Poison Oak research project....- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Poison Oak research project....

    This sucks.
    I'm keenly aware of my reaction to the poisonous plant and stay as far from it as possible.
    I haven't been mtb'ing in almost 2 weeks, only road and the trainer....BUT STILL, I'm breaking out with P.O!!!!
    Little P.O. bumps on the backs of my hands and now, even my feet and ankles...I'm dying here...
    Anyone experienced this before?
    Am I getting it internally or something?

    Praying for steroids....

  2. #2
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    not sure sounds like you might have gotten some PO oil on something...wash everything.

    leaves of three
    let them be.

  3. #3
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    I'm in the same boat.....from the luge of all places!

    Miserable.

    B
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  4. #4
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    The oil stays volatile for up to a year. It must be on something. Clothes, shoes, helmet, bike, car, dog, wife. Wash EVERYTHING.
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  5. #5
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    Bummer -

    You very well could have it systemicaly (sp?), might be worth a visit to the Doc......

    I'd 1st go buy Zanfel soap and give that a go, while you're at it - buy some Tecnu and use a few squirts of that stuff while the water is mixing w/reg. detergent, then add your riding gear.
    I *think* I've got it down pretty good now as I've only had a few dot's here & there for the past few years.

    The Zanfel soap is kinda spendy put I use that stuff after EVERY ride in the shower and it seems to be doing it's job well. I, like you, are super susceptable to that stuff too......

    Good Luck!!!!!

  6. #6
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    I use citrus hand cleaner, Dawn dish soap, denatured alcohol or Fels Naptha soap. All work very well and are cheap.
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  7. #7
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    I think you all might be right...
    according to Zanfel' website...if symtoms show up on 30% of the body, it might be a systemic reaction.
    I'm not at 30%, but just on my feet and hands is wacky enought to possibly point that direction.
    I'm going to have the termite guys come tent my house with Tecnu.

  8. #8
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    - From my experiance, systemic oak usually pop's up on/around areas that come in contact with clothing - Wrist's, Waistline, Neck etc. etc.

    I'd opt for the shot Padre......

  9. #9
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    Regarding the hands, change gloves recently?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMFT
    - From my experiance, systemic oak usually pop's up on/around areas that come in contact with clothing - Wrist's, Waistline, Neck etc. etc.

    I'd opt for the shot Padre......


    i dunno about you all but in PA you cant get the shot i already tried


    i wonder if its even UCI legal though

    vaughters had to pull out of the tour a few years ago cuz he got a coritzone shot after an allegic reaction to a bee-sting

  11. #11
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    if you go to the Doc

    Quote Originally Posted by Padre
    Little P.O. bumps on the backs of my hands and now,
    even my feet and ankles...I'm dying here
    Ask for Ultravate Cream, all P.O. Bumps will be gone in about TWO days
    I dont like getting the steroid shot & the cream workes just as good.

    The hot shower idea sounds crazy to me (oil & open pores?).

    If you're getting exposed at the trail, the reaction to the oil is already underway.
    To lessen your chances of getting the full PO effect,
    do a simple Post Ride Wipe Down with some Baby Butt Wipers,
    Huggies or Wet One's or anything with alcohol.
    That way the Evil Oils will go away & you wont suffer.
    Either that or wear a Tyvek® suit

    Hollis (gets PO if I even look at a tree the wrong way)
    Last edited by Hollis; 02-21-2005 at 07:30 PM. Reason: my 1st .2 cents wasnt enough :o)
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Padre
    I think you all might be right...
    according to Zanfel' website...if symtoms show up on 30% of the body, it might be a systemic reaction.
    I'm not at 30%, but just on my feet and hands is wacky enought to possibly point that direction.
    I'm going to have the termite guys come tent my house with Tecnu.
    Sounds like you need to wash your Shoes & gloves, I usually get PO around my ankles in the spring. I take about 5 days to a week to break out after exposure.

  13. #13
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    Padre, I've already suffered the oak

    Quote Originally Posted by Padre
    This sucks.
    I'm keenly aware of my reaction to the poisonous plant and stay as far from it as possible.
    I haven't been mtb'ing in almost 2 weeks, only road and the trainer....BUT STILL, I'm breaking out with P.O!!!!
    Little P.O. bumps on the backs of my hands and now, even my feet and ankles...I'm dying here...
    Anyone experienced this before?
    Am I getting it internally or something?

    Praying for steroids....
    this year, about a month ago over by the 73, trying to connect the unconnectable hike-a-biking, it was on my legs, feet and hands, wash the crap out of your bike, shoes and affected clothes.
    I get it a few times a year, every year.
    Man when the sun comes out, the oak is going to flourish, we're dead.
    Here is my best remedy to date, scalding hot water while showering, sure it will burn and it will itch worse than anything you ever experienced (no scratching) just burn that itch off cause afterwards the relief you feel will actually let you get a good night sleep.
    Last edited by Bike Nazi; 02-21-2005 at 07:01 PM. Reason: ,

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bike Nazi
    Here is my best remedy to date, scalding hot water while showering, sure it will burn and it will itch worse than anything you ever experienced (no scratching) just burn that itch off cause afterwards the relief you feel will actually let you get a good night sleep.
    Ouch. Sounds painful.
    I sprung for the Zanfal. ONLY $40 for a tiiiiiiny tube. This stuff must be golden.

    Trial in progress....

    gosh this rain sucks. I haven't been on the SS for 12 days now!

  15. #15
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    Here is my best remedy to date, scalding hot water while showering, sure it will burn and it will itch worse than anything you ever experienced (no scratching) just burn that itch off cause afterwards the relief you feel will actually let you get a good night sleep.[/QUOTE]

    The thing about hot showers is that they actually open your pores and can release the oils to spread. I know two trains of thought on this: 1) take a really hot shower and use a ton of soap and techu to clean and dry out the (now open) blisters, 2) take only cold showers to prevent the oak from spreading. I prefer the 1st and have been pretty good at maintaining but my buddy swears by the 2nd.
    Also, if you have a pool, it is always pretty soothing to hang out in the water, plus the chlorine will help to dry out the oak.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Padre
    Ouch. Sounds painful.
    I sprung for the Zanfal. ONLY $40 for a tiiiiiiny tube. This stuff must be golden.

    Trial in progress....

    gosh this rain sucks. I haven't been on the SS for 12 days now!
    - You may require a couple of treatments, I'd go straight to their 2nd rec. and apply the stuff, rub it in, leave it on for a minute, and rinse thorough.
    - I always use it during a warm shower, I'm too big a p*ss to take a cold one

    * Shop around, like Longs or a Good Neighbor affiliate pharmacy. I've been paying $35 for the stuff. Try to milk it too, use an Inch of the stuff for both arms & an Inch for both legs, makes it last a bit longer.......
    Last edited by DMFT; 02-21-2005 at 09:03 PM. Reason: additional info.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hollis
    Ask for Ultravate Cream, all P.O. Bumps will be gone in about TWO days

    Hollis (gets PO if I even look at a tree the wrong way)
    Good tip.
    And by the way, yeah, me too...I'll probably break out, just from the Oak content in this thread!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMFT
    - You may require a couple of treatments, I'd go straight to their 2nd rec. and apply the stuff, rub it in, leave it on for a minute, and rinse thorough.
    - I always use it during a warm shower, I'm too big a p*ss to take a cold one

    * Shop around, like Longs or a Good Neighbor affiliate pharmacy. I've been paying $35 for the stuff. Try to milk it too, use an Inch of the stuff for both arms & an Inch for both legs, makes it last a bit longer.......
    Point taken...still itching...perhaps add some kerosene to the mix?

  19. #19
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    Padre, I gotsta feel for ya brutha. I personally have never had Poison Oak, but have had MANY bouts with it's sister, Poison Ivy. I'd be guessing, but I'll bet that I've had upwards of about 30-35 Poison Ivy rashes. And upon rethinking, some of it could have been Poison Oak. I never really knew what it looked like, never really cared though either. I fish LOTS and in my most fave spots, in the flood plain, the sh!t has spread like matchsticks on fire.

    My personal treatment for the itchy (actually burning) stuff...two different methods:
    1) This method is IF you know you've been in contact. Wash affected body parts, hands, under fingernails, clothes, steering wheels...just like said above, everything. While washing, use only tepid water, and rinsing often. All soaps are surfactants that attract dirt, soil, oil, and so on. If you are continually lathering, you are increasing your risk to spread it all over into the pores of your skin. If the cleansing is done soon, say within about six hours, you should get little to no rash...depending on your body type.

    2) Hold on to your bobbie socks Sally! You have no idea that you've walked through bushes of the lovely Ivy, and about 5-10 days later begin slightly itching at first, which will turn into a full-blown dig-fest after what seems like several million tiny blisters have infested your skin. At this point, there are many remedies, and some do work, but have faith in knowing that by scratching the itchy spots, you cannot spread the eurishoil (sp?) because it has probably went bye-bye down the drain several days ago. The only real damage you do at this point is no more than picking a scab early...slight scarring.

    X) Treatments that DO work:

    A) BY FAR, the BEST is Benadryl lotion...it is more like Aloe Vera gel though. Copiously apply as needed. Sometimes it kind of burns, but will work after it dries out. Works very, very well in the adult strength.
    B) Steroids given by Dr. Rx. Helps you to fight it off sooner....sometimes makes ya gain weight.
    C) Tecnu does work pretty well, but not my first choice.
    D) Soaking in bath of Aveeno oatmeal stuff. Very soothing, but kind of short lived.
    E) My personal favorite gently pop each blister as they pop up. For some reason, the itching is lessened GREATLY by doing this. Yes, some slight scarring does occur, and there is a slight risk for the 'open' sores to become infected if you never bath. After this point, I literally turn off the brain waves that tell me it itches. The mind is the single most important aspect of this method...cranium fortitude...powerful stuff here ladies!

    These methods work wonders with Poison Ivy. I cannot attest that they will work for Poison Oak, but they both have the same oil present in the plant. I have heard that Poison Oak is worse to get, but personally don't know this for sure. I once had a swath of Poison Ivy that was about 3" x 10", that spanned from right below my navel to the bottom of my beanbag!! I must have been washing my hands with the stuff and had to go pee whilst being completely oblivious of the contact with it. Frank and beans were bright red, blistered, and very itchy for quite some time. The blisters and swelling were so severe that I thought I was going to have to go to the hospital for treatment. That is when I discovered the Benadryl...simply the best method. And remember folks, buy some "Ivy Block" as a preventative treatment, follow up with a good washing, and you will never experience any of this.
    It was kind of a masochistic badge of honor I wore as an avid fisherman for quite some time. Sort of like a 'chosen' ignorance of the stuff. I now know exactly what it all looks like and stay away from it whenever possible.
    Last edited by loonyOne; 02-21-2005 at 10:05 PM. Reason: cannot spell after ten beers

  20. #20
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    ivyoff

    Have not caught poison oak in decades...but I still stay away from it. As a kid I was horribly allergic...a couple of seasons as a fire fighter (CDF) in Northern California cured me..have never caught it again.

    Just in case I keep this around. http://www.ivyoff.com/ Obviously I can not comment on how it works but it is worth a try if you are suffering.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by loonyOne
    Padre, I gotsta feel for ya brutha. I personally have never had Poison Oak, but have had MANY bouts with it's sister, Poison Ivy. I'd be guessing, but I'll bet that I've had upwards of about 30-35 Poison Ivy rashes.
    Whichever it is....it SUCKS!!!

    Just did my 2nd application of Zanfel......

  22. #22
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    Any chance it's SS withdrawl?

    Seriously, your body is used to frequent hard riding and I would assume the corresponding hard sweating. The 2 weeks off the bike may be causing some sort of back-up of body oils or sweat that normally get flushed out on a regular basis. In short your sweat glands may be unhappy with the break in the action and getting inflamed
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  23. #23
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    Go swim in a pool

    Seriously. The Cholorine kills anything on you and it makes the itching go away for a while. OF course in the middle of Feb. you'll have to find an indoor pool. Always worked for me as a kid and recently when I got it this summer. I was so bad with poision ivy I would have to get the shots as a kid. When I would get it, spending a few hours at the pool would cut down the severity of the outbreak.


    Of course this has been my experience, YMMV.

  24. #24
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    rhus tox?

    anyone ever try Rhus Tox? It's a homeopathic remedy available at most health food stores. I have heard it's benefits can keep you from getting PO or PI for up to a year. Anyone have first hand experience? Sounds too good to be true.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by mc68881rc
    Seriously. The Cholorine kills anything on you and it makes the itching go away for a while. OF course in the middle of Feb. you'll have to find an indoor pool. Always worked for me as a kid and recently when I got it this summer. I was so bad with poision ivy I would have to get the shots as a kid. When I would get it, spending a few hours at the pool would cut down the severity of the outbreak.


    Of course this has been my experience, YMMV.
    I don't have to wait. I've got one a few feet out my front door. Maybe I'll try it since my liquid gold, $40 per oz, Zanfel, doesn't work for crap....
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  26. #26
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    Zanfel works pretty well

    I have had great results with Zanfel. The bonus to the product is that it is has these small polymer beads that feel like sandpaper. You apply by rubbing! Outside of the obvious instant relief by rubbing, I've always had great results with the product, which dries up the blisters fairly well, and provide several hours of relief after application. Systemic reactions suck really bad. I am so allergic to Poison Ivy now that almost every time I get exposure, it turns into a systemic reaction. I don't even ride during the hot summer months on our trails, as it's a guarantee for three weeks of misery.

    Problem with Zanfel is the price, that $40 being an obvious rip off that the mfg knows you will pay when you're itching so bad that you would consider using a stainless steel grill brush for relief.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kansasflatlander
    Problem with Zanfel is the price, that $40 being an obvious rip off that the mfg knows you will pay when you're itching so bad that you would consider using a stainless steel grill brush for relief.
    But does the steel grill brush work? If it does, I'm in!

  28. #28
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    When I know that I'm going to ride trails that are known for PI, PO, or Sumac I use this. I've had good luck with it.

    IvyBlock«


  29. #29
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    Hot shower does work best, but...

    don't take a hot shower first thing after exposure! This will definitely lead to a much worse rash due to the open pores and spreading of the nasty oil (urushoil).

    Get a tube or tub of automotive type hand cleaner (Gojo or Goop or whatever) without pumice (or any other abrasives). This stuff is specifically made to quickly and completley remove oil. It works great and is dirt cheap by comparison to special products. It doesn't lather and basically makes the oil harmless. It also doesn't dry out your skin like other home remedies (alcohol, naptha, bleach, etc.).

    Use the hand cleaner ASAP after exposure. No water is necessary (nor recommended). Use it in the shower before turning the water on at all. Then turn on the shower, cooler than normal, rinse the hand cleaner off, and follow up with a normal shower. I've been doing this for years now and rarely get more than a tiny dot of rash here and there and, even then, only when I've waited too long to clean up after exposure.

    Once you have a rash, the super hot shower (not literally burning your skin, hot, but as close as possible) releases the histamines that cause the allergic reaction in your skin. This will usually give you nearly a full day of relief and is harmless. This also seems to help the rash heal faster.

    PS. Poison oak and poison ivy have the same nasty oil.

  30. #30
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    Nature's Revenge

    I to have bad reactions with poison oak. With the 6-8 rashes I have had, Zanfel did squat for me. Also taken steroids which helped only a little. Hot showers relieves the itch so you can sleep and Rx itch gel from my Dr. keeps me from hacking off my limbs during the day.

    I found this book "Nature's Revenge" on amazon a few years ago and it gives some helpful hints and dispels some wives' tales. Best recommendation from the book was to wash down after suspect exposure with rubbing alcohol and wash cloth BEORE taking a luke warm shower. I have done this for years without further problems. One last quote from the book on home remedies once you have a rash " you can apply any home remedy and it will take 14 days for the rash to go away or you can do nothing and the rash will go away in 2 weeks" peace

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Padre
    But does the steel grill brush work? If it does, I'm in!
    Padre, ya gotta listen here fella. The Benadryl gel is the shizzle. Burns like crazy at first (along with my popped blister remedy), but will keep you pretty much itch/burn free between applications. The more you use it, the better it gets. Benadryl blocks the whateverthe'recalledinthecommercial...hystamines that your body produces when an allergy invades, and keeps the nerves from sending the waves to the brain. Remember, at this point, what you have in the form of a blistery rash, is a wound to your skin. It has to heal. While allowing it to heal, pop those derned blisters and be done with the tenderness that blisters create. Bendryl gel (adult strength), my special masochistic remedy, and a positive thought process throughout this will allow you to prevail.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by loonyOne
    Padre, I gotsta feel for ya brutha. I personally have never had Poison Oak, but have had MANY bouts with it's sister, Poison Ivy.
    Same here. I get it about once a year...I thought I'd avoided it for 2004 (had ticks instead this summer), but during a warmish day in December, I was tromping through the woods in a t-shirt at work and ended up with some.

    The worst I had was when I was a kid - all over my hands, arms, neck, and legs, with some other spread around. There was a nice patch about 4" in diameter, it was so gross.

    I just immediately wash off when I come inside, if there's any chance I was around some. If possible, I shower and change ALL clothing, and wash the sketchy stuff. For a while afterwards, when using the shoes, I wash my hands after touching them. Just keeping all that in mind seems to help.

  33. #33
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    majorly alergic....

    I've even had my eyes swollen shut a few times from the stuff.

    Technu used just like is says on the bottle has been by far the best defense for me. I almost never get break outs now. We have trails here that are lined with Poison Ivy up above your head. You will ride throught these areas with Ivy vines touching your body the whole way at times. I wash head to toe with Technu(I use up a bottle every other ride...) twice. Once right after the ride, and then the very next shower. This seems to work everytime. I normally only get a reaction now when I forget to Technu the hands after working on my bike.

    Technu will also work after a breakouts started as the oil is still present during the breakout. Don't pop the blisters as others have posted! A good swim in the pool does help to clean the oil off your skin. The hot tub can help too, but it might make the itching much worse!

    Good luck not itching.


    MC

  34. #34
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    majorly alergic....Weird, why did this double post?

    I've even had my eyes swollen shut a few times from the stuff.

    Technu used just like is says on the bottle has been by far the best defense for me. I almost never get break outs now. We have trails here that are lined with Poison Ivy up above your head. You will ride throught these areas with Ivy vines touching your body the whole way at times. I wash head to toe with Technu(I use up a bottle every other ride...) twice. Once right after the ride, and then the very next shower. This seems to work everytime. I normally only get a reaction now when I forget to Technu the hands after working on my bike.

    Technu will also work after a breakouts started as the oil is still present during the breakout. Don't pop the blisters as others have posted! A good swim in the pool does help to clean the oil off your skin. The hot tub can help too, but it might make the itching much worse!

    Good luck not itching.


    MC
    Last edited by MellowCat; 02-23-2005 at 05:56 AM. Reason: double post?

  35. #35
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    Well, Padre?

    How'd it all turn out? Now that it's been a couple months.

    I've gotten it badly a few times and the answer is to NEVER be abrasive to the rash. Once you open those blisters up, you'll just add *oozing* to the experience.

    I've currently got a small patch on my arm from last weekend's ride. I went out to eat after the ride and didn't wash up promptly so I'm paying for it now.

    Personally, I don't like going right to the Dr for a Rx because you really don't want to know what all those steroids and other drugs are doing to you long-term. But I tend to minimize the amount of medication I take in general (i.e. a headache is not caused by a lack of asprin) but I'd probably go for a Rx if I REALLY couldn't stand it but after 5 or so good rashes, I've got a routine down:

    1) Wipe down with baby wipes right after the ride.

    2) Wash with regular soap as soon as possible (like if I go out to eat after the ride)

    3) Get home and shower and wash with Gojo Citrus mechanics soap. This stuff will dissolve 1/8 inch layer of automotive grease right off your hands, it'll take care of PO oil, no problem. Smells nice, and doesn't irritate, either.

    4) Wash all the stuff I was wearing

    5) If and when I get the rash, the hottest water I can stand relieves the itching for hours. worst rash to date oozed enough to drip down my arm and that was complete misery. I'd hit the sink at work about every two hours of a new fix of hot water.

    Don't listen to all the talk about the oils spreading and getting into open pores from hot water - once you've washed well, there is no more oil on your skin. The allergen is already IN your skin and your body is already at work building a reaction to it. And contact with the rash does NOT spread it once the oils are washed off.

    If you have a source of water at your vehicle, bring some gojo along and wash up at the trailhead when you get back to the car and combine steps 1, 2, and 3 at least on the most suseptible places like your arms and legs.

  36. #36
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    Dawn!

    Quote Originally Posted by Padre
    This sucks.
    I'm keenly aware of my reaction to the poisonous plant and stay as far from it as possible.
    I haven't been mtb'ing in almost 2 weeks, only road and the trainer....BUT STILL, I'm breaking out with P.O!!!!
    Little P.O. bumps on the backs of my hands and now, even my feet and ankles...I'm dying here...
    Anyone experienced this before?
    Am I getting it internally or something?

    Praying for steroids....
    Don't take any chance man! Burn everthing, shoes, socks, shorts, gloves!
    Okay maybe a little extreme.
    I am with shiggy on this one, the best I have tried is Dawn dish soap. wash affected areas and clothing in it.
    I fear no man, poison oak sends me running like a little girl.
    My sympathies.
    I was fast once, but then what fast was changed...

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Namlak
    How'd it all turn out? Now that it's been a couple months.
    .
    Thanks for asking...believe it or not...i'm still, to this day, dealing with the systemic reaction to that infection... i'm still on steroids internal/external and still have re-flashes of blisters....
    I feel like going ROAD bike only for 6 months just to stay clear of the wicked plant of death...

  38. #38
    They turned me loose
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    Fells Naptha has always worked on me poison ivy out in nyack, arrr!

  39. #39
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    Wash EVERYTHING well with hot water and take some antihistimine tablets (Benadryl, Sudafed, etc.). The itching and rash is the histimine response by your body. Taking an antihistimine should lessen your discomfort.
    Ventana El Rey - 3x9
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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by funkenstein
    anyone ever try Rhus Tox? It's a homeopathic remedy available at most health food stores. I have heard it's benefits can keep you from getting PO or PI for up to a year. Anyone have first hand experience? Sounds too good to be true.
    yes I have been taking it for a week now. I got a huge rash after doing some trail building, ussualy when I get it like this it's really bad. This time the worst of it only lasted two days and now I am just minorly itchy.

    I'd recomend the Rhus Tox' I think it helped lessen the severity. Not sure if it works as a preventitive measure.

  41. #41
    That's gonna leave a mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by Padre
    Thanks for asking...believe it or not...i'm still, to this day, dealing with the systemic reaction to that infection... i'm still on steroids internal/external and still have re-flashes of blisters....
    I feel like going ROAD bike only for 6 months just to stay clear of the wicked plant of death...
    Dude, I hate to tell you this but you are NOT having a reaction to poison oak. You have shingles. My advice to you is to call a general building contractor. He can hook you up the appropriate salve.

    After a brisk rub down with hot roofing tar, those pesky blisters will disappear within a few days. Just stay away from any stray chickens in the neighborhood. Something about tar just draws them right to it. Of course I recommend you first consult your doctor before taking any medical advice from me or anyone that remotely looks like me.

    Seriously, sorry to hear you're still in the battle. I've had some bad outbreaks, but nothing compared to what you're experiencing.
    Fat fanatic.

    "Where the Fox Hat?" Endurance Team
    SoCal Colavita Road/MTB club

  42. #42
    Retro Grouch
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    Too little too late..

    Quote Originally Posted by zanq
    Wash EVERYTHING well with hot water and take some antihistimine tablets (Benadryl, Sudafed, etc.). The itching and rash is the histimine response by your body. Taking an antihistimine should lessen your discomfort.
    Perhaps you missed

    Quote Originally Posted by Padre
    i'm still on steroids internal/external and still have re-flashes of blisters.
    Telling someone on steroids to use Benadryl is like telling a heroin addict to take aspirn. Yes it is a histamine reaction, but like a bee sting to one who is allergic, sometimes it takes a lot more. Antihistamines do work well on Poison Oak, but in Padre's case I'll go with his doctor's treatment plan. This not slam just a statement of the obvious.

    1G1G, Brad

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