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Okay, who's gotten it boating, and what do you do? Help!

I got just a little bit on the Poudre on Sunday - some on one finger, a bit on my cheek and a bit on my shoulder.
I washed my whole body with this crap called Tecnu, which is supposed to neutralize the oil.
But now I want to go paddle again, and I'm afraid of my gear. I'm afraid some of the urshiol is somewhere on some bit of my gear, and I'll end up with more poison ivy than I have now.
Do I need to scour all of my gear, boat and paddle included? Is soap gonna do the trick, or do I have to do more than that?

If you've gotten it while boating, did you ever recontaminate yourself from using your gear again later?
What if anything did you do to your gear after you realized you had gotten it while paddling?

-Thanks for any info. -
 

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Soap and cold water has done the trick on gear for me (or hot water with gloves, NOT hot water without gloves, since that will open up your pores).
 

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I get that crap probably twice a year.....pretty sure I don't even touch the stuff, because I'm SUPER careful, I'm just so damn allergic to it I think I can get within five feet and it jumps on.

I wouldn't worry too much about your gear and recontamination. Inevitably the crap will spread a little bit. Best thing to do is soak it in a bleach/water combo (not pure bleach) after each use.

As far as curing the itch....BEST method I've found is kind of burly but damn it feels better than that ITCH. I wait until the blisters are pretty stout, scratch the living hell out of it until it bleeds (which feels about as good as sex)...then I dump rubbing alcohol or bleach on it. Stings like a mutha, but I'll take that over the itch any day. Drys right up and usually goes away pretty quickly.
 

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If you've gotten it while boating, did you ever recontaminate yourself from using your gear again later?
What if anything did you do to your gear after you realized you had gotten it while paddling?

-Thanks for any info. -
Be very afraid of your gear! I unknowingly borrowed my gal pal's CONTAMINATED wetsuit pants and had massive poison oak for two weeks (same oil as Poison Ivy.) The same pants have been washed and soaked many times AND STILL she is getting poison oak.
And ummm, I second everything Good Times said about the clorox cure. it never makes mine go away, but it does seem to help. AND ice also cuts the itch.
I would try and clean your gear with soap or other things that bust up grease (WD 40 would work on a paddle for example.) One other tip, if you think you brushed up against some, clean your skin ASAP with alcohol wipes or paper towels and Windex. I keep Windex in my car ..sounds goofy, but you can cut the severity of it if you wash off the oil.

KJ
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks, guys -

I was hoping not to have to do much to my gear, cause damn that's a lot of work to wash it all and I'm pretty lazy.
But I guess I'll spend tomorrow scouring it all with the Tecnu - bottle says it's good for washing PI off clothes.
 

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Steroids Baby

Yeah thats right, I got poison ivy from wiping with it once and called the doctor immediately and he gave a short run of steroids to kill the stuff. It was completely gone in about 48 hours. Beats the week it normally takes.
 

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I got it in 05, tiny patch on my calf. It spread through putting on clothes (for work) more than anything else.

Benadryl makes a lotion/ointment that was THE relief for me (no masochism necessary). Also, taking regular pill-form benadryl will suppress the allergic response to some extent (you may or may not notice, but it's a recommended relief Rx by a lot of doctors).

I never cleaned my gear, but it was 2 weeks between the time I noticed the rash and the time I could paddle again (in which time, my normal donning of clothes had spread it from my calf to my armpits on both sides).

It was fucking hell, man. HELL!~

I'd wash your gear as a precaution, but I wouldn't go nuts on it for the stuff you were wearing on Sunday. Drytops aren't particularly pourous, and a wash-through should get it out. A wetsuit (from the above writer) would seem to me to be a perfect environment for the oil to adhere to.

Good luck man, I hope it's over soon.
Oh yeah, I also took the steroids when I got back from a 2-week business trip (which is the time it spread from leg to clavicle).
 

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I've heard Dawn dish soap is good for washing the oil out of fabrics, which makes sense considering their "takes grease out of your way" claims...
 

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As far as curing the itch....BEST method I've found is kind of burly but damn it feels better than that ITCH. I wait until the blisters are pretty stout, scratch the living hell out of it until it bleeds (which feels about as good as sex)...then I dump rubbing alcohol or bleach on it. Stings like a mutha, but I'll take that over the itch any day. Drys right up and usually goes away pretty quickly.
Medically speaking, this is a bad idea. Bleach on open blisters? Good god man! Plus opening blisters opens you to infection.

It's the liquid inside the blisters that causes poison ivy to spread on your body once you have showered and washed off any other oil from the plant. If you don't break the blisters, a rash will only form where the plant touched you. Break the blisters and where that fluid goes is where more blisters and itching go. Do your best to go Zen Buddhist and not scratch or do anything that irritates your rash. Try running cool water on the irritation if you just can't stand it. Just don't break the blisters! I'm not speculating here... this advice comes from too much personal experience and a lot of medical research.

For servere cases there are prescription steroids and topical ointments that work really well to dry up the rash. Otherwise, if you can't achieve the no itch nirvana, over the counter drugs such as benedryl or calamine lotion may help a little, although I've never found them very effective.

Regarding your gear... it's like Craven said, soap and water. Soap will dissolve the oil from the plant. Not sure what the deal is with neoprene as mentioned in a previous post, but thorough washing will almost always dissolve the oil. Don't use hot water on any gear that has taped seems, they'll delaminate.

Truly, your best defense is to learn how to identify the plant and do your best to never touch it. Seems to be working out for me.
 

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Hydrocortisone-Lanacort 10? Work's for me.
 

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I feel your pain. I got it bad last fall. Steroid cream and antihistamines helped a bit . . . eventually I begged my doc. for oral steroids. And the pus inside poison ivy blisters can't spread your rash . . . only the plant oil can do that.

Time heals all wounds.
 

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I'm super allergic too and usually get it once or twice a year as a courtesy from my dog (I assume.) I once got an awful case from the Black Canyon and it became systemic. I wouldn't wish that on anyone. About a year later I used the same Bivy sack that I had used on the trip and got it again pretty bad. I've never heard the clorox trick but you could do some serious tissue damage if its not diluted enough. There's a soap called fels Naptha that works pretty well on gear. I've had the most luck with just laying in the river for five minutes after a possible contamination. I'd also recommend covering the blisters with gauze to absorb the oil when the blisters inevitably break.
 

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And the pus inside poison ivy blisters can't spread your rash . . . only the plant oil can do that.
I don't think this is true. Your body creates the blisters to isolate and dilute the oil but its still there. It just depends on your sensitivity to it. If I were to break the blister and let the goop run down my leg, I'll have a line of rash that perfectly traces the drip line. That's pretty convincing evidence to me.
 

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tecnu

There is a product called tecnu that might help your gear. Other than that Good old fashioned calamine lotion. Be very careful with the blisters. Good luck.
 

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I don't think this is true. Your body creates the blisters to isolate and dilute the oil but its still there. It just depends on your sensitivity to it. If I were to break the blister and let the goop run down my leg, I'll have a line of rash that perfectly traces the drip line. That's pretty convincing evidence to me.
Hmm . . . can't argue with personal horror stories. Nonetheless, this is what WebMD has to say:

The rash is not contagious. You cannot catch or spread a rash after it appears, even if you touch it or the blister fluid, because the urushiol will already be absorbed or washed off the skin. The rash may seem to be spreading, but either it is still developing from earlier contact or you have touched something that still has urushiol on it.

In any case, be careful out there
 

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Looks like maybe I posted some bad information. I swear, years ago I looked at the Merck Manual and it said blister fluid was self contagious. Maybe I've smoked too much dope, or maybe the science has been updated. Whatever the case here's some info from the Mayo Clinic:

When your skin touches the leaves of the plant, it may absorb some of the urushiol made by the plant. It takes only a tiny amount of urushiol to cause a reaction. Urushiol is very sticky and doesn't dry, so it easily attaches to your skin, clothing, tools, equipment or your pet's fur. You can get a poison ivy reaction if you:
  • Directly touch the leaves, stem, roots or berries of the plant, shrub or vine.
  • Unknowingly rub the urushiol onto other areas of your skin. For example, if you walk through some poison ivy then later touch your shoes, you may get some urushiol on your hands, which you may then transfer to your face by touching or rubbing.
  • Touch urushiol left on an item, such as clothing, firewood or even a pet's fur (animals usually aren't affected by urushiol). Urushiol can remain allergenic for years, especially if kept in a dry environment. So if you put away a contaminated jacket without washing it and take it out a year later, the oil on the jacket may still cause a reaction.
  • Burn the plants and inhale the smoke. Even the smoke from burned poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac contains the oil and can irritate or injure your eyes or nasal passages.
A poison ivy rash itself isn't contagious. Blister fluid doesn't contain urushiol and won't spread the rash. In addition, you can't get poison ivy from another person unless you've had contact with urushiol on that person. The reaction usually develops 12 to 48 hours after exposure and can last up to three weeks. In severe cases, new areas of rash may break out several days or more after initial exposure. This may seem like the rash is spreading. But it's more likely due to the rate at which your skin absorbed the urushiol.



That last line doesn't make any sense to me based on personal experience, but whatever... I'm no doctor.
 

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Just reading about the ivy and oak make me want to itch. Ahhhh...
 

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Whenever I get poison ivy I go straight for the oral prednisone. Luckily I have a prescription pad.

What really helps that itch for a little bit is HOT water in the shower. You make the water hotter than is comfortable (not too hot obviously or you'll end up in the ER) and let it pelt that F'n rash. It burns like fire for a second or two and then it's like heaven. HEAVEN I tell you. You'll have a reprieve for maybe a half hour, too.
 
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