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Publication: I'm Not Martha
You'll be itching like a hound.

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          I'M NOT MARTHA - Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Help yourself to some great self-help videos on: evtv1.com

Hi! I'm Lizzy!!  and I'm not Martha!!!

Just in case you are not sold on the idea of global 
warming...there was a big article in USA Today on the effect 
of increased temperature and, of all things, poison ivy! 
Higher temps mean increased CO2 which makes poison ivy grow 
like crazy! The greater the CO2 level the bigger the poison 
ivy crop and the more concentrated the itch-producing oil, 
urushiol. We're in a peak year for the nuisance weed.

This year there is a more serious variety of the common rash 
called black dot.  It seems to hit kids the hardest. The oil 
is so concentrated and potent that it dries quickly on the 
skin forming little black dots on the rash.  Get to a doctor. 
The rash is really merciless and requires professional medical 

Today much more is known about how and why we get rashes from 
poison ivy...and a lot of better ways to get through it are 
available.  And there are ways to not get it in the first 

I'm glad to share what I know.  No need to learn the hard 
way. We've all done enough of that!

P.S. If you're interested we now have a forum. You can post 
comments on this and recent issues at... Not Martha forum

* Each year 10 to 50 million Americans get a case of poison 
ivy!  But this year the number will be higher and the cases 
far more severe.

* Poison ivy grows in the East, Midwest, and the South as a 
vine.  In the Northern and Western states, it's a shrub.

* It can grow almost anywhere in the United States except 
Hawaii, Alaska, and some desert areas in Nevada.  I didn't 
know this at all...never occurred to me that it doesn't 
grow in some places.

* Each leaf has three leaflets...hence, "leaves of three, 
let it be."   You can confuse it with Virginia Creeper but 
it has five leaves.

* The oil is called urushiol...pronounced you-ROO-shee-ol. 
It can be either colorless or a pale yellow and oozes from 
any cut or crushed part of the plant, including the leaves, 
roots, and stems.  Once it's exposed to the air it turns 
brown/black...makes it a little easier to spot.

* The rash and blisters you get are actually an allergic 
reaction (contact dermatitis, to be exact) to the oil found 
in the sap of poison ivy.

* You seldom get the rash the first time you are exposed 
to urushiol.  It's the second time that gets you.  85% of 
people develop the allergy.  Lucky me!

** How do you get it? TOUCH:

* the plant
* clothing or shoes that have the sap on them
* pets that have the sap on them
* ...or come in contact with the smoke from burning the 
poison ivy plants...this happened to one of our neighbors, 
Mrs. Miller.  This is not good.  She really suffered.  Be 
very careful.

** What are the signs?

*burning feeling

* The urushiol penetrates the skin in minutes.  The reaction 
usually starts within 12 to 48 hours.  It takes about 10 days 
or longer for the rash to heal.

* The thinner the skin (face) is the more likely the rash 
will form...the urushiol has a hard time penetrating the 
thicker skinned areas like the soles of your feet and your 

* The reason the rash seems to spread is because the thin 
skin areas break out first. Then as the urushiol is absorbed 
into the skin of thicker areas, like the forearms, legs and 
your midsection, the rash begins to appear.  It really hasn't 
spread; it's just finally showing up! Doesn't that beat all?!

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First things to do when exposed:

* IMMEDIATELY, wash all exposed areas with cool running 
water...hot water opens up your pores and the urushiol 
really penetrates deeper.  If you can wash off the urushiol 
in the first 5 minutes you may not get the rash! ...or 
spread the oil to other areas.  Within the first thirty 
minutes, use soap and cool water.

* You can also rinse with a solution of 50% rubbing alcohol 
or vinegar and 50% cool water.  This seems to neutralize 
the poison.

* Get your clothing and shoes off and cleaned, either out-
side with a hose or in the washing machine in hot water (if 
possible) with detergent.  Be careful not to get the oil on 
you at this point, either.  Maybe take the precaution of 
rubber gloves...then thoroughly wash those gloves.

* Make sure you don't touch outdoor furniture and gardening 
tools, camping gear or even fishing gear.  If you do, wash 
them down with a hose, too.  Urushiol stays active and 
capable of contaminating you for months...even if you've 
forgotten about the exposure, the urushiol is still present 
and ready to give you a rash gift...even in the winter.

* Wash the pets.  Use rubber gloves.  Fido will faithfully 
give you a poison ivy rash from the urushiol that's all over 
his fur.

* Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose, mouth, and face! 
You don't even want to know how bad poison ivy can get!

* If you've got a really bad case, get to the doctor.  If 
you start to really swell up or can't breathe, go to the 
doctor or better, the emergency room...NOW!


* Cool showers...no soap!

* Try any of the following to see which works best for you:

calamine lotion...not Caladryl
zinc oxide ointment
paste made with 3 t. baking soda to 1 t. water
an Aveeno (colloidal oatmeal) bath

* I've read about a product called Zanfel.  It's supposed 
to remove the urushiol oil very effectively. I have never 
tried it but I pass along the info.  If you have any ex-
perience with it, let me know.

POISON IVY FALSEHOODS...Mom was wrong about some stuff:

* Scratching the blisters DOES NOT spread the rash!

* Poison ivy IS NOT catching!  Sorry, Harriet, you got it on 
your own.  I had nothing to do with your stupid poison ivy...
so there!  Sorry, I felt compelled to clear up this dispute 
once and for all.

* Rubbing weeds on the rash DOES NOT help...fuggedabudit!

* Dead plants ARE just as toxic as the fresh live ones. Even  
firewood that has the urushiol oil on it can give a rash in 
deepest, darkest, coldest, winter!

If you've got a bad case...get to the doctor.  You made need 
steroid cream and other protocols.


Questions...Comments...? email Lizzy


To see more issues like this visit: Not Martha Archives

END OF I'M NOT MARTHA - http://www.gophercentral.com
Copyright 2007 by NextEra Media. All rights reserved. 

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