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April 23, 2018

Archives for August 2014

ElectroVine: Power cord disguised as a house plant

electroVine
Go green with a plant-like power cord.
Artificially Natural

Power cords are notoriously unattractive cables that snake around on your floor looking disorderly. You can try to hide them, but the unruly animals soon emerge, untamable. Kickstarter project ElectroVine figures that if you’re stuck with a power cord, it might as well look like something else entirely.

The ElectroVine is exactly what it sounds like, a six-foot extension cord that looks like a string of ivy. It’s like the cable section at Radio Shack crashed into the fake-plant department at Michaels. The cord features 26 clusters of fake leaves that can be adjusted and moved around.

The cord can be used outside or inside. It definitely makes sense as an exterior cord that can blend into its surroundings. Using the ElectroVine as an interior cord, however, invites a certain sensation of surrealism. You can make it look like your lamp or laptop is powered by a house plant.

Though ElectroVine has been honored as a Kickstarter staff pick, it’s slow to catch on with the general crowdfunding public. It has nearly $4,000 in pledges towards a $13,000 goal with only 12 days left. There are still plenty of early-bird options to pledge $35 for a cord. The standard pledge price is $40.

Perhaps the world isn’t ready for an extension cord that cosplays as a vine. Perhaps people are looking at it and figuring they could DIY something similar with a trip to the hobby store. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that ElectroVine is making a real effort to improve the appearance of extension cords, which is a truly noble cause.

The ElectroVine may spawn a whole new aesthetic for extension cords. Here’s hoping someone comes up with cords that look like snakes, tentacles from Cthulhu, or fluffy cat tails. It would certainly make the nest of cords behind my computer desk a lot more fun to look at.

electoVine leaves
A closer look at the leaves.
Artificially Natural

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ElectroVine: Power cord disguised as a house plant

Angie's List: Removing Poison Ivy, Sumac or Oak Plants

A weekend spent working in the yard can turn into an itchy, uncomfortable nightmare — if you don’t steer clear of poisonous plants.

Homeowner Shirley Branham loves tending to her yard and garden. But she can’t seem to escape the itchy wrath of poison ivy. Every summer for the past ten years — she’s suffered through a horrible rash.

“I usually just noticed one or two little dots which eventually unfortunately then spread all the way up my arm or on my legs,” says Branham)

The key to avoiding a rash like Shirley’s — knowing how to spot these poisonous plants. Poison ivy grows in all areas of the continental US.

Poison oak is most common on the West Coast, but it’s also found in southeastern states. And poison sumac grows in swampy areas of the Southeast.

Horticulturist Emily Wood says, “Poison oak and poison ivy look fairly similar, but poison sumac has much more leaflets, more leaves on the leaflet.”

Birds often feed on the berries of these plants and consequently spread the seeds. So look for the plants in areas where birds hang out — on or under trees or near fences. The plants can grow to great lengths — so you may need help to get rid of them. Angie’s List researchers found many lawn care companies won’t go near these plants, but there are some that do specialize in removal.

Angie Hicks, from Angie’s List, says “During the hiring process be sure to cover how the company is going to tackle the problem. Are they going to use chemicals to remove the plants? Are they going to dig the plants up? How long do they guarantee their work? Will they come back if the plant reappears? Also, don’t forget these plants like to spread so if the plant is in your neighbor’s yard you want to understand that problem as well.”

You may be able to tackle smaller plants on your own, but be sure to wear protective clothing and know how to properly dispose.

“Most of the time it’s probably best to put it in a plastic bag and throw it away, but keep in mind, that anything that touches it will carry the oil and you can get the contact dermatitis from the oil,” says Wood.

All parts of these plants produce urushiol — the oil that causes the rash. It can stay on clothing and garden tools for up to five years. You should never burn these plants or use a weed eater or lawnmower to get rid of them — you’ll just distribute the oil.

See the original article here: 

Angie's List: Removing Poison Ivy, Sumac or Oak Plants

Angie's List: Removing Poison Ivy, Sumac or Oak Plants

A weekend spent working in the yard can turn into an itchy, uncomfortable nightmare — if you don’t steer clear of poisonous plants.

Homeowner Shirley Branham loves tending to her yard and garden. But she can’t seem to escape the itchy wrath of poison ivy. Every summer for the past ten years — she’s suffered through a horrible rash.

“I usually just noticed one or two little dots which eventually unfortunately then spread all the way up my arm or on my legs,” says Branham)

The key to avoiding a rash like Shirley’s — knowing how to spot these poisonous plants. Poison ivy grows in all areas of the continental US.

Poison oak is most common on the West Coast, but it’s also found in southeastern states. And poison sumac grows in swampy areas of the Southeast.

Horticulturist Emily Wood says, “Poison oak and poison ivy look fairly similar, but poison sumac has much more leaflets, more leaves on the leaflet.”

Birds often feed on the berries of these plants and consequently spread the seeds. So look for the plants in areas where birds hang out — on or under trees or near fences. The plants can grow to great lengths — so you may need help to get rid of them. Angie’s List researchers found many lawn care companies won’t go near these plants, but there are some that do specialize in removal.

Angie Hicks, from Angie’s List, says “During the hiring process be sure to cover how the company is going to tackle the problem. Are they going to use chemicals to remove the plants? Are they going to dig the plants up? How long do they guarantee their work? Will they come back if the plant reappears? Also, don’t forget these plants like to spread so if the plant is in your neighbor’s yard you want to understand that problem as well.”

You may be able to tackle smaller plants on your own, but be sure to wear protective clothing and know how to properly dispose.

“Most of the time it’s probably best to put it in a plastic bag and throw it away, but keep in mind, that anything that touches it will carry the oil and you can get the contact dermatitis from the oil,” says Wood.

All parts of these plants produce urushiol — the oil that causes the rash. It can stay on clothing and garden tools for up to five years. You should never burn these plants or use a weed eater or lawnmower to get rid of them — you’ll just distribute the oil.

Original article:  

Angie's List: Removing Poison Ivy, Sumac or Oak Plants

Don't Get Fooled by Poison Ivy

If you think you know what poison ivy looks like, think again. Poison ivy can take the form of a vine, shrub or ground cover. It has leaves that are shiny and leaves that are dull. Its edges can be smoothed or notched.

So how can it be recognized and avoided? The old phrase “leaves of three,” let it be” is a good way to do it, says Lou Paradise, president and chief of research of Topical BioMedics, Inc., makers of Topricin. And if the berries are white, we should “take flight.” That’s true whether you’re hiking in the woods or spending some time in your yard.

Poison ivy tops the list of plants to avoid, Paradise says, because it contains urushiol, an oily resin that binds to the skin on contact and may result in itching, burning skin eruptions. This rash-causing poison ivy sap is a clear liquid found in the plant’s leaves and the roots.

Urushiol oil is extremely potent, and only one nanogram (billionth of a gram) is needed to cause a rash, Paradise says. Even if you’ve never broken out you cannot assume you are immune; in fact, the more often you are exposed to urushiol, the more likely it is that you will break out. About 90% of the population develops an allergy to it.

What’s more, urushiol oil remains active for several years, so even handling dead leaves or vines can cause a reaction. In addition, oil transferred from the plant to other objects—gardening tools or an article of clothing—can cause the rash when it comes in contact with human skin.

(It’s also possible to get poison ivy from your pet. The primary danger to the pets themselves is ingesting the plant; if that happens, go to a vet immediately or call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control line at 888-426-4435. Luckily, pets can’t “get” poison ivy, according to the company Pet Veterinary Insurance, because their coats are usually too long for the oil to reach their skin.To be on the safe side, Paradise says, bathe your dog or cat after exposure. Use thick rubber gloves, not latex.)

To prevent poison ivy, Paradise recommends that when going on a hike or walking through a wooded area, you minimize the possibility of exposure by wearing long pants, a shirt with long sleeves, booths and gloves. The same is true if you’re cutting down trees or mowing or removing brush. If you stay at a campsite, give it a once-over so you’re aware of any hazards. Look around any campsite.

Prior to any outdoor activity, it can also help to apply a cream or lotion that creates a barrier on the skin.

If you get poison ivy, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) suggests that you:

Rinse your skin with lukewarm, soapy water – ideally, immediately after touching.

Wash your clothing, even down to your bootlaces, Paradise says, and use bleach if possible. The oil can stick to clothing, and if that touches your skin, can cause another rash.

Wash everything that may have the oil on its surface. Besides clothing, Paradise and the AAD say, the oil can stick to gardening tools, golf clubs and leashes. Wash with warm, soapy water.

Do not scratch, the AAD says. Scratching can cause an infection.

Leave blisters alone. If they open, don’t remove the overlying skin, because that skin can protect the wound beneath.

Take short, lukewarm baths in a colloidal oatmeal preparation that you can buy at a drugstore. You can also add a cup of baking soda to a bath. Short, cool showers can help as well.

Consider applying calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream. But talk to your doctor before applying an antihistamine cream, because that can actually worsen the rash.

Poison ivy can’t always be handled with self-care, though. Paradise says that symptoms requiring immediate medical attention include trouble breathing or swallowing; many rashes/blisters or a rash that covers most of the body; a rash on the genitals; swelling, especially of the eyelid.

For more information, visit topricin.com and the American Academy of Dermatology, aad.org.

More here: 

Don't Get Fooled by Poison Ivy

Don't Get Fooled by Poison Ivy

If you think you know what poison ivy looks like, think again. Poison ivy can take the form of a vine, shrub or ground cover. It has leaves that are shiny and leaves that are dull. Its edges can be smoothed or notched.

So how can it be recognized and avoided? The old phrase “leaves of three,” let it be” is a good way to do it, says Lou Paradise, president and chief of research of Topical BioMedics, Inc., makers of Topricin. And if the berries are white, we should “take flight.” That’s true whether you’re hiking in the woods or spending some time in your yard.

Poison ivy tops the list of plants to avoid, Paradise says, because it contains urushiol, an oily resin that binds to the skin on contact and may result in itching, burning skin eruptions. This rash-causing poison ivy sap is a clear liquid found in the plant’s leaves and the roots.

Urushiol oil is extremely potent, and only one nanogram (billionth of a gram) is needed to cause a rash, Paradise says. Even if you’ve never broken out you cannot assume you are immune; in fact, the more often you are exposed to urushiol, the more likely it is that you will break out. About 90% of the population develops an allergy to it.

What’s more, urushiol oil remains active for several years, so even handling dead leaves or vines can cause a reaction. In addition, oil transferred from the plant to other objects—gardening tools or an article of clothing—can cause the rash when it comes in contact with human skin.

(It’s also possible to get poison ivy from your pet. The primary danger to the pets themselves is ingesting the plant; if that happens, go to a vet immediately or call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control line at 888-426-4435. Luckily, pets can’t “get” poison ivy, according to the company Pet Veterinary Insurance, because their coats are usually too long for the oil to reach their skin.To be on the safe side, Paradise says, bathe your dog or cat after exposure. Use thick rubber gloves, not latex.)

To prevent poison ivy, Paradise recommends that when going on a hike or walking through a wooded area, you minimize the possibility of exposure by wearing long pants, a shirt with long sleeves, booths and gloves. The same is true if you’re cutting down trees or mowing or removing brush. If you stay at a campsite, give it a once-over so you’re aware of any hazards. Look around any campsite.

Prior to any outdoor activity, it can also help to apply a cream or lotion that creates a barrier on the skin.

If you get poison ivy, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) suggests that you:

Rinse your skin with lukewarm, soapy water – ideally, immediately after touching.

Wash your clothing, even down to your bootlaces, Paradise says, and use bleach if possible. The oil can stick to clothing, and if that touches your skin, can cause another rash.

Wash everything that may have the oil on its surface. Besides clothing, Paradise and the AAD say, the oil can stick to gardening tools, golf clubs and leashes. Wash with warm, soapy water.

Do not scratch, the AAD says. Scratching can cause an infection.

Leave blisters alone. If they open, don’t remove the overlying skin, because that skin can protect the wound beneath.

Take short, lukewarm baths in a colloidal oatmeal preparation that you can buy at a drugstore. You can also add a cup of baking soda to a bath. Short, cool showers can help as well.

Consider applying calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream. But talk to your doctor before applying an antihistamine cream, because that can actually worsen the rash.

Poison ivy can’t always be handled with self-care, though. Paradise says that symptoms requiring immediate medical attention include trouble breathing or swallowing; many rashes/blisters or a rash that covers most of the body; a rash on the genitals; swelling, especially of the eyelid.

For more information, visit topricin.com and the American Academy of Dermatology, aad.org.

Continue reading:

Don't Get Fooled by Poison Ivy

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