Poison ivy discovered in suburbs

Posted: 2008 Jul 15 22:29 UTC

— Poison ivy has recently been discovered in our own backyard -- literally.

Poison ivy
Poison ivy continues to grow in Leif's backyard.

During the holiday weekend of July 5 and 6, Leif was in his backyard clearing out some brush and vines from the property line. The next day, he developed a slight skin irritation on his wrists. By Tuesday, a rash appeared on both his forearms.

"I looked up poison ivy online and found some pictures," said the Founder. "When I saw them, I realized I was a damned fool. It was the exact stuff I was ripping out of the camellias."

Leif ventured back outside and discovered large amounts of the toxic vine growing all along the property line.

The discovery has caused many local residents to panic uncontrollably. Emergency officials stress that vigilance is important, but this should not affect existing lifestyles.

"As long as people can distinguish between Virginia creeper and poison ivy, they should be okay," said Barbara Gillespie of Baton Rouge EMS.

Gillespie emphasized that poison ivy can and does grow all over the state, and not just in forests.

"Over the past week, I've tried hydrocortisone creams, calamine creams, and Benedryl," said the Founder. "Calamine blocked my pores and hydrocortisone made the rash worse. So far, Benedryl seems to be working a bit."

Calamine was banned in 1992 by the FDA as an anti-itch medication. It is currently only sold in creams that contain a recognized ingredient such as pramoxine.

The Founder also recommends ice cubes for immediate relief.

"This isn't as bad as when I had a norovirus from tainted oysters," said Leif, "but it's pretty bad."

Addendum: Benedryl was slightly effective but caused severe apathy and drowsiness. Oatmeal baths have been much more effective.