4 Tips to Avoid Getting Poison Ivy From a Girl Who Has It!

Ok lets just say that my husband told me so…. and I did it anyway. I have never really had a bad case of Poison Ivy up until this mothers day weekend. I wanted to clear away a vine that was clearly poison ivy off a tree we use as shade in the back yard. I wanted to put a sand box and pick-nick table under the Dogwood tree for the kids to play on. So without any thought I had Tom who gets terrible poison ivy to trim the vine off the tree and I would drag the pieces to the burn pile. I took no precautions other than a pair of gloves and that was my first mistake. I should have at least put on a long sleeve shirt, but no, I can handle this, I never get it, were my last comfortable words for a while.

Now that I have an out break, and a pretty good one, I want to share some ideas on how to prevent getting Poison Ivy and Oak. The Appalachian Mountains are home to many poisons plants but the most terrible of all is Poison Ivy. Here are a couple of photos I took after removing the vine last week.We have tons of sprouts that still can cause problems and still need removed before the littl’ens  can play safely under this tree.

Spring shoots of Poison Ivy on tree near children's sand box

Spring shoots of Poison Ivy on tree near children’s sand box

poison ivy new leaves in spring and 3 leaf pattern

poison ivy new leaves in spring and 3 leaf pattern

To identify Poison Ivy you will see three leaves in a group, usually the stems of the leaves grow red or pink. Each leaf that is mature in size has a notch on one side. In the case of these baby leaves they start red and slowly turn green. They have a vine stem of brown with what looks like brown hairs growing around the stem. This is actually the way the vine attach to things to climb.

So now that you know that you have poison ivy how can you prepare yourself to deal with it.

#1 First wear the correct clothing. Yes, I am sitting here wishing I had taken my advice. Long sleeves, long pants, gloves and shoes all need  worn if you know you are going to battle this monster of a vine. Even the slightest touch from a leaf can lead to out break.

#2 Use some of the pre-contact products out on the market both of which we have in our homes medicine cabinet and I still did not stop to think to use. First is the pre-contact towelettes.

Ivy-x towelettes for pre contact and cleanser for after contact

Ivy-x towelettes for pre contact and cleanser for after contact

Simple easy to use and cheap they form a barrier on the skin to stop the plants oil from getting into contact with the skin. Then they also have a Ivy-X product to use after you get exposed and think the skin needs cleaned. My husband is always getting exposed to poison something and gets these at work. He works outdoors year round and cutting trees cleaning up under bridges is just part of the job.He uses these often with great results.

#3 We also have what the family calls the secret weapon for poison ivy. It is a life saver for my husband and son who get terrible cases of poison ivy.  They use Poison Ivy Pills, a Homeopathic Remedy for pre-treatment and exposure to Poison Ivy and /or Oak.

poison ivy pills and homeopathic way to control an outbreak

poison ivy pills and homeopathic way to control an outbreak

The pills contain a micro amount of the oil from the poison ivy plant and by taking very small doses of the aggravating oil your body has time to build up a resistance to it. I have friends and family who once exposed to the plant end up going to the hospital for shots of allergy medications.This little pill can prevent and or reduce the reaction to the oil that humans find so irritating. Each spring my husband and son usually take a preventative dose for the summer and a few again when exposure was possible. It seems to really help if you remember that you have some in the medicine cabinet. Which I did not remember until Tom reminded me and I took the starter dose of about 6 of the tiny pills over 6 hours. They are working to calm the pain, swelling and itching but I should have started earlier.

#4 The best all a round way to reduce the reaction to poison ivy is washing off. With the use of a good dish soap(one for grease cutting) you can almost eliminate a break out altogether. I my case we were working out side for several hours and then got company and I just forgot until a few hours had already passed. I still washed off but the damage was already done.

Then if all of these ideas fail you like they did me, use over the counter medications. I take a allergy medication already and it helps to reduce the itching but the rash needs specific treatments and there are lots of creams to use. I like Ivydry, it is a mixture of drying agents and soothing creams to help get you through Hell Week!

So my friends spring has sprung and the Ivy is growing wild everywhere so take care not to end up like me and think ahead so you do not have to live with this rash for 14 days or more. Now I just have to get a gallon of vinegar and some hot water to kill the rest of those baby Ivy vines without having to touch them.

Poison Ivy on the inside of my forearm

Poison Ivy on the inside of my forearm

information on how to get the Poison Ivy Pills :

Washington Homeopathic Products Inc.

260 J.R. Hawvermale Way

Berkeley Springs, West Virginia 25411

1-800-336-1695

or the website   www.homeopathyworks.com.

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Categories: Farm work, gardening, Healing, health, home remedies, wellness | Tags: , , , , , , | 12 Comments

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12 thoughts on “4 Tips to Avoid Getting Poison Ivy From a Girl Who Has It!

  1. OH mercy! The first and last time I had poison ivy I was 11. I got in from climbing a tree wrapped in the vines. I knew what it looked like, and had been warned, since some of my family is extremely allergic and I have a lot of allergies, but I was young and stupid, obviously. By mid-morning the following day, I was in the hospital. For three days. It was everywhere. I do mean everywhere.
    The Mister follows me around the yard to pull whatever I tell him to, since I really don’t want to be hospitalized. There’s more this year than there was last, but he’s workin on it.
    I am so sorry for your misery.
    By the by, if you wet Fels-Naptha and rub it on it, it does help the itch. (I’ve done it for my daughter)

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    • Wow that sounds terrible and I have never ever had a rash that bad in my whole life. Actually this is the worst one so far and that is only because I was being careless. I have found a lanolin lotion is very soothing now that the worst is over and I have not more blisters just the scabs

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  2. sorry to hear/see that poison ivy is not good for your health.

    Grandpa would say, leaf’s of 3 let it be.
    Happy poison ivy free gardening

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  3. Great advice. Unfortunately, I have to rely on avoiding it. Once I get exposed, I won’t have time to tear the packet open or get to the sink before I break out. Once I break out, it’s steroids or nothing. The last time I thought there might be poison ivy in an area in which I had to work, I wore a disposable Tyvek jump (auto parts store for about $2.00)and I wore disposable gloves. Everything went in the trash as soon as I was done. The hard part for me is to remember not to try to wipe the sweat away from my face.

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    • Dan, you sound like my husband,he gets a terrible rash and it is very painful.He dose kind of the same thing as you…cover up everything and uses gloves and the pre exposer wipes. It seems to work he has not had a outbreak in years, thank God! He even missed out on the vine this time so I is just me and we found more of the darn stuff growing in the grass around this tree yesterday. I am headed to the store today to find some kind of killer do not want the little one with this.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. OH nooooo I’ve heard is painful and uncomfortable. I hope you heal quickly. Yikes!

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    • I am lucky I do not get the serious rashes like my husband and son but it still sucks… found that a lanolin lotion is very soothing and of course my medication is helping

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  5. I feel your pain … “try” not to itch … 😦

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  6. Such a helpful post! I’ve never heard of the poison ivy pills and will look into them. No matter how hard I try to avoid it, I always end up with at least one case during the summer. I hope you are no longer itching now. It’s so miserable.

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