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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Poison Oak – Not Quite So Evil

PoisonOakLeavesI think the first bout of poison oak I had was when my best girl friend and I tried to go camping and ignorantly thought setting up next to the beautiful green bushes was a good plan.

It’s been a long, tawdry relationship with the stuff. When I first started getting it, my solution was to itch it off. I talked to a friend the other day that still does this – and then she pour alcohol on it. Oh my.

So then there’s toughing it out, Calagel, calomine, steroids, cortisone . . . yeah, you know what I’m talking about. And there’s the times when it goes systemic and you get it on your hoo-hah and you KNOW you didn’t rub that on the stupid plant.

But years later from that first encounter, I find myself for the next four months on free days with my loppers (dubbed, you know “Cyndi Lopper”) hacking away at the stuff and . . . yeah, sometimes I get it, but mostly because the dogs are bopping around in it and then rub those vile little oils all over me.

How many times have you lamented the fact we can’t put on some kind of anti-PO condom? Well, apparently you can; I cite this study, though have yet to actually try the products. Anyone got any feedback on the products mentioned? Do I hear a sponsorship opportunity ringing in my ears?

But I digress. If you don’t have a prophylactic cream, you can still protect yourself: long socks, non-pourous shoes, light, full-length ripstop pants, a long sleeve shirt (cotton), hat, and gloves always do me well. You have to be careful with the gloves, though, pulling them on and off can distribute the vile little oils you want to avoid.

Then, have a complete change of clothes waiting for you when you’re done. Do not sit around in your stuff or drive home like that.

The key is getting it off, though. Here’s the formula that really works:

1. Temperate shower with Technu.

2. Temperate shower with dish soap.

3. Temperate shower with regular soap.

Do this three-step ASAP. I mean it. The longer you leave it on – the easier chance it has to penetrate your protection.

And, the most important step? Wash your clothes in Technu. That same friend I mentioned above came and helped us with the adventure race in May and then did three-month long trip through South America . . . and did not wash her clothes she had been travelling with in Technu and thus had THREE MONTHS of poison oak.


Oh, and wash your stupid dogs, too. Smile

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