Poison Ivy everywhere!!

On our nearby MUni trails, there’s poison Ivy all over the place. And we’ve had tropical rains recently, so its a jungle out there. I would have to say its impossible to avoid the stuff.

So, what to do?

Since I don’t ride near a shower, as soon as the ride is over, Grandmaster 2T advises me to flush exposed skin with rubbing alcohol to dislodge the PI oil from skin surface. (or baby wipes are good)

This works (so far)(knock wood)

Are there any helpfull techniques that you folks use? I hear there’s a way to coat your skin with something to deter the PI oils reaching the surface of your skin. Would simple suntan lotion do this?

I’m telling you, its thick, and encroaches on and over all of our better MUni trails. Struggling up an incline, one must always check before grabbing a tree trunk for support. It could be covered! Lawd help you if you wipe out and tumble.:frowning:

If you’ve ever had even a mild case of PI, you’ll understand that I’m eager to hear to any and all advice.

There is a product called Ivy Block at the drugstore. It is near all the Ivy anti itch products. I don’t think sunscreen would have the same effect.

Another thing to be careful of is the clothing, pads, shoes etc that you are wearing. If you get Poison Ivy, Sumac, Oak, etc… on them, it can transfer to you. So when you take that stuff off, be careful not to get it on you and throw it in the wash.

You might want to consider getting some people together that use those trails for trail maintanence. You gould get some Ivy killer and spray it back from the trails. It will take a while for the Ivy(even dead) to no longer have the oils that will cause the reaction, but it will protect you in the future.

I keep a small bottle of this stuff in my CamelBak:


Haven’t had a major tangle with PI yet, but it seems to have worked well for a few minor skirmishes so far.


IFAIK, I have never come across Poison Ivy in my neck of the woods. I thought it was a band! To fill this gap in my knowledge I went on the net and found a lot including this:

There is a barrier cream and a cleanup wash called Technu commonly used by those who are sensitized to PI/PO/PS. Works quite well.

(from <http://www.ibiblio.org/herbmed/faqs/medi-2-7-poison-ivy.html>)

Maybe it helps.

Klaas Bil

What is poison ivy?? we don’t get it over here. We get nettles though, lots of them! I recently nosedived into a patch of them!

Nettles suck, but poison ivy or poison oak is way worse! Nettle stinging goes away within a day. Poison oak, which is what we have in Northern CA, usually takes at least a day to show up on you. Then you itch, leak, and otherwise get driven crazy until it heals, which usually takes two weeks or more.

Out here, the only product I hear of that works is Technu. This Web site is for a distributor:
I’m not sure where Tecnu is or isn’t available, but it describes itself as the only product that can actually cleanse those nasty oils.

Poison ivy and oak are about the same, though I’ve had much worse experiences with poison oak, including the one from which I’m still recovering (from May 10). Both plants are similar in appearance and I believe you only get one in a given area, not both. I’m not familiar with poison sumac.

My last experience involved falling on a plant, and scraping my elbow. This resulted in a nasty infection. By the time I went to my doctor six days later, she told me she was amazed I’d waited so long. The whole back side of my right arm was a mass of leaking blisters. I had leaned my elbow on my knee after crashing and before showering, so my knee also had a 4" diameter patch of disgustingness.

I was given a steroid shot, an antibiotic shot, and a 10-day perscription for 4-a-day antibiotic capsules. Fun. But they turned the nasty infection right around. I should have gone in earlier!

From my many poison oak experiences I’ve learned a few things:

  • You can only get infected by the oil from the plant, be it on your own skin, someone else’s skin, clothing, pets, etc. The stuff is very resistant to washing off. But once it’s gone, you cannot get poison oak or ivy from a person with disgusting “weepy” blisters.

  • Scratching is bad.

  • Once exposed to the oil, try not to spread it around on yourself or your clothes. In my case, the armrest in my car was suspect, and I gave it a good Tecnu washing.

  • Oil on clothing is potentially even infectious after washing. normal soap does not do much to break it down.

  • Bleach and alcohol dry out your skin, and do nothing to protect you or relieve you if already infected.

  • An oatmeal bath feels good, but also does nothing to cure you.

  • Most home remedies either make you itch less temporarily, or do nothing. None of them is a cure. The only stuff that really battles the infection away once you’ve got it are perscription meds such as the ones I was given.

  • No one is immune. However, some people are much more resistant than others. I have friends that can roll around in the stuff. I on the other hand can get infected apparently by being within 3 feet of it. :angry:

Tecnu can be used as a preventative measure as well, by applying some before riding. Apply it to all the places where you might touch a plant, as well as the chafing points around your body. Once I picked up some poison oak on the back of my knee, where the Roach pads were rubbing.

Carry Tecnu, or its equivalent, with you to all rides where the evil plans may dwell. If I had done this on May 10, I might not have had to cancel my show the following Saturday. Then if you think you were infected, you can apply it immediately.

I will be buying a few more bottles of Tecnu and make sure I always have one with me at trail rides. Most of the best trails around here have at least a little bit of the nasty stuff.

Why don’t the trail workers kill it off? One of the reasons I’ve read is that it’s part of the natural environment. And part of the reason for using trails is to be out in nature… whatever. My first exposre to poison oak was working with a trail crew, clearing brush for the building of a new trail. My only exposed skin was on my wrists, but that’s all it took to end up spreading it all over me because I didn’t know any better. Oops.

YUK! sounds horrible! I’m glad nettles are all we’ve got. Oh yeah, wasps are annoying too but I’m sure you will have worse things over there. At the BMW I was coming to the end of one of the trails (which was a great trail!) when all of a sudden I felt a bolt of pain shoot through my chest. A wasp had decided to get itself stuck in my Camelback strap and stung me. One minute I was saying “WOW! that trail was great!” to the guy in front of me, then I was shouting “JEEZUS!! WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT!! AARRGGHH!” (pardon the blasphemies). The worst bit was that there was someone at the end taking everyones pictures as they came out, beaming smiles on faces and coated in mud and there was me, face contorted with pain, clutching my side and doing my best to stay on the uni (well I had to finish it didn’t I?). That hurt.

Re: Poison Ivy everywhere!!

Ditto to everything John said. Tecnu all the way! Buy it in the “Family
size” bottle - it’s a better deal. Follow the directions. Even if you only
start treatment after you notice it (2 days for me), it will reduce the
amount of itching greatly and lessen the period (from 3 weeks to 10 days in
my case).



Here is the face of a happy Tecnu user. Unfortunately I can’t remember his name. That is a bottle of Tecnu in his hand. The photo is was taken at the 2002 Muni Weekend in Santa Cruz. The poor subject is all dirty because he fell into some poison oak.

That was my bottle of Tecnu. I had brought it because I was already aware that Santa Cruz was poison oak country. Fortunately I didn’t need it, but it still came in handy. I hope the poor test subject managed to avoid a raging case of poison oak. :slight_smile:


Re: Poison Ivy everywhere!!

Andriko Zavadell of Oakland, Ca. “Ride hard, crash hard” would have to be
his motto. All around great guy.


> Here is the face of a happy Tecnu user. Unfortunately I can’t remember
> his name. That is a bottle of Tecnu in his hand. The photo is was
> taken at the 2002 Muni Weekend in Santa Cruz. The poor subject is all
> dirty because he fell into some poison oak.

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