for any particular product and all opinions contained here are solely those of the individual contributor. We really need your help in answering some of these questions!
BlistersI hope you can give me some answers. I recently was on a camping trip where we were going through some tall grasses and at least 5 of our party developed blisters about 2 days later. These blisters are different in that none of us itched. Blisters did get pretty large in some and the contents was clear liquid. No pus. I do recall seeing some very tall, sparsely leaved nettles and assume that this may have done it, but I (and the others) have been through nettles before without these caustic effects. It is now a week after the event and some blisters are still filling but most are broken, flat, with drying skin and tender. No infection. Any clue? We were in upper Iowa (Dorchester) and were running trail along a stream through tall vegetation.
--Catherine Tobsing ([email protected]) submitted Jul/10/1999
Editor note: Check out the following link to see if you can find the answer listed there.
Comments: The lady who wrote regarding the non itching blisters forming probably ran through poison parsnip. Its reaction is blisters with clear liquid and comes from a tall weed with delicate yellow tops. It is very prevalent in the farm country of northwestern Illinois where my husband is from. ... Cindy ([email protected]) Jul/15/1999
Final Response: Hello there, Yes indeed the culpret was Wild Parsnip. I kept net surfing and found a lot of information on the plant. Thank you SO much for further confirming this. I do remember walking through a stand of this plant during our hike. I recall wondering what it was since it looked so much like Queen Anne's Lace and Wild Carrot.
What to expect with poison sumacMy 73 year old mother and I are covered just with bumps (less than a whelp) on our arms, back, and legs after pulling up weeds and vines from my yard. Nothing had 3 leaves, so we thought nothing was poison ivy or oak, but we are now wondering about poison sumac, its treatment, and what to expect in the days to come. I thought blisters would occur. Is this yet to come? Then what do we do?
-- Diana ([email protected]) submitted Jul/10/1999
Editor note: Check out the following link to see if you can find the answer listed there.
Help with IdentificationI live in a city in SW lower Michigan with a small backyard. However, twice in the past month I've had rashes from poison ivy after pulling weeds. I'm not certain what is causing the rash. I've attached 3 pictures from my yard and would be grateful if you could help. The one called small is just the one sample in my yard and I don't remember pulling any up, but this looks like what the books say about poison ivy. The one called 5leaf is a vine growing quite well and I know I pulled some of it up. The one called vine is smaller than the other and has smooth edged leaves. Thanks for any help you can give.
Virginia Creeper1 ... Wild Raspberry2 ... mystery picture 3
-- Liz Fredrickson ([email protected]) submitted Jul/17/1999
Editor note: I believe the first is virigina creeper, the second is wild raspberry if you see thorns on the stem otherwise, it may be poison ivy. No idea what the other is yet.
Editor note: Liz confirmed that the second picture does have thorns. I have started to label the pictures with the correct titles. Anyone know what that third picture is?
For the second time in 6 months I am suffering from a poison ivy type
of rash. Both times I picked it up from doing yard work around our house in
southeastern PA. The big mystery however is that the suspected plants in both
cases had thorns on them. Is there a poisonous type of plant that looks very
similar to a rose vine? I have not seen any plants that fit the descriptions
of poison ivy, oak or sumac in our yard, so I am not sure where I got this from
or what exactly it is. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Is there a type of poison vine that has 5 leaves? What I think is poison
in my yard has 5 leaves. Maybe I am looking at the wrong vine as poison.
Anita (Fay) Stewart
Camp Lejeune, N. C. 28547
Can you help me? I have a plant out back that I think might be poison
ivy. However, the stems have little thorns on them and there doesn't
appear to be any fruit but it may be too early. It is a light green,
though, and definitely not reddish. It has clusters of 3 pointed leaves
(not smooth or glossy but with "down" on them) and the middle leaf is
longer than the other two. It has rhizomes. I definitely have poison
ivy back in that area (which I can prove by the oozing sores on my arms)
but I'm not sure if it's this plant since it doesn't seem to meet all
the standard descriptions. Obviously, I would rather not take the
conclusive "touch" test to confirm whether it is or not.
I need some help.
Three years ago I got poison oak REALLY BAD and I was at a few different
places that particular week so I could not pin point where I would have
had contacted it. One of the places I was at was a lot that I inherited
and we were clearing it from brush and small grass with a weed wacker but
when I was little I played all over that acres and NEVER got poison oak.
Today was the first time since then we went back to the lot and for some
reason I cannot get it out of my mind and I have been reading & trying to
find pictures of poison oak/ivy & sumac and I do remember clearing little
shrubs with white berries and there are lots of small tough low creeping
shrubs that look similar to "pot" leaves buth in stead of five there are
more petals, kind of like a fern. Would that be poison sumac? Is there a
book with pictures identifying these plants available?
What if the lot is covered with these plants, how do i get rid of them?
I heard that I could dig up the plant and it could be dead for years and
you could still catch it, is that true?
I was told I have a poison Sumac plant in my back yard. I
cannot find any large clear photos of this plant and was wondering if I
could send you a picture of the plant in my back yard. Then you could tell
me if it is Sumac and what to do about it. The plant is about 7 feet tall
and is growing out of old fermenting grass clippings.
I have been doing yard work in my backyard in Iowa, a few days after I pulled
I got a rash on the tops of my hands and feet and on my arms to my elbows.
I think I know what poison ivy/oak looks like and did not see any when I was
pulling weeds, However I am not quite sure what it loooks like when it first
starts coming up.
There was these vines that were shooting straight up that had red stems and a
milky middle like a milkweed has, I was wondering if poison Ivy had a milky
middle coming from them. If you know... please let me know.
I have an unusual looking "tree" in my yard- it seems to have leaves in
groups of 3. the "tree" is approximately 30' tall. last week I trimmed it and
discarded all the brush by hand, then a day later broke out with with what
seemed to be an ivy rash. is it possible for poison ivy to grow into a tree
this size? i have only lived in the house for just under a year and live
in northwestern ohio. thank you for any info you can provide me with.
My question is "How do you know which type of poison you have if don't know
where you contacted it. I live in Pa. and get poison every year of some kind.
The last couple of years I had lines of poison and this year I have blisters
with clear fluid in them. Just wondering what kind of poison I have now. We
have all three in our area. Thank you!
ZanfelDoes anybody know if Zanfel really works? Or what it is? Their info email address returned the url of their online Q&A page, and their 1800 number is voice mail. I did read the review on your site but it is the same as one of the reviews on their site. I have yet to see anything on the web that individually supports their claims.
--R. James MacQuarrie ([email protected]) submitted Jul/19/1999
Editor note: It worked for me in 15 seconds on an 8 day old case of poison ivy that was getting worse. Here is a reference of my post on usenet which details my experience.
Where can I buy zanfel?
I just want to add that Zanfel does not work for everyone. I have a
confirmed case of poison ivy and ordered Zanfel based on what I read here.
It has had no effect on my poison ivy. I have talked with the people at
Zanfel and am using it correctly. People may want to note that Zanfel does
not come with a money back guarantee. From what I have read it
sounds like Zanfel works for some people but for me it did absolutely
nothing and I am out quite a bit of money.
Hello my name is Jason and I always get poison ivyI have gotten poisen ivy probably 15 times in my life and i was wondering how long does it last usually, how does it spread and how do i get rid of it?
-- Jason ([email protected]) submitted Jul/19/1999
Editor note: Here is a brain dump really quickly. The following web pages answer this in much greater detail.
faq ... cures ... fast facts
Generally, it lasts about 2 weeks. It spreads because you have urushiol oil on various parts of your body. Where you have a higher concentration of this oil, it will tend to show up first and be more severe. Possible ways to get rid of it depend on if the oil has bonded to your skin. The oil can bond as quickly as 15 min. After it bonds, there is very little that can be done other than a new product called 'Zanfel' which can still wash away the oil or use prescription products that attempt to supress the body's immune system and block the T-cell receptors from over reacting ... if the oil hasn't fully bonded yet... try rubbing alcohol, water, tecnu or other remedies listed as the oil can be washed away before it bonds. You are just trying to remove the oil from the skin. The more oil you remove the less severe the reaction usually is. If you begin to itch, you can try some of the remedies listed in the cures web page above which should help. This was hard to explain quickly. Perhaps we can get help from some others too.
Response: Thanks for all your help on your website, my rash is almost completetly gone. Thanks again. Sincerely, "J"
I have a very bad case of poison ivy it has gone to my face causing swelling
in my eyes and i caan not stop itching I tryed over the counter cremes and
a shot and and a type of pretesone pills but it is stilll bothering me I
worked in a greenhouse I sweated a lot also where ever my skin contacts my
clothes it is very iritating please caan you give me any suggestiions
irritated with mother nature
Hi, My name is Brett Hagmann. I am a 14 year old boy who loves the woods,
nature, lakes, and all of that cool stuff. The only problem is that I am
badly allergic to poison ivy. I get the serious part of it. Even if I
barley touch it I get it. Is there a way where I cannot get it any more?
Can you tell me any information that would do me well.
Household mixtures to kill poison ivy plantsCan you tell me are there mixtures to make at home that will kill poison ivy plants? I thought I saw one on TV that contained household ammonia and some other ingredients?
-- Jeff ([email protected]) submitted Jul/26/1999
Can you tell me how to get rid of poison ivy forever so that it won't come back.Thank you
-- A.D. Griffin ([email protected]) submitted Apr/25/2000
Editor note: Here is one I found. Mix 3 pounds salt with 1 Gallon soapy water; spray the solution on the plant's leaves and stems. Also, have you tried the meta search I wrote on poisonivy.aesir.com to see if that can shed some light. Also, I have a few resources listed for controlling the plant listed on:
http://poisonivy.aesir.com/control.html and http://poisonivy.aesir.com/
I have used a combination of roundup and letting nature choke the plant (ie. wild rose) myself.
Response: Yes thanks I did at: MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION find that "Glyphosate" will kill it. It I guess is the active ingredient in systemic killers. I wonder if it can be bought "over the counter" instead of in "round-up", etc.
-- Jeff ([email protected]) submitted Jul/27/1999
How can I get rid of it for good?
Every year I go fishing and dont even enter the woods and I still get it.
I have had it pretty much every summer since I was 7. So if you have any good
tips email me. Thanks !!!
How do you safely remove the plants from your home? I just found
many of these plants in some landscaping of mine right in front of my
house. I have two small children to worry about and I want to remove
these as quickly and safely as possible and make sure they don't come
back, any suggestions?
We need to find a sure-fire way to get rid of the plants once and for
all. My mother-in-law has it all over her creek bank and it's starting
to infiltrate her flower bed. When is the best time of year to get rid
of them and how do you do it permanently? Please respond a.s.a.p.
Need to know of a product that will kill the ivy, but not harm the plants
around the ivy. It is growing at my house foundation in a flower bed on the
North side of my house. Am very allergic to it and want it gone.
My son also has a problem with it. Any info would be of help.
Get rid of poison ivy on faceHow do you get rid of poison ivy that is on your face help i am suffering?
-- anonymous ([email protected]) submitted Jul/28/1999
Editor note: Check out the following cures. Be very careful of any of the petroleum products around the eyes and mouth. Also, I have heard from a Zanfel user that he used it on his eyelid and worked.
Editor note 2: There have been more cases of Zanfel being effective for the face. Please click here to see the pictures testimonials at different time intervals.
Very bad case of poison sumac???I am a 41 y/o female who may have contracted poisin sumac last week. I went to my physician on 8/1, and she sent me to a dermatologist on 8/2. I am not happy with his diagnosis/treatment, and the only dermatologist I really have confidence in unfortunately just moved out of the Madison, WI area last month.
I contracted poison sumac approx. a week ago, according to my best judgment. At first I thought it was spider bites because of the terrible itching. After a few days it started showing up as small spots along my arms, legs, trunk, eyes, neck, etc. After the weekend, I visited my doctor wherein she took a few biopsies from the eruptions to rule out gluten intolerance (dermatitis herpetiformis) due to other symptoms that I have had with my bowels for the past several years. Yesterday (the day after the first doctor visit, I called her and told her that I had several more erruptions which mainly seemed to be 15-20 spots anywhere in a 4" area.
She immediately called me in for a blood test (I can't remember the name of the test). We're both pretty sure that I do not have dermatitis herpetiformis, however, she immediately sent me to a dermatologist, as the spots started on my lower leg being a 1x2" leather-type lesions with small spots around it. I have a few other1-2" areas on the left side of my body which are similar. I also have a swollen eye, and since the first visit, I've had areas as large as 3-4" with red spots and are now covering about 50% of my skin. These spots weep, but are not puss-like. Every day, it seems that I get more spots. The dermatologist thought I had poison ivy and explained that the 1" line along the 4 larger spots confirmed that. I was not happy with his diagnosis, as I felt the red lines were clearly from itching the areas, not the trail that poisin ivy initially leaves. No other areas (50+) have any type of lines associated with them. The dermatologist put me on a prednisone-type meds. accompanied by topical corticosteroid. He also suggested that I bathe with Aveeno. I am not a bather, so after my shower with dial soap, I made a loose paste of oatmeal, and just sat in front of the television for an hour 3x today while the oatmeal could take effect. After the last soaking, I applied the corticosteroid followed by a Aloe Vera based lotion combined with 100% Aloe Vera (50/50 mixture). My skin still feels very moist and I'm not sure if it should be moist or dry if I do in fact may have poison sumac (I talked to city workers who mow this area and they assured me that there is quite a bit of poison sumac in this area, however, they have not found poison ivy in this area).
I have been surfing the net tonight wondering what others have been doing. The most popular remedy seems to be jewelweed (I don't know if it is available in this area-near Madison, WI). I've also heard of people using Rhuli, rubbing alcohol, bleach....?, caladryl (which does not work for me), and zanfel. The dermatologist gave me a sample of Sarna (which is a combination menthol and camphor). I live in a rinky-dink town, which wouldn't carry this meds., and I am wondering if this is the preferred method, what can I do?
I've been suffering from this for a week, and really am anxious to get some type of relief. Also, I take Luvox 1/day (antidepressant), Zyrtec BID(antihistamine), Progesterol PRN, vitamins, calcium, and Xanax PRN (antianxiety). I have been told that Xanax has an antihistamine in it and it actually has an effect on the nerve endings which may help my itching. My dermatologist suggested that I increase my Xanax from .5mg PRN to 1mg HS. My psychiatrist originally prescribed it as 1mg QID. I'm also wondering if my children should be using the towels that I have been using, and if I should be changing my sheets daily (do I wash them in bleach, or just dry bleach with super hot water.
I am a chronic itcher, and my sisters and I have been chronic itchers for several years. When I was little, my mother used to make me wear mittens to bed so that I wouldn't scratch my mosquito bites into sores. I still do it, however, when I have alot of bites, I take Xanax figuring it's just giving me a good night's sleep (as a 41-year old, I'd rather take Xanax, than wear mittens, if you know what I mean). I also find it helpful (beyond several other things I've tried) to take a bar of Dial soap and wet it and rub it over the affected areas. Any merit to this? I've been doing it successfully for 4-5 years, and just heard something to the same effect on T.V. last week.
Also, since I have been a chronic itcher since childhood, is there anyway to rid myself of the many scars I have accumulated? I've tried pumicing them out, but if it's a bit humid out, I end up with sores on top of scars.
Someday, I hope to have nice skin, however, my BIGGEST problem is the possibility that I have poison sumac. I can't stand it any longer. I am recently divorced and cannot afford the expensive meds. that my dermatologist has suggested, which is why I have used oatmeal soaks and aloe vera instead of Aveeno and Sarna.
Please help, I'm desperate and (at this point) have very UGLY red raised terribly itchy skin with alot of bumps. Being that we had heat last week (indices of 115 degrees), it's hard to wear long pants all of the time.... I also LOVE gardening, and can only stay in the house for a short period of time (winter is on the way...) Thank you so much for your help and generosity. I hope I haven't given you too much to ponder over, but as long as I felt it was necessary to write about the poison sumac, I felt it best to "spill the beans" about my scars. God Bless, and thank you in advance. Deb
-- Deb ([email protected]) submitted Aug/5/1999
What does the plant look like???I really don't know what my enemy looks like, if i did, a real all out war will commence, i will immediatly locate a good herbicide and start eliminating this creature from my path. please send me a bmp or jpg of poison ivy, oak, sumac, and whatever you have time to send, no one else has them.
-- Chris ([email protected]) submitted Aug/23/1999
Editor note: Check out the following and look for the section How do I identify the plants
Anyone know other types of very itchyI got poison ivy about two weeks ago and had nasty patches on my legs accompanied by swelling, etc. A few days ago I started breaking out in hives on my arms and ears. It's very itchy but not poison ivy blisters. I always get poison ivy at least once a year and I've never had this happen. It may be a reaction to something else but I was wondering if you've ever heard of this happening to anyone else.
-- Cynthia Campbell ([email protected]) submitted Sep/4/1999
Poison Ivy that won't go awayI have a question for anyone who can answer, but first allow me to set up my situation. I got poison ivy for the first time 4 weeks ago. The inside of my right leg had this golf ball size sore and I had a red ring around my leg.(this was on a Sunday) My friend scrapped over the sore to get what we thought was an infection out and it oozed continuously for the next 4 days. On Monday, I went to a Medical Care Center and was misdiagnosed with Cellulitis.(I was out of town) Tuesday morning, it was on my other leg and my thigh so I went to my doctor in which case he said, poison ivy. Monday I was put on antibiotics and silvadene, then on Tuesday I was kept on antibiotics and then prednisone. My leg is looking much betters and has not itched in a week. This past Friday which makes it four weeks, my chest and stomach and neck have a rash, although not as severe. My question is, is this normal? I am itching to death, just when I thought it was over, now my upper body is afflicted with it. I was going to order some of that product that everyone raves about, but I'm assuming that this is systemic by now. I have now saught homeopathic help and am taking aloe juice, golden seal, vit c, red clover, and COq10. I would appreciate any advice or hints you or anyone else could give to me. I am ready for this to be over. Thank you in advance and have a wonderful evening.
-- Andrea ([email protected]) submitted Oct/10/1999
Editor note: It is common for poison ivy rashes to show up later in areas where a smaller amount of the oil made contact. In addition, you can receive additional exposure if you have the oil on something such clothing, bed, carpet, pet, etc. Anyone else help here?
Comments: I am an acupuncturist and herbalist in Calif. I have had clients who have contracted mild to very severe cases of poison oak/ivy and have developed a Chinese herbal formula which acts very quickly to control the symptoms and offer relief. I started out with using the dried herbs for my clients and even shipping them. I have since converted to powdered formula and it is just as effective. The most dramatic case involved a female client who cannot even get near it without breaking out severely. I gave her the formula on a Saturday and by the following Tuesday, the scabs were falling off her. She had no itching or irritation, at that point. She has tried steroids and other approaches, but nothing works as quickly and effectively as the Chinese formula. She has to use it several times a year and always keeps some on hand. If there is any interest, please e-mail me at -- ([email protected]) submitted Oct/11/1999
Comments: I was reading your website since I have poison ivy. Anyway, the person that wrote in about "poison ivy that won't go away." Does the red ring go around the sore. It sounds like he has ring worm instead of poison ivy. Yes, ring worm can cause you to have red spots (not rings) on your chest, neck, etc. It is a yeast infection which can spread like that. He might need to find another doctor. -- Pat Turpin([email protected]) submitted Jun/15/2000
Building an Immunity (Imunoak), VaccinesI am 42 years old and have suffered with poison oak all my life. When I was a child I used to take something called *Imunoak* or something to that affect. It really helped me build up an immunity to this nasty skin disorder. I recently got a severe case of Poison Oak by tying my daughters shoe and I had an allergic reaction to the Prednisone that was prescribed to me. I am concerned about not being able to take that in the future since that is the only thing that helped me dry this stuff up. Does anyone know of anything that I can do to build up an immunity again? Once I get it, it spreads all over my body like wildfire !!!!! I will appreciate any and all information anyone has to offer. Thank you
-- Laurie DuBois ([email protected]) submitted Feb/04/2000
I have a co-worker who knows someone that "eats one leaf per year" and they
never get poison ivy. Is this true? Is there any one who has tried this.
About 5 years ago I was giving 2 or 3 shots of a poison ivy vaccine,
The following year it was taking off the market. Does any one know what it
was and why it was taken off? Thank you R.
I have had shots that cured a current case of poison ivy, first series in
the late 40's, again in the mid 50's and finally the last in 62.
These were a series of three shots that were given at about 3 day intervals.
They stopped the current case in abouot 24 hours and made you imune for
about a year. After my last round of this stuff, in 62 I haven't gotten a
case of poison ivy until last week. I have weeded it out with my bare hands.
Do they still make that series of shots? I was told it was an product of
ww2, I remember that the last time I got it, the doctor had a lot of trouble
A number of years ago there used to be products on the market called
"ImunOak" and "ImunIvy". These were drops that were added to water,
increasing the number of drops daily until a given number were reached.
"ImunOak" was given to utility workers and loggers in California as a
preventive measure. "ImunIvy" was sold in drug stores in Indiana. I'm
sure these products were available elsewhere but these two states are
where I became familiar with them. Are you aware of whether these
products are still available? For me they provided 100% protection. I
lived for a number of years where neither poison oak or poison ivy grew
and ceased needing the products. Now I am back in an area where I do
need something. Any information from you would be greatly appreciated.
We would like to know why deer can eat poison oak and not have any reaction
Is Poison Ivy Contagious?I can't seem to get a clear/decisive answer to this question. Is poison ivy contagious from one person to the next. My pre-teen daughter has a bad case of poison ivy and is under a doctor's care. She is to leave the end of this week for a trip w/her grandparents and I don't want them to catch it from her. Some at the doctor's office say it is/some say it isn't contagious from one person to the next. It's my understanding that it's the sap from the plant which causes the irritation and if that's the case, ........the damage has been done.......therefore my daughter has it from having been in contact w/the sap of the plants and since she doesn't any longer have the sap on her person or clothing, it should no longer be contagious, right??????
-- ([email protected]) submitted Apr/25/2000
Editor note: No it is contagious. Once it has bonded it is very difficult to get rid of. Unfortunately, most people tend to leave bits of urushiol oil on furniture, towels, clothing etc, before it bonds to their skin that other people then get.
I get poison ivy almost every spring. i usually go to a
dermatologist, who reinforces what your web site says. but this spring i went to
my primary dr who told me different information. conflicting information. he
told me that scratching could spread it & that the fluid coming out of my
blister was highly contagious. who do i trust?? he also said that even
though the blisters where swollen, hurting & oozing very badly that is wasnt
severe. I think it was the worst case i ever had.
As a youth, I was one of the 15 percent that would suffer sooo severily! My
face would swell up like a pumpkin. My eyes and mouth would become covered
as I slept at night so that in the morning I was unable to open either... for
atleast a week. Every inch of my body would be covered. I was hospitalized
when I was three and every spring I would experience 2 weeks of being bed
ridden. Anyway - my Mother would care for me... and she would always catch
it from me. Her arms would break out in the rash. Every year.... she would
catch it from caring for me. I know my Mother was not out playing in the
woods as I had been. So I believe - you can, perhaps depending upon how
allergic you are to the oil.... catch it from the oozing sores. And also - I
believe you can spread it from scratching. My whole body would be
covered..... my whole body did not come into contact with the plant...
I am so glad you have "real facts" there are so many people who
believe that the fluid in the blisters spread or are contagious.
My husband contacted poison ivy from direct contact with the plant. I had
absolutely no contact with the plant; however he seemed to have spread it to
me. I am now worried that my 11 month old daughter may also get it. We
handle her a lot and I am breastfeeding her. I have the rash near my breasts.
Please let me know if she is likely to get it and if she does what we can do
about it and how serious is it for an 11 month old baby. I noticed a red rash
developing near her eye but no blistering yet.
My husbad came into contact with poison ivy is poison ivy contagious can my
kids or I get poison ivy from my husband and is there any good treatments for
I have heard that poison ivy can be spread from person to person in a pool.
Is this true. If one person with poison ivy is in a pool with several other
people without poison ivy, can it spread through the water.
I have developed a small blister from poison oak...it is isolated to one area
on my ankle I have applied oinments for poison oak. I have also read soaking
in a pool or hot tub with clorinated water is good and then sunning it. My two
questions are: 1) If I soak it in a pool and the blister breaks can it
spread(survive) in the clorinated water and possibly infect others?. 2) the
blister is very uncomfortable can it be drained and cleansed some how, I am
affraid it may rub against something and tear or pop????
Well I myself had never had any of the rashes( knock on wood) I
don't know if it is because I have not been exposed or just not
allergic to it. My 4 year old son on the other hand has just came
back from his dad's & is covered in it. I Just got back from the
hospital with him & 3 prescriptions. He had it on his eye lids
under his eyes in his groin area the crack of his butt & everywhere
else you can imagine. The concern being that it was so close to his
eyes. Needless to say the child did not get bathed right away (not
until the next day) so the oil wasn't washed off. I Hope that these
meds work. We have heard of the bleach thing but after reading
about how much it burned I am glad we did not try that. I hope that
the itching I am having at this time is just the power of
suggestion & the real thing. Wish I knew knew how long the rash
would hang around & how long he would be contagious. I would hate to
expose everyone in his preschool with it.
Poison Ivy as a Cancer Therapy?I have heard that poison ivy has been used as a chemotherapeutic agent in the early days of chemo therapy. Any information on this?
-- ([email protected]) submitted Apr/21/2000
My husband was diagnosed with non-small cell cancer of the lung, lymph nodes
and brain tin Oct, 1999. In April of 2000 one of our oncologists suggested
drinking poison ivy tea. Starting out with a teaspoon or so per day and
increasing it gradually to make sure there were no ill side-effect, he is now
drinking 12 oz./day. In theory the urusiol may help to kick in the immune
system to fight the cancer. With all the chemo he has had, there is no way
at this point to tell if it has helped at all or not..but it sure hasn't hurt
to try it. Our doctor seems to think it has.
Has anyone else out there heard of this before? Would love to hear from you
or try to answer any questions you might have.
One of my husband's oncologists has had him drinking poison ivy tea since April,2000. He is up to 12 oz./day. This doctor seems to believe in the best of both worlds-chemo and alternative medicine. Supposedly the urushiol MAY tend to kick in the immune system(T-cells) which fight the radical cancer cells.
With all the chemo he has been through there is no real way to tell if the poison ivy tea has helped or not...But it hasn't hurt him either.
He was diagnosed in Oct,1999 with non-small cell cancer of the lung,lymph nodes
and brain. Amazingly, he is still doing quite well..Considering the prognosis.
Have you heard of this from anyone else? Would enjoy hearing from you regarding
this and will answer any questions you may have as best I can.
Poison Ivy is Psychosomatic!I don't believe that "poison Ivy" or any of the other so called poison things that this or any other site refer to exist. If any actual physical affects occur after contact with one of the plants, I believe that the only cause of the irritation could be psychosomatic. If anyone else shares my opinion on this subject I'd be happy to hear from you.
-- ([email protected]) submitted Jun/3/2000
Editor note: If your theory is true than the mind is indeed very powerful because of the extreme swelling I incur if left untreated! :-)
What do Poison Ivy Blisters Look likeI have never gotten poison ivy before ... I am 26 I have a rash on just my thighs that itch little dots The thing is I haven't been in the woods or even outside much for me to pick it up... what exactly does poison ivy blisters look like?
-- April submitted 15/Jun/2000
I am quite certain my husband has poison ivy and we are working on
treating it, but there is one other concern. On one of his fingers,
there is a raised black dot in the middle of the rash. Has anybody ever
seen or heard of this? Is it cause for worry or is it just part of the
What does the rash look like in the beginning and after it has become rash
like. How long do you have it and will it go away on its own. Does it itch
from the beginning.
I have a question I didn't know i that I had poison Ivy at first. I had
it for a mounth with out knowing what it was. At first I though it was dry
skin but it wasn't. How long will it take if I stop iching now?
(I have Puss blisters)
I was working on the back lawn of m car wash, and got quite o severe
dose of SUMAC poisoning. It is like having a curse thrown on me. The
itching sometimes is almost unbearable.. I've been using TechNu cleanser
and Gel topical. I only get temporary relief from it, so I was wondering
if there was a miracle product on the market for this . I've had it for 9
days now, will signs of it diassappearing anytime soon. How long does it
take to run it's corse?
Can you please tell me if I have poison ivy? I do not remember going throught
any woods or anything but heres up.I have a red rash on my
face,belly,back,neck,wrists, and i guess tounge. there kinda like little
whiteheads.under my mouth and nose and neck...and i have white bumps in the
back of my tounge.My throats been hurting and i havent been able to swallow
in the last 3 days. i havent eaten much.its not itching really tho. im
scared.im almost 15 years old.please write me back
I was treated for posion ivy/oak a few months back. The University of Michigan Dermatology dept did not know if it was posion ivy or oak. I remember seeing a black spot that looked like a little dirt or a dark colored scab that seemed as though it could be rubbed off on my arm..a few days later I had a full blown rash and blistering.. I had a horrible case. I just noticed a very simular looking spot on my leg and I'm in desperate need of knowing if this is Ivy or Oak or maybe none of the above.. The rash looked like that of Ivy but I know that stuff spread... I don't care what anyone says, it spread. I had a small spot of it on one leg, the next morning I had it in the same spot on the other leg. knowing that I sleep with my legs together I have to believe it spread. My question is about the black spot, have you heard of this in the early stages?? thanks
Susan M. Mack University of Michigan Medical Ctr. Respiratory Care Department Computer Support Technician
-- "Susan Mack" ([email protected]) submitted 21/Jun/2000
I have never had poison ivy, so I am a bit concerned. The little bumps have
turned into one big slightly raised bump. I believe that it is beginning to
dry out. I think I got it about 3 weeks ago. Is this normal? I have put
warm oatmeal on it, I read it somewhere, and also I put rubbing alchol on it.
How much longer will I have it?? Please help!!!
What to do about ScarsHelp! My daughter had a severe case of posion ivy this spring. One spot on her are turned black with scabs. The scabs recently fell off 5 weeks later and left bad scars. What can we do?
-- "Lori" ([email protected]) submitted 16/Jun/2000
Stung by the PlantI don't know what kind of plant I bumped into but the moment I did I felt like I was stung by a thousand tiny needles.It burned so much I was amazed. I put some aloe on it and it subsided for awhile. At least the pain. But the rash and spots seem to coincide with poison oak symptoms. I live on the East coast of Florida and I was stung on the lower left leg and ankle. Any ideas what it was? Thanks and regards. ABAM
-- Bryan McCahill" ([email protected]) submitted 17/Jun/2000
Baking Soda to Stop WeepingI read somewhere about putting a baking soda mixture on poison ivy after it's started seeping. Would you happen to know the mixture? I also have it on my lips, is there anything to put on them that would ease the pain? Thank you, Cherie
-- "ironman7" ([email protected]) submitted 18/Jun/2000
Editor note: I made a paste that was thick enough that it would stay on the rash. Be careful however because it can feel like a "burn" if you over dry it.
Alergic to Poison Ivy but not the other urishiol plantsI was wondering if you have found people that are allergic to one and not the other. I have had a few occasions that I have had major contact with poison ivy(peeled the leafs of the plant by accident) but haven't got a single mark, but I just recently came in contact with poison oak and got it all over my body. Also can people become allergic to it who in the past were not? Thanks,
-- "Joey Sheets" ([email protected]) submitted 13/Jun/2000
Editor note: Ineresting! I had heard that the folks at Zanfel have identified 4-5 different types of poison ivy plants where the urushiol is slightly different. This might explain what you are saying. Also, I am wondering if the plant concentration levels is higher on some of the plants than others. Any one else found this to be true?
Can Pets Get Poison IvyCan dogs get poison ivy?
-- [email protected] submitted 12/Jun/2000
Love your web site! Great information. I just ordered my Zanfel and can't
wait til it gets here.
I believe I am contracting Poison Ivy from my cats fur. Since he's an outdoor
cat, I can't make him stay in all summer long, so my husband (who is immune
to Poison Ivy) and I are trying to decide how to prevent me from catching it
from the cat. Do you have any suggestions about how to easily, effectively
and SAFELY clean my cats fur, as to not make him sick if he licks his fur
when he's done being cleaned?
Any advice would be GREATLY APPRECIATED!!
In response to the person who wanted to know how to remove the oil
from their couches - I've been washing the oil off me (after
walking the dog) with rubbing alcohol on a washcloth. It's
effective, and cheaper than the other poison ivy washes like
Technu. So, maaybe he could wipe the couches off in the same way
(test it first in case it stains.) Then, invest in couch covers.
Where does Poison Ivy GrowI get poison ivy not sure about OAK in Ohio what areas does poison oak grow in; I heard just in southen states? Any info would help. thanks Scott
-- "Tricia Huston" ([email protected]) submitted 8/Jun/2000
Systemic Poison IvyHi there. I ran into poison ivy while riding my bike about 5 days ago. I've used a lot of over the counter products, and now the rash is going down. However, my throat is very sore. Is it possible that it went down my throat? Or is this just a coincidence? Please advise. Thanks.
-- "Mark Mays" ([email protected]) submitted 5/Jun/2000
hello. i have a problem. the guy that i have been having sex with recently
went on a trip. he came back with poison ivy all over his body even on his
penis. we had sex and afterwards i was aware that he had poison ivy on his
penis. nnow i have an open sore, redness, and itching. does that mean that i
have poison ivy as well? and if so how do i deal with it? the first two days
after sex i had a burning sensation when i urinated. but that has surpassed.
what do i do. thanks again for your help x-tremely worried
Hyton 2.5% Hydrocortisone Poison IvyI have a previous tube of Hyton 2.5% Hydrocortisone will this help speed my recovery? And according to the American Demonologist page Poison Ivy is not contagious is this true?
-- [email protected] submitted 4/Jun/2000
Why is rash not on handsI was wondering if you can tell me something. I think I came in contact with poison ivy and I have a really bad rash on my face and my arms and legs, what I was wondering is why don't I have it on my hands if I somehow touched it when I was in my yard. Thanks for your time
-- Cynthia ([email protected]) submitted 23/Jun/2000
Editor note: My guess would be the skin is thicker on your hands and the oil wasn't able to penetrate.
Will I Contaminant Myselfhi! I went running at the beach 2 weeks ago, then 5 days ago i broke out with blisters, rash and itchy. I itch so much that ive been unable to sleep. I want to know if I have have to wash my bed sheets everday, so I dont recontaminate myself and other parts of my body.?????? Please help me. Please write me back and tell my if I have to wash the bed sheets everyday. I dont want to keep geeting contaminated. Thanks so much,
-- "Krista London" ([email protected]) submitted 24/Jun/2000
Editor note: Probably not... but I would wash your sheets anyway :-)
Sun with Poison IvyCan you go out in the sun when you have poison ivy need an answer asap. thanks
-- "francine" ([email protected]) submitted 27/Jun/2000
Editor: Yes. Be careful of sunburn of course.
I am currently taking Prednisone. Someone told me to stay out of the
sun or I could have big problems, is that true?
Vegetable Garden with Poison IvyMy sister and brother in law have poison ivy in an area in their yard. In this same area they wish to plant a vegetable garden. Their question is somewhat complex. Could the fruit produced on these vegetable plants harbor the urushiol oil and be capable of infecting the people who eat the vegetables. Any information that you have would be most appreciated. Thank you.
-- [email protected] submitted 26/Jun/2000
How to remove oil from inside houseI've been exposed to Poison Oak at work from a co-worker. I never really brokeout in a rash but, I have an irritating, overwhelming itch on my arms, that I've had for 3 weeks now! I guess the oil is all over the office, I don't know what to do. Does anyone have any suggestions?
-- Lesley ([email protected]) submitted May/2/2000
I understand that Round Up will kill the plants, but that dead plants still have the stinking oils. It sounds like I can totally cover up and dig them out of the ground; however, what about throwing a big tarp over the area? I have a good sized patch in a "natural area" in my backyard and would happily kill everything in range to be rid of this stuff. I just sprayed the heck out of it with Round Up, so can't I just toss on the tarp and forget it? If so, how long til I can pull off the tarp and find dead oil-less plants? Ever? My problem is that I have dogs...and I get the rash from their fur. My second question...will regular doggie shampoo get the oil off them? Oh, also, they are allowed on the furniture, so I guess the oils are now all over my house. I can, obviously, wash linens...but how do you get any oil off couches? Whatta mess.
Airbourne toxin?I recently contracted poison ivy/oak or sumac from spraying the plants with Roundup- I touched nothing and only got the rash on my neck and face (which were the only body parts I had not thought to cover). My pharmacist had the same experience and claims the toxin can be airborne esp. this year when these plants are said to be esp. virulent.
Questions: 1)Ever heard of this? - i find no reference to airborne transmission anywhere, yet its the only explanation that fits what just happened to me. People spraying should be warned to wear masks and goggles if particularly sensitive which I think i am. 2) When it appeared around my eyes I rushed to the doctor who prescribed prednisone but meanwhile I'm thinking of using Zanfel. Any experience with using it around the eyes? The manufacturer states its safe for face and genitals and I have written to ask about eyelids specifically.I so appreciate various recommendations and am trying some that i didn't already know about,e.g. the hair dryer seems to help with itching! I have also gotten help with itching from Benadryl itch Stopping Spray
-- Peggy Reubens ([email protected]) submitted May/1/2000
Nothing Works For MeI've heard that running hot water over any poison rash opens pores and causes the oils to spread. I haven't found any cures that have helped me...and believe me, I tried it all. I'm highly allergic to Poison Oak and I break out so bad that the blisters can form into one single bubble the whole length of the rash. Alcohol seems to work if the rash is oozing but it sometimes tends to be painful. I'm not sure that there actually is a "CURE" because nothing works for me. I go to the doctors and get shots and antibiotics and it still persists for days and sometimes weeks. If you have any advice PLEASE HELP ME... I get it every single summer, at least 10-20x and it keeps me from doing things I like to do (camping,hiking,etc..). I never get to see my girlfriend because of it. PLEASE HELP!!
-- Blatin P. Danzberger ([email protected]) submitted May/1/2000
Poison Ivy in the EyesAny suggestions for poison ivy in the eyes. My husband was weed whacking with out goggles and the juice must have sprayed into his eyes. The pain is intense. Dr. gave steroid eyedrops but the pain continues.
-- [email protected] submitted May/25/2000
Dr. Wests Mineral WashHas anyone tried Dr. West's remedy and what do you suggest for Poisonivy around sensitive areas....such as eyes....are there any remedies that are safe?
-- [email protected] submitted May/28/2000
Editor note: Yes I have and it did give some relief for me but the itching returned quicker than I would have liked.
Poison Ivy in Mulch/CompostWe have a question for you that we have not been able to locate an answer for. What are the possibilities of poison ivy being the bag of compost I purchased recently? I understand this product comes from a very well-known company in California, who thoroughly composts inner city materials, even sending it through the thermophyllic stages of composting. What is the survival rate of poison ivy in compost? Any help or direction will be helpful.
-- CALI CHEEK ([email protected]) submitted May/1/2000
Spots in LungsWe burnt the poison ivy, not realizing what it was, can this make spots on= your lungs, someone told me this.
--"Barbara Hogue" ([email protected]) submitted 31/Aug/2000
How to Remove Oil from ClothesI had contact with poison ivy 14 days ago, saw the dermatologist 7 days ago. There are new small area of blistering and itching appearing daily, which leads me to believe that I may still have the oil somewhere on my clothing. Will a simple washing machine and laundry detergent cycle remove the oil? I think it must be on my tennis shoes, which I am washing as we speak. Is one wash cycle enough?
Editor: Yes one wash cycle has been enough for me. The oil is harder in skin because after it bonds (15-60min), water and soap are not very effective as we all have found.
Burning the vine and laundry careMy husband has a very bad case of poison ivy, and it's been showing up in more and more places on his body throughout the past seven weeks now. For at least one week, we were away, and not near the original source of the problem. We have a tree cut up to burn in the fireplace, and it had a poison ivy vine growing on it; is it safe to burn this wood? His clothing was thrown in with everyone elses--from infant to grown-up--before we knew of the poison ivy; is there something I need to do the laundry? And the upholstered furniture that we all share; he's been itching away on it, and I wonder if it's safe for everyone??? Eek--reading of this oil is downright scary, and I don't know what to do next to prevent others in the family from getting poison ivy OR what to do to help him. Prednisone, his second and much stronger round, is just not helping. Thank you!!!
Editor: Never burn the vine or wood. The problem is the oil can stay around years after the plant has died. To make matters worse, the oil can become airborne. The oil can be washed off with water and soap so you should not have a problem when you mixed the laundry. Since we can not see the oil on our clothes... I am sure this happens more often then we think. Having said that, as an extra precaution I wash my urushiol coated clothes by themself when I know this to be the case. This most likely is a needless extra step but I also wash my dirty work cothes by themself so why not? It sounds like your husband has it systemically or is being re-infected. This could take some time. Glad you went to see the doctor.
Is there a Poison Ivy Immunity shot/pill/drop?When I was a boy, both my father and I used to get poison ivy every summer and fall. One winter, we each took a daily drop of what he called poison ivy extract in a large glass of water. From that time until this past week - nearly fifty years - I have never contracted poison ivy. I now have a moderate case, which I am treating as I did as a kid - very hot water. But I would love to develop another 50-year immunity (that would probably be enough). Does anyone have any idea what the liquid was that we were taking, and why it is not readily available on the market?
Editor: I was told by someone I trust that some people died which resulted in the end of most of those products. The big problem is that everyone reacts differently to the amount of urushiol oil. For some people even very small amounts can be fatal. It is very difficult to get the quantity correct in these extracts. I know of a few products that still are being marketed called Oral Ivy and Poison Ivy Pills . Any others hear anything on this? There is some testimonials on this in the viewer remedies section.
Comments: I think this statement is misleading. I believe that people have died from adverse reactions to experimental poison ivy vaccines and large doses (such as eating leaves), but I am skeptical that people have died from common homeopathic doses, which seems to be what the question writer described. "One winter, we each took a daily drop of what he called poison ivy extract in a large glass of water."
You go on to mention "Oral Ivy" and "Poison Ivy Pills". I'm certain no one has been documented to have died from these products. I have no experience with these or other homeopathic prevention substances, but there is credible evidence that they can create an immunity to poison ivy in some people. -- "Cory McIlroy"
Editor: I see your point. I think we all need to keep an open mind to cures and remedies. Keep us posted on your results. Thanks Cory!
Comments: I do respect the danger of administering small, gradually increased doses of poison ivy extract to build immunity. Even under controlled conditions (as described on the American Academy of Dermatology website), this process "can often cause uncomfortable side effects." It stands to reason that attempting to use PI extracts, even in small doses, could lead to serious side effects. In fact, the remedy i quoted in my last email: "One winter, we each took a daily drop..." could have been such a homemade remedy and could have in fact been dangerous.
The distinction that I wished to make by writing to you was that products such as "Oral Ivy" and "Poison Ivy Pills" are of such small concentrations (the whole idea behind homepathic medicine) that they seem to be out of the dangerous range. Unfortunately they may then be much less effective (I'm still not a true homeopathic believer).
I'm going to try the homeopathic route this this season....so i'll let you know how it turns out. If that doesn't work, then I plan to look into the larger doses method. But, because i fear that i am hypersensitve, i will definately seek professional advice first. -- "Cory McIlroy"
Below you will find two links. The first will send you to Eric's
Discount Pharmacy in Shawnee, Oklahoma. They are marketing
Rus-Tox, an oral vaccine solution designed to provide an aquired
immunity to urushiol.
The second link will lead you to kfor, the local nbc station that
just ran a story on the evening news (06.09.03) here in the
Oklahoma City area.
I am just getting over a pretty serious case of poison ivy myself.
I came across your website while researching treatment options.
Nothing really worked too well for me. I tried Zanfel, Technu,
Benadryl, even Burt's Bees Poison Ivy soap. I still itch, but
finally my rash is subsiding.
I am just getting over a pretty serious case of poison ivy myself.
I came across your website while researching treatment options.
Nothing really worked too well for me. I tried Zanfel, Technu,
Benadryl, even Burt's Bees Poison Ivy soap. I still itch, but
finally my rash is subsiding.
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