Sunday, May 27, 2007

Poison ivy / Giftsumak

I have a poison ivy rash, the worst I have ever had. I guess I am now officially allergic to this pest. Well, it had to happen some time. I pulled three small plants out on Friday, with gloves on, but it didn't help. I wasn't careful enough. So now I am red, blistery and itchy with rashes on my face, neck, arms, belly and hips. I don't know how it spread so bad. At least I am not as bad off as this guy! and did you know that Batman battled Poison Ivy too?

Poison ivy is in the same family as mango and cashew nuts (Anacardiaceae), and incredibly common around here. You probably can't go more than a meter or two in the forest without seeing some. This is how it looks, if you don't know this plant, and some hard-core sceince facts:

" It's the world's most common allergy, affecting nearly half of all Americans. Each year, about 50 million people get a reaction from poison ivy, sumac and oak — including many people who aren't allergic to anything else.

The wicked itch and bothersome rash are the result of urushiol oil, a potent toxin. Get as little as one-billionth of a gram on your skin and you might be scratching yourself silly. "


O.K. said...

Holy evilness of veggies, Batman!

I guess I was very lucky when I was crawling on the ground rubbing my face in the poison ivy leaves, without getting any rash.

How long will it last, do you think?

LS said...

They say the rash last 3 weeks! And that new blisters will show up for 1-8 days after you get it on you. I am itchy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

EH said...

Poor you!

I will be even more careful this time, last time I definitely took some risks, not being sure what it looked like and weeding all the flowerbeds!

LS said...

It is getting bigger! The rash I mean!

Olle said...

Terrible - never heard of it! Do we have poison ivy in the Old World? Are there no medicines - antihistamins or something you can take to calm this itching?