I, however, am definitely allergic to it. I spend a considerable amount of time outside in the yard, the garden, the woods, roadsides - weeding, planting, raking, foraging, picking and more. And I pull up poison ivy wherever I see it - which is everywhere... But so far, I've managed to avoid getting poison ivy almost entirely.
How, you ask? It's pretty simple:
1. I wear gloves to pull it out. If I know I'm going to be yanking up a bunch, I'll wear a pair of disposable latex gloves and, even though it's wasteful, I peel them off so that I'm left with two little balls of inside-out gloves and toss them in the garbage can we keep outside.
2. Before I take my gloves off, I wash the handles of any tools I've used thoroughly with Tecnu and give them a good rinse with the hose before hanging them up to dry. Then I get rid of the gloves.
3. As soon as I get inside, I strip and throw my clothes in the washing machine and add a splash of Tecnu to the water with the soap.
4. I wash my skin thoroughly with Tecnu.
Ever since I found out that poison ivy is growing larger and more toxic as a result of climate change (yay, climate change!), I've been toying with the idea of buying stock in Tecnu. For now, I just buy it in bulk on Amazon.
If you're going to be outside, I highly recommend getting yourself a bottle of it. I also bought it in these little packets so I could put one in my backpack, one in the stroller, one in the glove compartment of the car. My husband thinks I'm crazy but sprinkling these packets around in a Boy Scout-like manner has helped ease my anxiety about my kids getting poison ivy considerably.
If you do end up getting poison ivy, don't forget to wash the clothes you were wearing as the urushiol may still be on them, apply Calamine lotion liberally, and try not to scratch. If it's really bad, go see a doctor.
I had a terrible case of poison oak on my face when we lived in California and ended up going on corticosteroids for a short while because my eyes were swelling shut. While it's not something you should ever abuse, prednisone is completely magical! It helped tremendously and worked very quickly.
Just to clarify, I did not rub my face in poison oak leaves. I had my shirt tied around my waist and must've brushed against some poison oak while I was hiking and when I pulled the shirt on later, the urushiol oil got on my face. Oy!
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