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Re: How to lose sleep...

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avatar How to lose sleep...
May 24, 2007 02:43AM
Stay away from plants that look like this:



http://yosemitephotos.net/main.php?g2_itemId=2040

Re: How to lose sleep...
May 24, 2007 07:44AM
I am suffering from poison oak myself... on both legs. I picked it up on a backpacking trip on the Lost Coast a few weekends ago. The trails were very overgrown. Even though I wore pants, I might have gotten it on my legs when I rolled up my pants to cross a creek (dumb- that rubbed the outside of the pants on the inside of the pants & probably transferred the oils). I have been popping benadryl like candy. I hate it because it gets worse before it gets better. Even the prescription steroid cream doesn't seem to help that much. Don't scratch it, they say it doesn't spread, but it does!
avatar Re: How to lose sleep...
May 24, 2007 12:06PM
letterknit wrote:

> Even the prescription steroid cream doesn't seem to help that much.

Oral steriods (e.g. prednisone) are the only things that really help. They'll knock it down in a day or two.

Re: How to lose sleep...
June 15, 2007 08:07AM
One time, even the oral steroids didn't help me...the dang rash just kept on erupting. Had to get a shot in the keester to quell it - yeeouch!





Wilderness forever,
Bruce Jensen
avatar Re: How to lose sleep...
May 24, 2007 08:09AM
I'd just note that there are so many different varieties of poison oak, which have slightly different appearances . I see poison oak in every local hiking area, and I marvel at how different it looks depending on genetic differences and/or growing conditions. If it managed to grow in sunlight, the leaves tend to be smaller and often reddish. Shaded ones seem to have larger leaves and aren't always waxy/shiny in appearance; over the weekend I saw some with huge 3-inch long leaves and a flat pale green hue. By August, almost all poison oak will have turned to a red/orange hue.

Just read this from a 10 year old article. The author claims that poison oak doesn't usually grow over 4000 feet elevation. Yeah right.

http://www.knoledge.org/oak/



Post Edited (05-24-07 11:54)
avatar Re: How to lose sleep...
May 24, 2007 12:10PM
Here's one in flower:



Re: How to lose sleep...
May 24, 2007 10:45AM
I still think the rash spreads the more you scratch it. At least on me. So I avoid scratching at all costs... not like you can really scratch red, puffy, blistery skin anyway. I use steroid cream, it's the only thing that helps it start to go away (although it seems to take forever to work). I would take the pills if I had a systemic or whole body reaction, but I avoid the prednisone/steroid pills because they are pretty bad for your body in general.
avatar Re: How to lose sleep...
May 24, 2007 11:12AM
letterknit wrote:

> I still think the rash spreads the more you scratch it. At
> least on me. So I avoid scratching at all costs... not like
> you can really scratch red, puffy, blistery skin anyway. I use
> steroid cream, it's the only thing that helps it start to go
> away (although it seems to take forever to work). I would take
> the pills if I had a systemic or whole body reaction, but I
> avoid the prednisone/steroid pills because they are pretty bad
> for your body in general.

I don't think it really spreads once symptoms start to show, as long as the exposed areas have been cleaned off with soap and water. The problem is that the rashes don't appear until a day or two after exposure when the oil is absorbed into the skin at different rates. Information I've read is that urushiol binds to skin proteins within 15 minutes (cleaning it off quickly might prevent the reaction), even though the symptoms take much longer to show up. Sometimes the rashes pop up one area at a time, leading people to believe they've spread it from one rash area to the other.

My understanding is that the urushiol is contained inside the plants. In order for it to transfer to the skin, the leaves/stems must be damaged/bruised before the urushiol is released. However - it's pretty easy to bruise the leaves.

I said something about washing it off quickly. For the most part, I don't think most people will even know when they've been exposed. The usual course of action is to try and avoid it. It might be a good idea to carry a rubber glove, plastic bags, and liquid soap just in case one trips into a noticeable poison oak bush or vine.

avatar Re: How to lose sleep...
May 24, 2007 10:49AM
An easy thing to remember is "Leaves of three, leave it be". All poison oak bushes have their leaves in an non-stemmed grouping of three leaves. Another feature but not as sure is that the leaves usually have five scallops on the outer edge.





Old Dude
Re: How to lose sleep...
May 24, 2007 10:52AM
My ex-girlfriend walked through some poison oak once, and we happened to be near the home of some friends who into plants and herbal remedies and such. They mixed her up some kind of tea and some sort of liquid plant mix to rub on her legs. In a few hours, the poison oak was gone for good.

I just wish I knew what they used so I could tell you. In any case, there is definitely a quick remedy, but it's not sold in drug stores...probably because drug companies would rather string you along with a week or two of symptom relief pills than sell you a one-time cure.
avatar Re: How to lose sleep...
May 24, 2007 11:10AM
It takes some time after the exposure for the oils to really get into your skin. Washing the exposed area within an hour or so will really cut down on the reaction. While backpacking the chances of a: knowing that you've been exposed and b: being able to wash yourself and your clothes are remote.

Fortunately for me I've thus far been completely immune but I do try to avoid any contact with the stuff as a sensitivity can start any time in life.



Post Edited (06-15-07 10:28)



Old Dude
Re: How to lose sleep...
June 14, 2007 06:34PM
THAT PICTURE shown on one reply is what we in Indiana call Poison Sumac. Three leaves are called poison ivy and five are poison oak. It is all over everything in Indiana, in fact, I am hard pressed to find a spot for a tent where there is none. The last two times I backpacked I actually piched my tent on it and everyone else did too. That's the midwest for ya.
avatar Re: How to lose sleep...
June 14, 2007 07:49PM
> Three leaves are called poison ivy and five are poison oak.

Poison oak is three leaves.

avatar Re: How to lose sleep...
June 14, 2007 08:04PM
eeek wrote:

> > Three leaves are called poison ivy and five are poison oak.
>
> Poison oak is three leaves.

Yeah - poison oak and poison ivy both come in groups of three leaves. There are so many different varieties and coloration of poison oak that you can't just assume that a slightly different looking leaf isn't poison oak. They can vary in size from 1/2 in leaves to large 4 in leaves and can be dull to shiny, and reddish to almost pale green.

Re: How to lose sleep...
June 15, 2007 09:25AM
This one time... at band camp...

winking smiley
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