Special Ops Paintball: Information on Poison Ivy - Special Ops Paintball

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Information on Poison Ivy Ivy, Oak and Sumac

#16 User is offline   FlamingoChavez 

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 05:24 AM

View PostChibbs, on Apr 10 2007, 06:54 PM, said:

View PostDDC Commander, on Apr 10 2007, 09:21 PM, said:

Good work on the heads up.
U should do one on the bugs u gotta deal with out here. Where I live we get alot of deer ticks an mosquitoes.
This is usually the Northeast but i dont know bout the rest of the country


acutally i was given a presentation on bugs in the northeast by someone who just got his doctorite in bugology (i dont remember what it is but the study of bugs) there is a lot of info out there and if i can get his presentation ill post it up

The word you are looking for is entymology.

One thing that I should add is that while many people claim to be "immune" to poison ivy (like me), what that really means is that your body hasn't mounted an immune response YET. Continued exposure is like playing Russian roulette, you never know when you're going to loose... but the more you play, the more probable loosing will be.

Unfortunately you stumbled upon the one plant taxonomist that plays paintball, so I recognized a few minor details that were wrong with your post. Theres been a reclassification of the Rhus genus. First of all, all the plants you've mentioned have been moved under the toxicodendron genus for some time (at least since I graduated college). There are actually two types of Poison Oak, Eastern and Western... Toxicodendron quercifolium and Toxicodendron diversilobum respectively (note that the species names have been changed in the Rhus mix up). The species name for poison sumac has remained the same, but it has gone under the Toxicodendron genus as well. So the "new" names are:
Toxicodendron radican - Poison Ivy
Toxicodendron quercifolium - Eastern Poison Oak
Toxicodendron diversilobum - Western Poison Oak
Toxicodendron verlix - Poison Sumac

I don't know why this revamp ocurred, but it did... I don't know when it happened either. I do know that T. verlix looks suspiciously allot like Rhus galabra (smooth sumac), so it might have been lumped into the Rhus genus because of its morphological similarities.

T. radican can often be confused with what is commonly called "Virginia Creeper," (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) note the similarities below:
Posted Image
Some people might easily dismiss this possibility, but they have a similar leaf shape (I'll get back to that latter), they're both vines, and they both flourish in riparian zones and can often be seen growing next to each other. The way you can tell them apart is that a P. quinquefolia has a leaf consisting of 5 leaflets, whereas T. radican has a leaf that consists of three leaflets (yes what most consider as three leaves on T. radican are, in fact, what botanists consider one leaf).

T. radican has a very variable leaf shape, and can be hard to identify especially from photos, so take them with a grain of salt. Often they have three lobes, but they can have two or none. Some plants exhibit a toothed margin around the edge of the leaf, but many do not. Its quite common for me to find mixed populations of leaves on the same plant even, or even on the same leaf. They also have varying colors of green leaves. Some seem to have a shiny cuticle, some seem to be more dull. So, have fun identifying the boogers. The best way I've found is to just to look for the bundle of three leaflets.

You mentioned this, but I would like to underline it some... Don't forget that T. radicans is a WOODY vine, and can grow unexpectedly large. I've seen branches of poison ivy that were over 4 inches in diameter coming from a vine that had attached itself to a tree. When Chibbs says you can't tell where the vine stops and the tree starts, thats definitely right in some cases.

This post has been edited by FlamingoChavez: 12 April 2007 - 06:22 AM

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#17 User is offline   Chibbs 

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 01:19 PM

thanks for the update, i would fix my original post but there is a problem with how its posted, i posted it in 2 post because there were too many images for one, then the forum made it into 1 large post, so when i noticed several spelling errors and went to fix them the forum wouldnt let me because of too many images


since i wrote this i was in virginia and have seen somthing like i have never seen before, a line of coniferous trees that looked like they were deciduous trees, the vines were as big as the trunk, probably around 6 inches and the Ivy had completly taken over the tree, also the area around the tree where it was open field there was small lefelets of the Ivy sticking up for about 30 feet in all directions, this was in a line of trees mabe 15 trees long, most all trees had the same thing

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#18 User is offline   stealthghost 

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Posted 14 May 2007 - 12:09 AM

I have never had or ever been around posion anything (at lest I dont think so) but I'm moving to a new location so this is very good info to know especially when I'm going to be playing in a unfamiliar location. After seeing the pictures of the rash I'm never going into the woods without watching for poison...whatever. Thanks for the topic!
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#19 User is offline   MommyDawg 

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Posted 14 May 2007 - 12:41 PM

Well finally something I can help with also! I'm a retired nurse and worked in Urgent Care and Workmans Comp and treated patients with poison oak constantly especially in the spring, summer and early fall.

I forgot who posted it about the steroid injections and his friend was an athlete who couldn't get the injection. Wrong info! The steriod injections that you would get for an allergic reaction like this is NOT the same thing as the steriods that athletes use. If someone is afraid of getting the injection then the dr would write a note stating that they had it for poison ivy/oak treatment and legally that would clear them. It will not "bulk" you up, all it will do is relieve the inflamation in the system that the oil is causing.

Also be aware of streams, creeks or other water sources in burn areas. This is something a lot of people don't know about until it is to late. When there is a fire and burns the plants the oil is released. The water fighting the fire will wash it into where ever water goes naturally like rivers, creeks etc. If you are exposed to the water either walking through it, cooling off your face or something along those lines you are exposed to the oils and watch out! One summer we not only treated the firefighters that were exposed but also the city water dept workers who had to go into the flood control areas to clear out the brush. They had basically taken a bath in the stuff!

If you break out in a rash, keep it clean and dry. If it isn't going away in a couple of days, gets worse or spreads GO SEE A DR!! Get a steriod injection, you may need a prescription for the rash if it isn't clearing up. Do Not scratch it and wash your bed sheets daily until it is gone. A big pain in the booty but much better than just reinfecting yourself over and over.

Hope this helped a little bit.
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#20 User is offline   Murdoc 

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Posted 22 May 2007 - 03:33 PM

Poison Ivy is by far the worst thing I've encountered in the woods, if you're crawling around in the woods you don't really pay attention to what's on the ground and then next thing you know you have a small rash, then a larger one.

Take this seriously all forum readers! Last year while instructing cadets in outdoor survival I had to evaluate them from a distance (Hiding with a ghille and spotter scope for 24 hours) Well I ended up getting the Ivy all over my left arm, and not just a little bit, but to the point where I had poison ivy from wrist to the upper left part of my chest. I was bandaged up and in 40 degree heat (Celsius) I've never experienced something so aggravating.

Listen to this, and apply the knowledge. Trust you me, you don't want a serious infection, or any at all.

Gauze, Medical Tape, Menthol Cream and Self Discipline are your best of friends when dealing with this.

This post has been edited by Murdoc: 22 May 2007 - 03:34 PM

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#21 User is offline   Gobo Fongo 

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Posted 22 May 2007 - 07:29 PM

I'm in the 10% that's immune, yay for me! :ghillie:

And I do still avoid it to prolong my blissful immunity.

A full quarter of my paintball field is covered in the stuff, a good deal of it is free standing 3-4 foot tall brush over a large area, and there are a few instances of it free standing over 5 feet tall. In one place a vine on a large tree is fully as large around as my thigh, very scary stuff.


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#22 User is offline   Tjenn 

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 09:47 AM

Just thought I would remove some of the scariness around this thread. Last weekend (Sunday) I went to a new field and just happened to get a small amount of poison ivy on my hand and elbow. When I was younger (I'm 17 now) i used to get into the stuff every summer. I find that in most cases when I catch it the day of or after I've been in contact with it I can usually keep it in that very small location.

My current rash/blisters are only abut half the width of a dime and about and inch long. They itch but only if I become active and get hot or if I rub against something. I've found that If you apply generic Calamine lotion and ride out the infection you just forget about it and it goes away.

On an allergic scale of 1 to 10 (never been officially tested just what I've seen) i'm probably a 6 or 7. So I'm above average when it comes to getting the stuff and keeping it for a long period of time. My average rash last about 10(sometimes up to 2 and a half weeks) days. During the Time i take 2 showers a day minimum and always gently (as to not burst the blisters) wash the rash area.

Unless the rash is originally large I don't bother changing bed sheets if I've caught it early. If you've slept in the bed before showering and then you notice poison ivy the next day or something I would suggest washing everything you have been in contact with since you were in the woods or field area. As the OP said it's the oil that will irritate your skin and not the blisters and stuff (unless the oil is on the blisters when they burst).

I'm about to try a new product that claims to relieve the itching and swelling in minutes and get rid fo the rash in only a few days. I will repost later on how it worked out.
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#23 User is offline   DaggerBurn 

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 10:36 AM

funny i see this today. last night i was out killing more ivy when i noticed a tree that I thought was really green untill I got closer and realized that most of the branches weren't the tree, they were ivy. sticking out as far as 6 feet from the tree. I've never in my life seen poison ivy grow like that but this was obviouly and old vine as the main vine going up the tree was about 2" across.

also. to kill the plant and get rid of the oils that are on the leaves you can go to the plumbing store. get some sulfuric acid and spray than on the leaves. it doesn't harm the bark of the tree only the living tissue of leaves, so fast infact that you can watch the ivy wither and die. and the acid eliminates the oils. but be careful. a splash on you can result in a chemical burn or atleast holes in your clothes next time you wash them.
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#24 User is offline   Tjenn 

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 10:47 AM

Yea I've seen the Ivy get gigantic when in vine form on trees.


In other news I recently used this rather expensive stuff called Zanfel. After following the carefully layed out instructions I was free of itch on my (rather small considering patst out breaks) current rash. The swelling has been noticeably reduced already and I'm feeling confident that this product is working better than anything I've ever used.

Like i said before the Zanfel is rather expensive at my local store (about $40). It comes in a 2 and a half inch tube and is a rough cream which bonds wit the oils form the poison plants and when rinsed also rises away the poison oils. I would highly recommend this to people who are very allergic or have large outbreaks. Last year I spend 4 weeks with over 35% of my body (if not more) covered in poison ivy rash and it was miserable. Here is a Link to Zanfel's Site I hope others find teh same relief in it as I have.

Edit: This product can be used on items that you may have been in contact with as well (garden tools, Arm rests on a chair, etc)

This post has been edited by Tjenn: 24 May 2007 - 10:50 AM

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#25 User is offline   basschamp167@yahoo.com 

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 05:11 PM

wow, thank you for this post. I am extremely allergic to poison ivy, and half of the time i cant even spot it. Anyway, i would like to thank you for this post, and all of the pictures, because as a matter of fact, i have poison ivy on my face at this very moment.







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#26 User is offline   Chibbs 

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 01:23 PM

your very welcome, last weekend i was playing at a local field, they picked our group to try out their new field they are building, which is a fort with woods around it, i was crawling up behind the fort when i took a second to look down and noticed i was crawling in a patch of poision ivy, and i was low enough my whole body was covered, when i got home the 1st thing i did was take a shower and used about half a bottle of that Tecnu stuff i mentioned in my 1st post, and now only have about 2 tiny tiny dots of rash, that stuff is just so amazing

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#27 User is offline   Philipp122 

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 10:37 PM

Great information; I am afraid to go play tommorow. The site showing the pictures pretty much provokes you to look at them lol.

I am going to play tommorow, but as soon as I am done I am taking a LONG shower, cleaning all of my gear, and giving my Ion a nice scrub-down :D
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#28 User is offline   little_ben 

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 02:06 AM

My arm is absolutely destroyed by posion ivy from a belly crawl wearing a t-shirt, I'll be more careful next time.
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#29 User is offline   Eskimo 

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 10:24 PM

oh holy mother of baby jesus, my god some of those pictures are grotesck thats just unreal. my god. thats my god if it wasnt for me trying to uphold a Canadian reputation then holy i'd be exiled from these forms. thats horrible
Great post thanks for the heads up.

This post has been edited by Eskimo: 06 August 2007 - 10:25 PM

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#30 User is offline   ErikFlipside 

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 07:07 PM

I got a really bad case of PI on the lower left of my back...right near the love handle. The rash originated from a game August 4th and there is still somewhat of a scar and it still itches occassionally, though I think that's because I purposely dried the skin out. One of my teammates suggested using Dawn dish detergent to break down and wash away the oil and dry out any existing rash. I figured if city and state road crews use Dawn to clean up nasty oil and animal fat spills on highways, it should work on a little urushiol oil. It seemed to help a lot.

Now, earlier tonight I decided to pull out my marker to add the air-thru stock that finally arrived as well as clean my BDUs...they hadn't been washed since the last game. I kid you not, within 15 minutes of handling my vest, marker, and clothes, I noticed two small PI blisters on the underside of my left wrist. I immediately grabbed all of my clothing, including gloves, shirts, BDUs, etc. and threw them into the wash then washed my hands thoroughly in cool water and Dawn soap. I was talking to my dad on the phone when I noticed a row of blisters forming to the right of my right kneecap. The a couple scattered blisters on the inside of my left ankle (i was just wearing boxers and a t-poo...that's what you where when you live alone.) So I told my dad I had to go...popped two benedryl and hopped into a cool shower with the bottle of Dawn. I washed my arms and legs three times. No new spots since I showered about 10 minutes ago. Itching stopped too.

So, how do I clean the surfaces I touched, like the lid of the washing machine, my marker, my gear bag, my goggle bag, radios, and whatever I think I might have touched? How effective is rubbing alcohol, because that's all I have access to right now.
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