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  1. #1
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    Assignment: Poison Oak - Photos and Remedies.

    I just wanted to pay tribute to the Oak of 2011. It is epic.

    Where is it and how do you deal with it?

    Post up some photos.

    fc
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Assignment: Poison Oak - Photos and Remedies.-img_7154.jpg  

    Assignment: Poison Oak - Photos and Remedies.-img_7155.jpg  

    Assignment: Poison Oak - Photos and Remedies.-img_7156.jpg  


  2. #2
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    It's everywhere interesting, or on the way there.

    To deal with it, I either kill it(if it's on my property and in an inconvenient location), go around it if it won't damage anything, or just go through it. I don't purposely roll around in it - I leave that for people who get it easily. Why waste all that good oil on me?

    Saw a confused plant in a sunny location the other day - some of the leaves had a redish tinge to them.

  3. #3
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    Here's my gallery of PO photos: http://www.hanskellner.com/photos/20...Oak/index.html

    And my left arm has three nice patches from an adventurous evening single-track ride in Marin.
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  4. #4
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    I got some on my arms a few weeks ago and the stuff left scars it was so nasty. The stuff is everywhere! Gotta use those mtb ninja skills on these narrow trails full of PO. Definitely ultra paranoid right now.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yody View Post
    I got some on my arms a few weeks ago and the stuff left scars it was so nasty. The stuff is everywhere! Gotta use those mtb ninja skills on these narrow trails full of PO. Definitely ultra paranoid right now.
    Excellent karma.

    It's kinda early in the year for the annual PO thread!

  6. #6
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    Where is it and how do you deal with it?


    I avoid anything green and I still end up w/ poison oak just about every other ride. I do wash w/ gallons of Technu, burn my clothes, and ride a different bike from my 100+ fleet

  7. #7
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    Extremely allergic

    I'm extremely allergic so I had to be really careful getting this closeup of the flowers.



  8. #8
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    A squirt bottle of the P.O. formula roundup fits nicely in a camelback Mule. Buy the concentrate and mix it strong.

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    hedge trim

    took a hike along a popular local singletrack (popular among local riders and poison oak) with gloves that went up to my elbows and hedge trimmers. Spent about two hours walking the trail and cutting back the P.O. - it was less than fun and even with the care I took, I still ended up with a light rash. Worth it - although the encroachment has begun again.

    Dang P.O.!

  10. #10
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    Definitely a bumper crop this year! Maybe we can export it for some $$$? There has to be a practical use for the stuff. I know horses eat it.

    Ninja skills indeed.
    "I like skinny jeans. Sometimes I wear them to the mall to get an Orange Julius." -Chim Chim

  11. #11
    fc
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    Quote Originally Posted by amishscum View Post
    Definitely a bumper crop this year! Maybe we can export it for some $$$? There has to be a practical use for the stuff. I know horses eat it.

    Ninja skills indeed.
    Job Description: Poison Oak harvester. Applicant must be willing to cut down acres of poison oak. Burning excess growth and juicing the pulp may be required as well.

    fc

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    Burning would not be good. Heard of someone as allergic as I am who was unknowingly standing in the smoke of a campfire that contained some poison oak. He almost died...

  13. #13
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    Wilder Ranch. Got this while racing Xterra Wilder Ranch a few weeks ago. I knew I rolled through it and washed with Technu afterwards, but missed this part of my arm, which then transferred to my torso.

    "Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting, holy crap, what a ride!!" - author unknown

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    Quote Originally Posted by cvillatri View Post
    Wilder Ranch. Got this while racing Xterra Wilder Ranch a few weeks ago. I knew I rolled through it and washed with Technu afterwards, but missed this part of my arm, which then transferred to my torso.



    Wow...I've had PO a couple of times now, most recently whiped out in Ft. Ord and landed in it, but that is just nasty. I'd think about just removing the arm. It would probably feel better.
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  15. #15
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    Big ol' thread on it in General.

    But I'll reiterate. ZANFEL.

    And now, heeeeeeere's Johnny Freeride for ZANFEL!!!
    Hail, Satan!!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    Job Description: Poison Oak harvester. Applicant must be willing to cut down acres of poison oak. Burning excess growth and juicing the pulp may be required as well.
    I'm more of a managerial type.

    Oh my, those arm pics are NASTY! Never had it that bad, can't even imagine how uncomfortable that must be.
    "I like skinny jeans. Sometimes I wear them to the mall to get an Orange Julius." -Chim Chim

  17. #17
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    I have had a doctor (who rides) and a friend who is a PG&E lineman both recommend cheap beer as a preventative topical treatment, applied after first contact with PO.

    It has worked for me but I have to explain to my beer connoisseur friends what that six pack of Natty Ice is doing in my fridge.

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    I used to get it every spring, but I've found a trick that keeps me from getting any real breakouts.

    I use a thick lotion on any exposed skin (not my face) prior to the ride. This really works for me, even when I know I hit a leaf or a stem of Poison Oak, I don't get any real breakouts. It seem to keep the oils from the plant from penetrating you skin and simply washes off after the ride.

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    This is the one I usually use.


  20. #20
    jct
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    i started keeping alcohol wipes in my car for a nice wipe down afterwards.

    if i start from my house, it's tecnu bath outside before i do anything.

    i did manage to get it on my scalp a few weeks ago somehow.

  21. #21
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    Honestly... ahh I give up

  22. #22
    fc
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    Great advice so far. Heavy cream and beer!

    The best protection really is skin coverage which means jackets and leg warmers. But as the temperature rises and we all ride with shorts and jerseys only, all hell breaks loose. This is really prime time for oak as we're getting our first hot rides!

    fc

  23. #23
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    no matter what time of the year it is, I just ride in long sleeves all the time. When PO gets really nasty, I spray my legs with powdered deodorant (like Arrid Extra Dry) - the oil will stick to the powder instead of your legs and it makes it easier to wash later.

  24. #24
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    Here's some

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    laundry detergent – powder form – is the cheap way to get the oil of your skin. A good strong scrub on any exposed area will do as well as Technu or Zanfel. It's a trick used by people doing orienteering races, and they come across a lot of poison oak.

    The poisonous oil contaminates everything it comes in contact with, if you collect some oil on your clothing and letter touch it your skin will be contaminated to. Touch contaminated fabric then touch you face and you'll get a rash on your face. So get read of all your clothe that might have touch poison oak before you wash your skin. I've see people contaminating their car seats, their sofa and their bed by not changing right after being exposed.

  26. #26
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    Man that picture of the arm is nasty, thats some serious PO outbreakage right there, I can't imagine how bad that must suck, condolences

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by cvillatri View Post
    Wilder Ranch. Got this while racing Xterra Wilder Ranch a few weeks ago. I knew I rolled through it and washed with Technu afterwards, but missed this part of my arm, which then transferred to my torso.
    Dang, cvillatri, that's nasty! Hope the healing went well.

    Was hiking in Big Sur Memorial Day weekend and there was poison oak EVERYWHERE! I'm sure there were plenty of casual hikers who woke up with an itch or two from it.

    Here's a PO pic from Demo last year.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Assignment: Poison Oak - Photos and Remedies.-img_6676.jpg  

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    Occasionally I'll see guys doing work in the hills above 101 just north of the GG Bridge, on the outskirts of the headlands. The poison oak is really thick as it's unmaintained land. They work in full hazmat suits, like straight out of Outbreak.

    Took me a while to figure out why they were wearing the suits but I'm pretty sure its PO. I see them up there a few times a year on my way to work.

    I also have some friends who burned the twigs in the winter when they just looked like dead sticks. They all ended up in the hospital.
    Previously known as mttamrnr.

  29. #29
    fc
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    I knew I had matured as a mountain biker when I developed the skill to not only maneuver tight singletrack at 25 mph but also detect and dodge stalks of poison oak at that speed.

  30. #30
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    I dislike P.O. I get a few times a year. Here is a pic from last year when I ended up crashing into a some of it..
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Assignment: Poison Oak - Photos and Remedies.-2010-07-22-13.59.04.jpg  


  31. #31
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    clobetasol propionate ftw
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  32. #32
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    Try this stuff. It's been working pretty good for me the last year.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Assignment: Poison Oak - Photos and Remedies.-img_0356.sm.jpg  


  33. #33
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    Cold water (preferably from a hose outside your house) and dish soap. I am highly allergic and this works for me if I know I have been exposed.

    Ninja dodging is the best preventative measure.

  34. #34
    Cam
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    There is an under-appreciated gain to the pain of having Poison Oak.

    The Oakgasm
    The orgasmic feeling one experiences when hot water in the shower first hits the poison oak on your skin
    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Oakgasm

    This is no joke, it's true...don't knock it if you haven't had the opportunity to try it.

  35. #35
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    Mmmmmmmmmm .... nothing better than cutting out a new trail and looking around to realize you are knee deep in this ****.



    Mineral Spirits for the win.

  36. #36
    Axe
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    Quote Originally Posted by shanedawg View Post
    Try this stuff. It's been working pretty good for me the last year.
    Homeopathy? I am not sure my mental placebo skills are strong enough to prevent an oak outbreak.

    Regular alcohol wipes post ride seem to help; I know I had some minor contact, but so far, so good.
    Last edited by Axe; 06-18-2011 at 09:50 PM.

  37. #37
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    The angle of this picture doesn't do this justice.
    This thing pretty much sticks out right at face level.
    I was riding through there the other evening and wasn't wearing my helmet light, just had a bar light.
    Came about an inch from thwacking me in the face.
    The stuff is everywhere.
    About 1/2 mile before this shot, there is a grove of the stuff about 100 yards by 50 yards. Nasty
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Assignment: Poison Oak - Photos and Remedies.-face-thwaper.jpg  

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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cam_C View Post
    There is an under-appreciated gain to the pain of having Poison Oak.

    The Oakgasm
    The orgasmic feeling one experiences when hot water in the shower first hits the poison oak on your skin
    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Oakgasm

    This is no joke, it's true...don't knock it if you haven't had the opportunity to try it.
    Ha! That's what it's called! It makes having PO enjoyable for a minute.

  39. #39
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    Everything listed so far does not work nearly as well as THIS:



    Ivy-Dry® Super is a drying agent containing four active ingredients to control itching; zinc acetate, benzyl alcohol, camphor and menthol. The Spray applicator disperses the product evenly on the skin eliminating physical contact with the wound, reducing the chance of spreading or recontamination.
    You would have to buy three or four different Poison Ivy products to get the same ingredients found in one bottle of Ivy-Dry® Super.

    WalGreens, CVS, Ride-Aid, USA Drug carry it..... it's the best, trust me. 3-4 days and its as good as gone.
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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cam_C View Post
    There is an under-appreciated gain to the pain of having Poison Oak.

    The Oakgasm
    The orgasmic feeling one experiences when hot water in the shower first hits the poison oak on your skin
    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Oakgasm

    This is no joke, it's true...don't knock it if you haven't had the opportunity to try it.
    Woo! Yes indeed, it is the one mitigating aspect of the Oak! Fun!

    Two critical things about, um, enjoying the hot water:

    1: It's ONLY FOR AFTER THE BLISTERS COME!!! And for AFTER you've quarantined and washed everything the oils might be on. Using the hot water when the oil is still on your skin opens your pores and makes it oh so much worse. The hottub after the ride is so tempting, but the stuff floats on the water... I got it all over my torso from that.

    2: Running the hot water over the blisters in the shower is AWESOME, and seems like it overloads my nerves so I can sleep for a few hours. The problem is I got used to the heat and kept turning it up... 'til I gave myself a very mild scald/burn about like a sunburn.
    ... which then commenced to itch while it healed. Felt like it kept the itching going about a week longer than usual.

    So you still have to be a little attentive while enjoying the hot water. Wheeee!!!

    +1 vote for Tecnu and cool water to wash, and to never touch anything that looks like a plant out in the woods, and to never ever touch your junk when peeing out in the woods.
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  41. #41
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    Yeah, Chris. I've had it this bad as well. The draining pus (*****?) fluid is the worst. It's a 2-week healing process and leaves scars as if you were a burn victim. The devil weed can go back to hell as far as I'm concerned...

  42. #42
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    Technu Extreme is the best i have every used. Keep in in car for after the ride and then go home and
    shower with it. I keep bottle in Shower and 1 or 2 in the car. Rock on
    Technu Extreme

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finch Platte View Post
    And now, heeeeeeere's Johnny Freeride for ZANFEL!!!
    It may work but it's way overpriced for something that's just a cleanser. I've methodically tested and researched the various PO cleaning products and found that any good cleanser that breaks down oils will do the trick. As mentioned by others, alcohol wipes and cleaning with Tecnu is a great combination. Not using hot water, which opens the pores and let's in the oil and poison, is also important.

    The "poison" part of Poison Oak, Sumac, and Ivy is carried by the oils of the plant. If you can remove the oil you can remove the poison. And these various products don't neutralize the poison. They just break down the oil, which can then be washed away along with the poison. So even dish soap or hand soap will do in a pinch.
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  44. #44
    Axe
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    Quote Originally Posted by pico View Post
    Technu Extreme is the best i have every used. Keep in in car for after the ride and then go home and
    shower with it. I keep bottle in Shower and 1 or 2 in the car. Rock on
    Technu Extreme
    Technu Extreme - is it another homeopathic remedy? I am highly skeptical of that whole field - had there been any proof that it actually does something? Any other ingredients there?

  45. #45
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    Tecnu

    Tecnu is available at Walgreens and just wash with it right after a ride. Prior to finding this stuff I had to stay out of the woods for years or would end up in the ER. It was developed for biological warefare or something like that and is amazing.

  46. #46
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    Amazon has a decent deal on Zanfel, Technu extreme, and Ivy Block. All three for 54.09.

    http://www.amazon.com/Zanfel-Wash-Po.../dp/B000R99ZUA

    For clearing poison oak Tyvek suits are worth using.
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  47. #47
    fc
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    Quote Originally Posted by hanskellner View Post
    It may work but it's way overpriced for something that's just a cleanser. I've methodically tested and researched the various PO cleaning products and found that any good cleanser that breaks down oils will do the trick. As mentioned by others, alcohol wipes and cleaning with Tecnu is a great combination. Not using hot water, which opens the pores and let's in the oil and poison, is also important.

    The "poison" part of Poison Oak, Sumac, and Ivy is carried by the oils of the plant. If you can remove the oil you can remove the poison. And these various products don't neutralize the poison. They just break down the oil, which can then be washed away along with the poison. So even dish soap or hand soap will do in a pinch.
    Agreed.

    I've gone through 3 tubes of Zanfel and it is no better than Dawn or tide.

    fc

  48. #48
    fc
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    No one has mentioned the true cure for PO. All that has been mentioned are how to spot it, avoid it, and clean it.

    Once it gets under your bloodstream it is game over for these cleansing stuff

    The cure is steroids - steroid shot, steroid pills, and steroid cream. All are prescription only.

    My choice is steroid cream. I have a year's supply and I just dab it here and there to prevent the flare-ups. I used to suffer 4-6 weeks on a flare-up. Steroids have side effects but the cream is the least intrusive.

    My other advice is do not scratch. Ever! And keep it away from the sun.

    fc

  49. #49
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    Bam! Cheap and works well for post ride cleaning. Dries out your skin since it is laundry detergent soap but works wonders.


  50. #50
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    For me, dish soap and cold water within hours of exposure keeps it off me. The only time I get a rash is when I don't know I've touched it and didn't bother with a cold soapy shower. Once it looks like it's going to be a real rash, I'll scrub with Tecnu.

    Not only is there a lot this year, some of the leaves are HUGE.

    "I must not be crazy because I'm seriously questioning my sanity"

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by pico View Post
    Technu Extreme is the best i have every used. Keep in in car for after the ride and then go home and
    shower with it. I keep bottle in Shower and 1 or 2 in the car. Rock on
    Technu Extreme
    Having been in the ER for steroid shots before finding tecnu, I had the opportunity to talk with various doctors. Told them about a little bottle of clear liquid they gave me when I was a kid and was told to put a couple drops in a spoon of water for a period of time. Went ten year plus without ever getting anything after that. One doctor had a similar experience and said the problem was that the drug companies couldn't find a way to make money from it. I'd been told that it was made from the poison ivy, sumac, etc. plant. Yeah, I'd probably charge a lot to grow that stuff too.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by shanedawg View Post
    Try this stuff. It's been working pretty good for me the last year.
    sd:

    Back in 1970, I was hired by EBMUD to clear their water tank areas of brush, which consisted of tons of poison oak. When I was interviewed for the job the foreman said I would be in contact with poison oak every day and I would be paid $1,200 per month if I wanted the job. He also said If I wanted the job I should take small blackish vials of ImuneOak, which hopefully would make me immune to poison oak.

    I knew I was allergic to poison oak because I had gotten several serious cases on my pecker in my younger days, so I needed the need a job to pay for school and decided to take the ImuneOak and giver a try.

    Longer story short the ImuneOak didn't totally work, but I never got a serious enough rash to keep me from working all summer.

    When I looked up ImmuneOak on Google it indicated it has been replaced with Oral Ivy, so maybe you on to something, hope so.

    The largest (trunks 4") most prolific PO I have ever worked in was on the Water Dog switchback trail south of the wet spot with the razor grass. There was an alternate route to the switchbacks that we tried to build that was also so heavily infested that we gave up on trying to build it.

    TD

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by traildoc View Post
    The largest (trunks 4") most prolific PO I have ever worked in was on the Water Dog switchback trail south of the wet spot with the razor grass. There was an alternate route to the switchbacks that we tried to build that was also so heavily infested that we gave up on trying to build it.
    I was working on one trail there - probably in 2002? That was some epic poison oak. I also had to dig out a stump from a massive bush that somebody else did cut. Somehow I have managed to avoid an outbreak - lots of Technu washing down clothing and tools.

  54. #54
    Axe
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    Quote Originally Posted by aClyde View Post
    Having been in the ER for steroid shots before finding tecnu, I had the opportunity to talk with various doctors. Told them about a little bottle of clear liquid they gave me when I was a kid and was told to put a couple drops in a spoon of water for a period of time. Went ten year plus without ever getting anything after that. One doctor had a similar experience and said the problem was that the drug companies couldn't find a way to make money from it. I'd been told that it was made from the poison ivy, sumac, etc. plant. Yeah, I'd probably charge a lot to grow that stuff too.
    Looked it up - the only "active" ingridient in Technu Extreme is Grindelia Robusta - 3X. Otherwise known as gumplant, which is a weed? 3X would mean that it is 1000 times diluted. I doubt it costs much. Drug companies in US can not make money with it as there is no scientific proof that homeopathic remedies do anything. German companies make money with it just fine.
    Technu Extreme also has Alcohol, Polyethylene Beads, and Polyoxyethylene Lauryl Ether (surfactant). I guess that's the stuff that actually does something.

  55. #55
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    The person that said laundry detergent may really be on to something; it soaks and dispels the oils.

    I've had great luck with cleaning up using dish wash detergent like dawn. You want any detergent that breaks up grease/oil. Obviously you want to do this sooner than later, after exposure. After a certain number of hours(1), the oil has already started to have effect on your skin and system, so then you're really focusing on containment.

    It sucks that the oil is colorless, as it is too easy to get it on your hands/gloves and then go touch your face/neck/ears/etc... I'll get home from a ride where I know I covered my arms/legs thinking I'm good, and forget about PO that hit my face or helmet.

    This summer, the PO being as bad as it is, I'm keeping dish detergent in my cycling bag, and am trying to remember to wash up immediately after the ride. Just need to remember to bring a gallon of water along too!

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by rensho View Post
    It sucks that the oil is colorless, as it is too easy to get it on your hands/gloves and then go touch your face/neck/ears/etc... I'll get home from a ride where I know I covered my arms/legs thinking I'm good, and forget about PO that hit my face or helmet.
    My favorite PO story is what happened to my colleague. His house cat would wonder around some poison oak - and then it learned to jump on toilet seat to pee. It took him some time to figure out the cause for really bad rash on his ass and tights.

  57. #57
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    You know what oak looks like now right? But do you know how it feels?

    True masters can tell when they've brushed up against oak leaves versus any other leaf.

    My description is it feels like brushing against rose petals. It is very soft with no harsh edges. A lot of non poison oak leaves out there are harder and have ridges on the leaves. It is usesful to know this because part of the battle with oak is knowing when you've brushed up against it.

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    I think Poison Oak is just the cost of doing business if you ride around here.

    When theres a lot of p.o. around I wash with Technu and try not to touch my face (or other sensitive body parts) with my gloves or shirtsleeves - don't use them to wipe sweat out of your eyes.

    One big mistake I made a year or so ago - on a muddy ride I wiped mud off with a towel before hitting iron springs. It was December, but little did I know that I had touched a bit of oak somewhere on the ride, spread it all over my legs and arms when I wiped off the mud.

    I will never ride South Yuba in April again.

    Zanfel made my poison oak rash WORSE. After south yuba I had p.o. on my stomach and tried zanfel. It irritated the skin so much I thought I would have permanent scars. Took 6 months before I had handsome boy modeling skin again.

    -slide

  59. #59
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    Oh Poison Oak, how I loathe thee. I've got some nice oozing blisters and swelling on my right arm, and then various small outbreaks on my left arm, torso, and multiple spots on both legs. And that was even after washing with detergent and cold water. Still, it was a great first TNGR.

    Worst case ever was ~7 years ago when I tried a line I had never taken before and crashed and landed completely in PO. I had just put on a jacket, but my legs were covered from midthigh to ankle in blisters for 3 weeks. No fun

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    I think it's time for Finch Platte to repost his classic "solution" story!
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    I hate PO.

    I mean REALLY REALLY hate it.

    I'm super sensitive to it. One night, after a ride, my boyfriend showered and hopped into bed with me. I got secondhand PO from him all over my body. It was awful.

    Techno good. Baby wipes BAD. VERY VERY BAD. Ivy-Dry good. I like the Zanfel stuff but I'm not convinced it's worth it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Piranha426 View Post
    I hate PO.

    I mean REALLY REALLY hate it.
    But don't you kind of like picking the crust off when it hardens up?

    Quote Originally Posted by Piranha426 View Post
    I'm super sensitive to it. One night, after a ride, my boyfriend showered and hopped into bed with me. I got secondhand PO from him all over my body. It was awful.
    I remember the email thread after that ride. What a train wreck. No one escaped.

    -slide

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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    True masters can tell when they've brushed up against oak leaves versus any other leaf.
    lmao... that made my night. Sadly, because I can relate. It's like those scenes in the movies when the animals in the jungle just go silent... you know some predator is about to attack. That 'uh oh' moment hits me whenever I'm passing that evil plant or think I am.
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    The solution to poison oak is to only ride in the Sierras above 5000' where the $h!t don't grow. Problem solved!

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    I like the Technu Extreme as well. The gritty texture of it I'm sure is designed to further help break up the oils compared to the regular Technu.

  66. #66
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    Keep a decon kit in your car

    I have a PO decon kit in my car. A big plastic bag with Dawn dishwashing liquid (or Tecnu), a bottle of water, and a couple of old wash clothes. If I've been in it, I wash all exposed areas upon returning to my car. If I'm certain I've gotten a major exposure, I'll cut the ride short if I have to. All my exposed clothes/gear goes in the plastic bag. When I get home do the cool shower with Dawn or Tecnu.

    I am highly sensitive and I've found that this either prevents or significantly minimizes the reaction, even if the initial wash is an hour after exposure. YMMV.
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    Geesh, the stuff is thick after all the rain this winter. It's changed my line on trails. Long sleeve shirts and pants at night and dodge it in the day. Still, what I've found is what's been mentioned about Technu or detergent at home but immediately upon getting back to my vehicle I use hand sanitizer and throw away rags or paper towels. Get the big bottle and use generously! I wipe down all exposed skin. The alcohol helps break down the oil and remove it by wiping it off. Follow up with the full scrub at home. The combo effort has worked well even when I know I hit it.

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    Great info everyone! Keep it up

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    Quote Originally Posted by slide mon
    I remember the email thread after that ride. What a train wreck. No one escaped.
    I don't even remember where you guys rode, or why I wasn't with you. Backside of China Camp, maybe? Ugh. I was on Prednisone for days.
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    Gee I started as thread on Poison Oak last year and got reamed by half the forum because i was using NATURAL ORGANIC methods to completely dissipate my poison oak in less than 48 hours..... no matter how much I roll around in it.... and NEVER get any big oozy patches cause the shite works effectively.

    If you keep getting bad PO maybe you need to wise up and research more than what lives on the shelves on WalMart.

    If you think PO is bad from riding a bike on a built trail, try clearing out a whole trail corridor to build sweet singletrack from scratch.

    PO is just part of the rite of passage to live and play in the hills. Sometimes I think mountain bikers just like to be drama queens like everybody else, and make it sound like their life is so darn rough.

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigWheel28 View Post
    Gee I started as thread on Poison Oak last year and got reamed by half the forum because i was using NATURAL ORGANIC methods to completely dissipate my poison oak in less than 48 hours..... no matter how much I roll around in it.... and NEVER get any big oozy patches cause the shite works effectively.

    If you keep getting bad PO maybe you need to wise up and research more than what lives on the shelves on WalMart.

    If you think PO is bad from riding a bike on a built trail, try clearing out a whole trail corridor to build sweet singletrack from scratch.

    PO is just part of the rite of passage to live and play in the hills. Sometimes I think mountain bikers just like to be drama queens like everybody else, and make it sound like their life is so darn rough.
    You may have gotten reamed because of your tone and attitude. My experience is people have very, very different sensitivities to PO. Some are completely immune and some end up in the ER.

    Fc

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigWheel28 View Post
    Gee I started as thread on Poison Oak last year and got reamed by half the forum because i was using NATURAL ORGANIC methods to completely dissipate my poison oak in less than 48 hours..... no matter how much I roll around in it.... and NEVER get any big oozy patches cause the shite works effectively.

    If you keep getting bad PO maybe you need to wise up and research more than what lives on the shelves on WalMart.

    If you think PO is bad from riding a bike on a built trail, try clearing out a whole trail corridor to build sweet singletrack from scratch.

    PO is just part of the rite of passage to live and play in the hills. Sometimes I think mountain bikers just like to be drama queens like everybody else, and make it sound like their life is so darn rough.

    If you were allergic to PO you woudn't offer you pesemistic advice I have had PO for years and have payed my dues 10 fold . I work for a park service and mtb for recreation so I pretty much live w/ it on a constant basis.

  73. #73
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    I haven't read this whole thread and I don't personally catch poison oak if so just a quarter size rash usually down on my shins for ten days or so but using this detergent bar in the shower ASAP with cool water on arms and legs and just a tad around the face and neck will greatly increase your chances of not getting a rash! Careful though as this bar soap is pretty harsh on some people with sensitive skin.
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    Poison Oak is Mother Nature's cruelest joke.

    I'll second the existence of the hot water Oakgasm and also the true advanced rider's ability to ID and dodge Oak at high speeds on single track.

    The only real prevention is dodging it and/or wearing pants and long sleeves if the trail is bad enough. This isn't necessarily as bad as you think. Get a long sleeve downhill jersey and some loose nylon hiking pants. Downhill jerseys fit very loose and you get a lot of airflow. I also carry the 70% ethyl alcohol wipes for decontamination.

    If you make contact with the evil weed, alcohol wipe, and then wash really good with soap and cool water as soon as possible. I've read that your skin absorbs the oils in as little as 10 or 15 mins, so speed is of the essence. After that, you are already sentenced to misery, so you are just cleaning the excess oils off your skin to prevent spreading. I used to use Technu, but I'm not convinced it's that much better than a good dish or bar soap. P.O. is just a heavy oil so regular soap works fine if you scrub well.

    The method I settled on for managing the rash starts with hot water (this is AFTER you've already washed with cool water days before to remove the oils). This results in the aforementioned Oakgasm, and leaves me itch free for anywhere from 4-8 hours. I then wrap with gauze and supplement with standard hyrdrocortizone cream as needed between hot water treatments. I had good luck with a prescription steroid cream the first time I used it, then not so good the second time. The one time I used prednisone, it did absolutely nothing to shorten or lessen the suffering, but did make me feel really weird.

    Gauze-up if you value your clothes, and don't want to gross your co-workers out by oozing all over your desk. You might think it has left scars, but that just seems to be the skin taking MONTHS to fully heal after a good dose of the Oak.

  75. #75
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    Live for the moment

    I scratch my poison oak till it bleeds. Then take a little alchol rub it in the wounds (stings a bit) and doesn't itch again. youre good to go.

    funny story- We use to go up Mt. Diablo 4th of july w/ Beers. we were watching fireworks drinking beer when the ranger came. 8 guys went 8 differnt ways. Ranger followed my friend. He was hiding in poison oak. He got it so bad (blisters on his ass, etc) but he had to go back the next day for his saftey supplies which he hid when the ranger came after him. The ranger must have had poison oak as bad as he did. Ranger was so pissed he took his quick release out when escorting him out. $15 hours work detail.

    Dw

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    Tecnu! No one is more alergic to poison oak than I am. I swear I will go for a ride or hike and never touch any plant at all and get covered with the stuff.

    No more. For the past several years I've been using Tecnu. I wash with it after every ride in PO season. NEVER get the stuff. And I ride in some high PO areas (Syncline!). This stuff is magic.

  77. #77
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    the best stuff and only stuff that really works is called demabro. they sell it at cvs it comes in a white and blue box. its a powder that you put in warm water then you put a rag in it and leet it soak on the affected areas. it dries the poison oak out in 2 days. i have been covered in po and i have got it to go away in less then 2 weeks with this stuff. i have tried all the gels and creams. while they do sooth it they dont dry it out. this stuff dries it out and gets the oils off of your skin

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    I'm thinking about a trip to Downieville and wondered if the Poison Oak is bad there too.

  79. #79
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    If the key is to break down the oils, how about a spray bottle of orange degreaser?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Raja View Post
    I'm thinking about a trip to Downieville and wondered if the Poison Oak is bad there too.
    Yes.. Near, the top, there is none at Pauly Creek, Butcher and 3rd Divide. Poison Oak is not present above 4500 of elevation.

    But as you get to 2nd Divide, and 1st Divide, you will start to see it. Also, there's an exciting new trail near town call Yuba trail. Poison oak is there in spades.

    So there is oak there and with the high moisture this winter, it will be thriving. It doesn't go crazy like here in the lowlands. The elevation and lack of direct sunlight keeps it to smaller stalks.

  81. #81
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    Yuba trail has lot's of PO already, as of 3 weeks ago.

    Like FC said, 2nd and 1st have PO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    Yes.. Near, the top, there is none at Pauly Creek, Butcher and 3rd Divide. Poison Oak is not present above 4500 of elevation.

    But as you get to 2nd Divide, and 1st Divide, you will start to see it. Also, there's an exciting new trail near town call Yuba trail. Poison oak is there in spades.

    So there is oak there and with the high moisture this winter, it will be thriving. It doesn't go crazy like here in the lowlands. The elevation and lack of direct sunlight keeps it to smaller stalks.
    Thanks!

    We have Poison Ivy in spades on the East coast, but it is usually low on the trail and only affects the lower legs.

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by beanbag View Post
    If the key is to break down the oils, how about a spray bottle of orange degreaser?
    Cause that and simple green would be nasty on your face.

    The best advice to this effect is have a bottle of rubbing alcohol and a bunch of hand towels in the bike bag.

    fc

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    The best advice to this effect is have a bottle of rubbing alcohol and a bunch of hand towels in the bike bag.
    Even better are those pre-moistened wipes, as they are faster to use. I stop and wipe my legs and arms if I had made contact. It seems the faster you do it, the better it works. After some obvious contact with PO I have had recently - no outbreak. (No, I do not discard wipes on the trail. )

  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cam_C View Post
    There is an under-appreciated gain to the pain of having Poison Oak.

    The Oakgasm
    The orgasmic feeling one experiences when hot water in the shower first hits the poison oak on your skin
    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Oakgasm

    This is no joke, it's true...don't knock it if you haven't had the opportunity to try it.
    I've experienced this and secretly want to catch PO once in awhile. Does that make me a bad person?
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  86. #86
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    Am I the only one getting poison oak at Saratoga Gap TNGR every week??

    I scrub and I have steroid cream so my episodes only last three days but dang, they are plentiful up there.

    fc

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    My current favorite remedy is to wash with dish soap after rides. Like others have mentioned. It works great and is cheap.

  88. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by derekbob View Post
    My current favorite remedy is to wash with dish soap after rides. Like others have mentioned. It works great and is cheap.
    That's what I do. I use 'Dawn - it cuts the grease'. And it's key to use a loofa or some other scrubber.

    But I do get complacent and I just wait hours and start drinking beer before I wash.

    Two weeks ago, I left for Santa Barbara after TNGR to go on a family reunion. I then discovered I had poison oak in about 5 spots. I said to my father, "dad, i have poison oak, do you have any steroids?" He said, here's a couple tubes. Keep em. Ha, ftw!

    fc

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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    That's what I do. I use 'Dawn - it cuts the grease'. And it's key to use a loofa or some other scrubber.

    But I do get complacent and I just wait hours and start drinking beer before I wash.

    Two weeks ago, I left for Santa Barbara after TNGR to go on a family reunion. I then discovered I had poison oak in about 5 spots. I said to my father, "dad, i have poison oak, do you have any steroids?" He said, here's a couple tubes. Keep em. Ha, ftw!

    fc
    Dawn is the best dish soap and washing shortly after is key.

    I used to live in Ventura, PO is everywhere out there. That stuff dosent need water to grow, its an amazingly tough plant.

    I used to go to the doctor and beg for a shot when i got it.

  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    Am I the only one getting poison oak at Saratoga Gap TNGR every week??

    I scrub and I have steroid cream so my episodes only last three days but dang, they are plentiful up there.

    fc
    There is tons up at the Gap... I've been up there the past 3 weeks and have a bit of a rash for 3 weeks straight on my ankles. I think I need taller socks.

    I use those Pearl Izumi roadie sun sleeves to keep it off my arms. They seem to work pretty well and I think they actually keep me cooler once they start evaporating. I also keep some Technu on hand if I know I have brushed against some PO. Not sure how well it works though.

    I think the Dawn soap idea makes sense... might start using that as well.

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    Real Time Technu Test

    I was up in the headlands a few weeks back riding a trail that isn't used all that much and that I hadn't been on at all this season. It was getting more and more overgrown the further I went and I eventually stopped when I realized I was completely surrounded by poison oak. It was everywhere and I had definitely been rubbing on both my arms and legs although it felt like my arms were getting hammered. I had knee warmers on but no arms and a short sleeve.

    I really dislike poison oak so I freaked out a bit then jumped on my bike and hammered out of the headlands (all downhill from there), into Mill Valley and directly into Walgreens (with my bike). I bought a pack of alcohol wipes and a bottle of Technu Extreme, which I had never used before, and went to the bathroom at Walgreens and started scrubbing. Took about 30 minutes to get from poison oak to Walgreens bathroom.

    I used the technu all over my arms, which were definitely hitting poison oak all over the place, and the alcohol wipes on my legs - which are a bit harder to wash in a Walgreens sink but were way less exposed to the oak b/c of the knee warmers. I then jammed to my car, back to SF- which took another 30 - 40 minutes - and directly into shower where I emptied the bottle of technu on everywhere that was exposed.

    I ended up getting poison oak on my legs and nothing on my arms. Obvi not a perfect test but enough to make me a believer in Technu......but it needs to be used ASAP!
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  92. #92
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    My remedy is not for everybody, but it does work wonders and only requires one application.

    I used to get Poison Oak as bad as anybody. In fact, from 1995-1999, I probably had PO about 40% of the time: Big nasty blisters spreading like wildfire across my skin. Nothing ever worked. I could bathe in Technu by the gallon and scrub with steel wool and I was still going to get a rash if I so much as looked at a PO plant. Well, one day out riding, I wiped out on a wet rock and cut my knee up pretty bad. As I was regrouping from the spill, I noticed a sprig of PO was laying across that same rock. I didn't think much of it at the time and continued on my ride.

    Two days later, like clock work, I broke out on my knee and lower leg. No biggie. Yeah right! By day three, the rash completely covered both my legs from ankle to thigh. The next day, I started swelling. My whole body bloated to what seemed like twice its size, like cooked sausage casing. Not only that, but my finger tips began to itch, a maddening-unreachable-incessant itch.

    So, I decided that I should probably go to the doctor. When he walked in, his eyes got wide and he acctually kinda freaked out. So much for bedside manner. He then injected me full of steriods, gave me a steriod cream and prescribed a steriod cycle.

    The steriods made short work of the oak.

    For the next 10 years, I kept riding and had more than a few brushes with the oak, but never got so much as a mark. Two years ago, I got a blemish. Since then, I have had a couple (4-5) more, but they never spread and only itch slightly for 3-4 days, then they disappear.

    So, long story short, I accidently innoculated myself and am now missing out on the oakgasm.

  93. #93
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    These Technu packets are pretty nice to have on a ride if you need them.

    http://www.amazon.com/Oak-n-Ivy%C2%A.../dp/B003DVKMWE
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  94. #94
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    bump! I'm inspired to write a poison oak article. Somebody give me some content: photos and text.


    What is it?

    What does it look like?

    Where is it found?

    What does it do?

    What is the remedy?

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    I'm pretty sensitive and have developed some superstitious routines. Hand washing seems to work well for me. When I haven't come into obvious contact with the plant I attribute mysterious outbreaks touching a part of my bike or clothing that may have oils on it and then unknowingly spreading it around my body. Vigorously washing hands in a grease solvent dish detergent or with technu in cold water after being on trails where you know PO might be a factor. Washing clothes in cold water after PO exposure rides. If I know I have come in contact with the plant, I will use either technu or rubbing alcohol on the affected area and run water over it to rinse it off. Rinse in a way so it flows downward to get the oil off of you. I keep technu in my car and a jug of water so if I do get exposed I can treat as quickly as possible. Cleaning your bike is not a bad idea either. I've ridden trails with buddies who had the same exposure and I decided to treat immediately while they waited. My outbreak was minimal and they were in a world of hurt. My girlfriend advised you can take homeopathic remedies which over a couple of years would help you eliminate your allergic reaction to the poison oils. Haven't done any research but it might be worth checking out. Aveeno's calamine anti itch cream works pretty well for the weepy sores. God i hate poison oak, ivy and sumac.

  96. #96
    fc
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    When life gives me lemons, I turn it into an article.

    Poison Oak – Photos and Remedies | Mountain Bike Review

    I used some photos from here and content from R3R3R and Ebeer.

    fc

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    Quote from article: "7) Do not experiment if you have a severe case. Don’t listen to the 1001 superstitions out there about sleeping upside down and eating honey from a poison oak honey bee. This no time to risk failure."

    LOL!

    Great article. Good to be reminded of what PO looks like this time of year. It is only a matter of time before my first case or PO for the season.

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    No kidding it's poison oak season.. Again..

    I all my years I've had poison oak every month from May until August.. Last year I was at the doctor, and he asks "do you get poison oak a lot? Because last year you were here on the exact same day in May for the exact same thing. Maybe you should'nt be in the bushes anymore." I hate poison oak...

    My sugestions are not to use any kind of regular bar soap after you know you have been in it, the residue will trap the oil in your pores and make the rash worse. Even dish soap, which is actually good for your skin since it's made to be easy on skin is just ok. Everyone is different, but I've found what works best for me is hose off the legs and arms, clothes go strait into the wash.Then shower, no soap, yeah tecnu, white, hotel-style towels, like the kind you buy at Target or whatever for $5, and dry off with a towel I know I am going to bleach.. I know it seems excessive, but another shower in the evening (if it's an afternoon ride maybe not so much) will always help. Just re-stating what everyone else has pretty much said.. I used to carry a massive bottle of alcohol in my bag, and use it with paper towels and that does work.. Tecnu wipes work pretty good too.. Any way you look at it, poison oak is a pain in the ass.. no pun intened..

    Places I have got oak from indirectly, has been gloves and grips, the steering wheel in my car, hand tools doing trail work (almost always have urushiol) and of course my riding clothes I leave lying around days later.

    My heart goes out to the guy/girl reading this right now that is covered in it and is just miserable.. I've been there, most of us have and will be again.. My advice.. Get the shot! Get the prednizone, get better and get riding!!

    Peace-

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    One very important thing that is often overlooked regarding poison oak: whatever you do, do not pee on it! It can travel up the stream.

    -slide

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    Just reading this thread has made me itchy.

    I count my blessings that I have never really been exposed to this stuff.
    "I have one speed. I have one gear: Go." -- Charlie Sheen

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