Experience From - Rob Hamel , Scott Sullivan , Dave Littlehales#1 , George Beinhorn#1 , unknown , Jay Hodde , George Beinhorn#2 , Dave Scudder , George Beinhorn#3 , Bob Mullen , Dave Littlehales#2,
I'm "incredibly" allergic to poison ivy/oak. I once caught it while living in the city and didn't leave the city limits... the DR said he never saw someone so allergic. I needed both shots and steroid pills, as it spread into my nasal passages, eyes and mouth.
The doctor explained that it's the oil from the plants that gives you the allergic reaction. The sooner you get the oil off your skin, the less of a reaction you'll have. The key word here is *remove* the oil from your skin.
Washing with regular body soap actually "spreads" poison ivy, as it dilutes yet spreads the oil on your skin rather than washing it off. The doctor told me that, as soon as possible after being in the outdoors take a long shower but use a grease-cutting dish washing detergent in place of soap. I use Dawn and it's a miracle cure. When I do get poison ivy now, it's always relegated to a couple small patches. Also, any clothes I had on in the woods get washed twice. Hope this helps
I use something called Tecnu Poison Oak-N-Ivy Treatment. It is a essentially a soap that removes the poison oak oil from your skin. I wash immediately after any trail runs where I might have contacted poison oak. It works well for me and is available at most pharmacies.
" For us non-California types, can someone let me know how poison oak infested the WS trail is this year? Unless someone goes thru the trail to clean it up, you can count on the stuff being there. I spent 6 weeks scratching last year because of the stuff at Angeles crest, and I would like some suggestions as to the best way to prevent the oil from contacting my skin -- without wearing tights in the canyons. Clifton is fast enough to do it, but if I tried, I'd get laughed at."The tights would help anyway. Several years ago, I thought that tights would help, but NO, the oils went right thru my tights. You may want to apply a product like TECNU in advance and then wash off afterwards and immediately with laundry detergent powder. Be careful in how you handle your socks, shoes and gaiters since they may be comprised as well.
Martin Hillyer wrote:
"Gene is right - there is almost no way to avoid it at night (although sometimes you get lucky). However, to eliminate the scratching, I use over the counter cortisone cream (the strongest available). I find that this dries up all the patches within a few days and suppresses the itch so that there is no need to scratch."WS'ers should note that it is "not" a barrier cream--i.e., it will do you little good to rub it on before the race.
Scott Sullivan Wrote:
"I use something called Tecnu Poison Oak-N-Ivy Treatment. It is a essentially a soap that removes the poison oak oil from your skin. I wash immediately after any trail runs where I might have contacted poison oak. It works well for me and is available at most pharmacies."Trouble is, urushiol (the immune irritant in poison oak) begins binding irreversibly with skin proteins in "less than a minute". The longer you wait, the more you'll itch. Better to use Tecnu's barrier cream.
Thanks for all the feedback!
For two years I've wondered what "Tecnu" was, and now I know. In fact, I was actually able to find some of the cream here in the Midwest. After 23.9 months (I'd say 24, but Mohican is this coming weekend and I first tried to get it right before that run two years ago -- poison IVY on that trail) of searching, I can now visualize what you all are talking about.
Now I just have to hope that the stuff works.
The attempt at prevention --- what soap should I use to shower with after the run, and how do I treat my clothes? I know there is a Tecnu soap (I'll need to get that in CA), and that a grease-cutting dish washing detergent might work, too, but for someone who could ruin his summer if he starts to itch, what would you try?
The Tecnu cream presents me with another minor problem. I also need to wear sunblock. What should be applied first?
"The attempt at prevention --- what soap should I use > to shower with after the run, and how do I treat my clothes?"Regular soap is fine. In fact, water neutralizes urushiol (the irritant oil in poison oak/ivy), turning it into a harmless substance. On the trail you can minimize the effects of a brush with po/pi by bathing the touched part in water. (No guarantees!)
Just wash your clothes normally--works fine.
"The Tecnu cream presents me with another minor problem. I also need to wear sunblock. What should be applied first?"Apply the sunblock first. You want the Tecnu on the outside. OK to apply more sunblock later, tho.
Urushiol is one of nature's most potent skin irritants. A tiny speck can produce a rash 8" in diameter. Botanists have gotten the rash from plant specimens "hundreds of years old". Poison oak/ivy are related to the mango, and field workers routinely get the rash from oil on the plant pedicel (stem).
Also related are the cashew (rash of rashes in the Northeast was traced to a batch of tainted raw cashews sold in health food stores) and the plant from which Japanese black lacquer is made.
I just bought the only bottle of "Poison Oak-N-Ivy Armor" from our local pharmacy. It's the pretreatment from the company that makes Tecnu "Oak-N-Ivy Cleansing Treatment" (Tec Laboratories, Inc., Albany, OR 1-800-ITCHING). I have a question for those of you experienced in its use. The instructions say to clean it off with the cleansing treatment after "no longer than four hours," then to reapply if exposure is to continue. Is this necessary? I.e., do I have to carry both products with me as I pace through the night from Michigan Bluff to Auburn, washing and reapplying several times?
In response to Dave Scudder post:
I've used it for 10-16.5 hours plus hang-around-afterwards time at AR50 (2x), SNER52.2, Miwok 100K (2x) with absolutely no problems whatever. No skin rash, no peeling, no necrotic tissue, no scrofula, no warts, no gangrene--nothing.
Using Armor is No guarantee against getting poison oak. I've used it on many trail runs and I get it regardless. At best, it might lessen you chances. Perhaps it's better to forget the poison oak and concentrate on running a good race and finishing...The poison oak will go away. DNFing the Western States will stay with you forever.
"The attempt at prevention --- what soap should I use to shower with after the run, and how do I treat my clothes? I know there is a Tecnu soap (I'll need to get that in CA), and that a grease-cutting dish washing detergent might work, too, but for someone who could ruin his summer if he starts to itch, what would you try?"Use Tide on your body and a powdered soap like Tide on your clothes. The liquid detergent won't touch the stuff.
"The Tecnu cream presents me with another minor problem. I also need to wear sunblock. What should be applied first?"I'd go with the block first, then the cream.