January 29, 2020

Leaves of three, let it be

Leaves of three, let it be

Time to call Poison Ivy Gone

Published Aug 28, 2014 at 9:35 pm
(Updated Aug 28, 2014)

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  • Poison Ivy

  • Poison Ivy Gone workers dig up the plants and remove them.

  • The van says it all.

Things you may not know about poison ivy – but should
Urushiol (u-ROO-she-ol), the culprit in poison ivy, is found in leaves, stems and roots of the plant.
Three out of four people who come in contact with urushiol will develop a rash, an allergic dermatitis.
The first contact with urushiol often does not cause a reaction. However, the immune system goes on the defense and the next contact will result in an allergic reaction.
Skin must come in direct contact with the oil to be affected but it can be spread by contaminated hands, clothing, tools, sporting equipment, etc. The contamination can last for five years. The blister fluid does not spread the rash.
Symptoms, 12-48 hours after exposure: redness, itching, swelling, streaky or patchy rash, red bumps, blisters, sometimes oozing. Typically lasts 5-12 days, 30 days or longer in severe cases.
Medical attention is needed if there is a rash on face, lips, eyes or genitals, severe swelling, difficulty in breathing or a widespread reaction.
Never burn poison ivy. While the oil cannot be inhaled from the plant, burning results in toxic smoke that can cause a serious reaction in the lungs, nasal passages and throat.
Urushiol oil remains in the stems of poison ivy for years after the plant dies.
To prevent infection after contact, shower in cool water as soon as possible. Wash toys and tools in soap and cold water.

You went to sleep fine last night but woke up this morning with blisters and itching skin. Sure, you were weeding yesterday but you had on your garden gloves. So how did you get poison ivy?

According to George Louvis, the marketing director for Poison Ivy Gone, your cloth gloves act like a sponge, absorbing the urushiol oil in poison ivy, increasing the amount of oil that comes in contact with your skin and making your allergic reaction even worse.

Poison Ivy Gone
Oakland, New Jersey
Free estimates available
Business hours: Mon.-Fri. 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Closed Sat. and Sun.

Based in Oakland, Poison Ivy Gone has over 28 years of experience in professionally removing poison ivy in Northern New Jersey but they have also worked in Orange and Rockland counties, Pennsylvania and South Jersey. They service residential and commercial properties as well as others sites, such as country clubs, playgrounds and schools. They are Service Award winners on Angie’s List.

“She comes on like a rose, but everybody knows, she’ll get you in Dutch….”

Louvis reports that poison ivy starts to grow in the spring and he said this year’s weather conditions created the perfect storm.

“It’s a weed, so there’s not much that stops its growth. It’s a vicious and invasive plant and it doesn’t take a lot for it to take over,” he said.

Poison ivy can grow anywhere but usually pops up around the borders of your property or near the house. It roots well in mulch, flower beds and woods, where there is little activity, and tends to shoot off in many directions.

“It’s very aggressive and it spreads in two ways; along the ground, where it gets longer and bigger and then every so often it shoots vertical. That’s when it reproduces and drops seeds. When it starts climbing it’s getting ready to have babies,” he said.

Your dog can take a walk on the wild side in poison ivy and suffer no ill effects, but once you pet your furry friend, who carries the oil on his coat, you’re in trouble. Backyard birds are also culprits in the itchy world of poison ivy. They ingest the berries of the plant and as they do a fly-over they pass the seeds, perfectly encased in their own little sack of fertilizer. No harm intended, but now you are in deep doo-doo and have a good chance of becoming a host property for poison ivy.

“You can look but you’d better not touch….”

Attempting to eliminate poison ivy with a lawn mower or weed whacker only succeeds in spreading the oil on the grass, in the bushes, on your shoes and pant legs. Your tools are also contaminated for the next five years unless they are properly cleaned. And it gets worse.

“When your kids play in the yard the oil is all over the lawn,” Louvis said.

“She’s pretty as a daisy, but look out man, she’s crazy….”

Poison ivy is easiest to identify from April to October. It goes dormant after the fall, but doesn’t die and you can still get a rash in the dead of winter. While the leaves remain is the best time to call Poison Ivy Gone.

“It’s never a do-it-yourself job. Our guys recognize it, figure out where it’s coming from, remove it completely and show you how to keep it from coming back,” Louvis said.

Poison Ivy Gone’s preferred method is to remove it by hand, just beneath ground level, or in the case of significant infestation, by machine.

Sometimes customers prefer the use of an herbicide to protect certain plants from harm. In that case, Poison Ivy Gone technicians use a paint brush to apply the herbicide to the poison ivy leaves, killing off the noxious plant only.

“They are skilled and careful and we are licensed to use herbicides,” Louvis said.

“You’re gonna need an ocean of calamine lotion….”

Poison Ivy Gone technicians know how to protect themselves so they’re not scratching like a hound the minute they mess around with poison ivy.

“The guys are basically in haz-mat suits. They take an oral product and use a cream on their skin. The suits are destroyed afterwards; you can’t re-use anything in this business,” Louvis said.

Poison Ivy Gone removes the poison ivy from the ground then carts it away from your property to a secure location.

And then the Poison Ivy is Gone.

Sources: http://lyricksfreak.com – “Poison Ivy” by the Coasters, 1959; http://www.mayoclinic.org; http://my.clevelandclinic.org;

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Leaves of three, let it be

Prevention and treatment options for bug bites and poison ivy this summer

With the summertime, comes increased outdoor activity, as well as increased exposure to things such as poison ivy and bug bites.

The majority of Americans are allergic to poison ivy; however, there are things we can do to prevent it from coming into contact with our skin, such as:

1. Knowing how to identify the plant – poison ivy has a cluster of three leaves at the end of a long stem. Hairy vines that you often see growing up the side of trees are also poison ivy.

2. Wearing gloves, long sleeves and pants if you are working outside, and washing them immediately after use.

Bug bites can also be quite the nuisance, and in some cases, quite dangerous. Tick bites, in particular, can cause serious health conditions such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease.

To prevent tick bites, wear bug repellent spray containing at least 25 percent DEET when spending time outdoors.

In most cases, bug bites and poison ivy rashes can be treated at home using cold compresses and/or hydrocortisone cream to help with the itching.

However, if a rash from poison ivy lasts more than three weeks or if you begin experiencing high fever, achiness, a rash, fatigue and/or headache within a month of a tick bite, you need to seek medical attention.

Fortunately, Cone Health has an exceptional network of urgent care facilities throughout the area, from Kernersville to Mebane, dedicated to providing proper treatment to patients who have experienced a common summertime injury or health condition.

Spokesperson Background:
Dr. Laura Murray is an urgent care specialist at Mebane Urgent Care at Mebane Medical Park.

Dr. Murray received her Doctor of Medicine from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine in 1994. She completed her residency in internal medicine at The Ohio State University Department of Internal Medicine in 1997.

Originally posted here – 

Prevention and treatment options for bug bites and poison ivy this summer

What's Going Around – Week of Apr. 9th

If you’re having throat issues this week, you’re not alone. Here’s what doctors in the Local 6 region are seeing this week.

Nurse Practitioner Lori Lipinski at Calvert City reports bronchitis, sinusitis, poison ivy, and sore throats.

Dr. William Conyer at Baptist Prime Care in Paducah reports cases of strep throat and viral gastroenteritis with diarrhea.

Nurse Practitioner Lance Williamson at Paducah’s Redicare reports viral upper respiratory infections, bronchitis, and seasonal allergies.

Dr. Daisy Benigno in Hickman, Kentucky reports viral gastroenteritis and upper respiratory infections.

Dr. William Robinson at Murray Medical Associates is seeing sinus infections, cough, congestion and sore throats due to allergies. He is also seeing a stomach virus causing vomiting and diarrhea.

Nurse Practitioner Michelle Elkins at Marshall Count Family Medical is seeing stomach viruses, seasonal allergies, and upper respiratory infections.

Dr. Kyaw Naing at SIU Family Practice in Carbondale reports cough, congestion, and sinus issues related to allergies.

Dr. Brian Harrison in Benton, Ilinois says sinus infections continue to be his most common problem.

View this article – 

What's Going Around – Week of Apr. 9th

Theresa’s ‘Challenge’ Confession: Allergies In Thailand Made Me Blow Up Like A Big Red Balloon

Theresa’s ‘Challenge’ Confession: Allergies In Thailand Made Me Blow Up Like A Big Red Balloon


If you’re allergic to bees, you steer clear of their hives, and unless you’re a camp counselor, sidestepping poison ivy is usually easy enough. But there are certain little venoms that are tough to avoid, and Theresa bore the brunt of her medical sensitivities on her last “Challenge” outing. During “Rivals II” filming in Thailand, Jasmine‘s partner, who’s allergic to coconut and MSG, naturally came into contact with both, and by the time everything was said and done, she was rushed to the hospital in pretty embarrassing condition.

“My face blew up like a big red balloon,” the “Free Agents” cast member recalls in our latest “Challenge” Confessions clip. “It was not a comfortable situation, so I ate carrots and peanut butter for almost the entire time.” Well, just be glad you’re not allergic to spiders, too, girl — as Coral proved way back on “The Gauntlet,” arachnids can do some real damage to your chances at first place. Make sure to have that EpiPen ready either way!

Listen to Theresa relive the horror of her swelling, and be sure to see her in action when “Free Agents” premieres on Thursday, April 10 at 10/9c

Photo: Ian Spanier


Theresa’s ‘Challenge’ Confession: Allergies In Thailand Made Me Blow Up Like A Big Red Balloon

Shingles Remain Lifelong Threat

Published: Monday, March 10, 2014 at 8:32 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, March 11, 2014 at 5:14 p.m.

If you had chickenpox (varicella zoster) as a youngster, you probably remember it well.

The itching.

The scratching.

The perpetual discomfort bordering on pain.

What you probably don’t remember, however, is being told by your parents and/or doctor that five, six or seven decades later the virus may just revisit you — in the form of shingles (herpes zoster).

Former MSNBC and current ESPN broadcaster Keith Olbermann is the latest baby boomer to be reminded — the hard way — that once the dreaded “zoster” comes to visit, it never leaves.

Late last month, the 55-year-old Olbermann missed a week of broadcasting of his eponymous nightly one-hour show after being felled by the burning, painful disorder.

His tweets — self-admitted “kvetches” — about the condition, though, were quite entertaining. Among them:

“It is mind-boggling to realize that I am dealing with a virus I contracted while JFK was still president”

“To those asking, Shingles (sic) feels like you fell 3 flights. On to sharp poison ivy. Which then spontaneously combusts. Emitting toxic fumes.”

“…Get the vaccine!”

Of course, for anyone who’s suffered through a bout with shingles, they’re no laughing matter.

What’s more, a study of Medicare data published in December showed that, between 1992 and 2010, the annual rates of shingles cases in those older than 65 increased nearly 40 percent.

That same study concluded that, for those who had chickenpox in their youth, between a quarter and a third eventually experience at least one episode with shingles.

The reason why? Well, the medical community’s guess is as good as yours or mine.

“Anything that is a ‘stress’ on the body could be a factor that contributes to a shingles outbreak,” explains Dr. Thomas Balshi, owner and medical director of Balshi Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery in Delray Beach. “Everything from the flu, arthritic injury and mental stress to too much sunlight or a sudden change in climate can do it. The list is endless. And, sometimes shingles erupts without any definable reason behind it.”

The vaccine Olbermann referenced in his tweet — it’s called “Zostavax” — is available to those 50 and older who’ve had chickenpox. The injection helps mitigate some of the risk for seniors — but, says Balshi, it “doesn’t provide 100 percent protection from getting shingles.”

Nonetheless, adds Balshi: “Experts recommend that people older than 60 get this vaccine — whether or not they’ve had shingles before — because it considerably reduces the severity and risk of further complications of a shingles outbreak.”

At the first sign of shingles — that is, when you begin experiencing nerve pain, burning or topical blistering — get to your doctor immediately.

“By taking antiviral prescription medication within 72 hours of an outbreak, you can help reduce the pain and duration of the disease,” says Boca Raton family physician Dr. Carlos Ballestas.

In severe cases, notes Ballestas, patients may need to supplement the antiviral meds with corticosteroids (to reduce swelling), antihistamines (to decrease itching) and Zostrix, a cream containing capsacian, which helps control pain.

In addition, Ballestas warns that just because you’ve never had chickenpox does not mean shingles pose you no threat.

“Exposure to shingles may cause chickenpox in adults or children who’ve never had chickenpox,” he explains.

See original article here: 

Shingles Remain Lifelong Threat

Got an itch? Allergy to moistened wipes rising, says dermatologist

More and more people are developing an itchy, painful rash in an effort to stay clean. A dermatologist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center says a preservative in many types of pre-moistened wipes is linked to a dramatic rise in allergic reactions.

“In the last two or three years, we’ve suddenly seen a big increase in people with this type of allergy,” said Dr. Matthew Zirwas, director of the contact dermatitis center at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center. “For some patients, their rash has been unexplained and going on for years.”

Zirwas says the chemical preservative is MI (methylisothiazolinone) and it has been around for years. MI is found in many water-based products like liquid soaps, hair products, sunscreen, cosmetics, laundry products and cleaners as well as pre-moistened personal hygiene products and baby wipes.

“Concentrations of the preservative have increased dramatically in some products in the last few years, as manufacturers stopped using other preservatives like paraben and formaldehyde,” Zirwas said.

The irritated skin can be red, raised, itchy and even blistery, appearing much like a reaction to poison ivy. The three most common areas affected by the allergic reaction include the face, from using soaps and shampoos, the fingers and hands, from handling the wipes, and the buttocks and genitals from using moistened flushable wipes.

Julie Omiatek, an Ohio mother of two, says it took a year to figure out her allergy. All that time, she endured the rashes on her hands and face.

“I tried to look for patterns and I journaled every time I had a flare-up,” Omiatek said. “My allergist referred me to Dr. Zirwas’ clinic and, lo and behold, it was a preservative in the baby wipes I was using. I was really surprised, because I thought that the allergy would have appeared with my first child.”

“If someone suspects an allergy to moistened wipes, they need to stop using them for at least one month. A week or two isn’t enough time,” Zirwas said.

Zirwas is nationally-known as a kind of ‘dermatologist detective.’ He has spent nearly 10 years sleuthing out the causes of mysterious rashes that others can’t solve. Over the years, he has identified allergies to shoe glue, hot tub chemicals, nickel in food, even a chemical in escalator hand rails. Patients have traveled from as far as Alaska to have him diagnose their skin allergies.

Zirwas says it isn’t clear how many Americans might react to MI, but he says manufacturers are aware of the growing allergy problem and are working on alternatives.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

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Got an itch? Allergy to moistened wipes rising, says dermatologist

Why We Scratch An Itch

The sensation of feeling itchy is pretty universal, and yet scientists still don’t completely understand the complex processes that give us the urge to scratch.

Itching can be annoying, but like pain, a little bit can be a good thing. Itching can help people learn to avoid dangers such as mosquitoes carrying malaria, or poison ivy. But many people suffer from chronic itch, which has no direct cause and can be a debilitating condition with few options for relief.

“When people hear about itch, they think about a mosquito bite or chicken pox, which is irritating but very temporary,” said Diana Bautista, a cell and developmental biologist at the University of California, Berkeley, who wrote an article summarizing our current understanding of itch, published today (Jan. 28) in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

Bautista said people often laugh when she tells them she studies itch. But “from a clinical perspective, chronic itch is a really widespread problem, and incredibly difficult to treat,” she told LiveScience. [7 Weirdest Medical Conditions]

Itch, or ouch?

Like the feelings of touch, temperature and pain, itching involves a complex system of molecules, cells and circuits reaching from the skin into the brain. Most over-the-counter treatments for itching target histamine, a compound involved in inflammation. But many kinds of itch can’t be treated with antihistamines or other available treatments.

Skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, systemic conditions including multiple sclerosis, and even some cancers, can all lead to chronic itch, which affects about 10 percent of the world’s population at some point during their lives, Bautista said.

Recent research on itch is revealing its mysterious relationship with pain, according to the paper. For example, scientists have found that the reason scratching an itch offers relief is because scratching causes pain, which suppresses the itch, at least temporarily. They’ve also found that the cells and circuits that transmit pain and itch overlap somewhat.

But although pain can block out itch, some painkillers – such as morphine – can cause itchiness. And some things that cause itch also cause pain, such as capsaicin, the ingredient that makes chili peppers hot.

Scientists now have several theories about this odd connection between pain and itch. One theory suggests the same set of neurons produce an itch when activated slightly, but result in pain when activated fully. Alternatively, different cells might trigger pain and itch signals, but the signals might interact in the spinal cord. There is some evidence for both ideas, Bautista said.

Itching to understand

But itch and pain don’t always go together.

For example, the antimalarial drug chloroquine is known to have a side effect of severe itch. In one recent study, scientists bred mice to have nerves that lacked a receptor that responds to chloroquine. These mice didn’t show signs of itching, but they did have normal responses to pain. The findings suggest these nerve cells are required for itch, but not necessarily for pain, the researchers said.

Many itch receptors found in mice are also found in humans. Often, researchers take molecules known to play a role in chronic itch in humans, and study the effects in mice that lack these molecules.

From this research, scientists have identified some of neurons and signals involved in chronic itch, but the search for treatments continues.

“It’s an exciting time, because there have been a lot of basic discoveries in the last five years,” Bautista said.

Some promising treatment approaches involve targeting receptors on immune cells, which may be somewhat effective against forms of itch that can’t be treated with anti-histamines.

“As we learn more about the system, and which cell types we should target,” Bautista said, “I think we’re going to be able to treat chronic itch more effectively.”

Follow Tanya Lewis on Twitter and Google+. Follow us @livescience, Facebook Google+. Original article on LiveScience.

Copyright 2014 LiveScience, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Originally from:

Why We Scratch An Itch

Poison ivy It's getting stronger and tougher

Mark Laliberte is used to getting poison ivy, but the reaction he suffered in July was the worst ever.

The 37-year-old Candia man was clearing brush on his property when he slipped into some bushes.

“I didn’t see it, but once I fell into it, I knew it was poison ivy. I ran inside and showered, but it was too late. It was all over my face and neck, particularly on my left side,” he said.

Beth Almon’s doctor told her she has the worst case of poison ivy she’s ever seen. After battling the itch for three weeks, Almon is now on her second batch of Prednisone, a drug used to treat severe allergic reactions.

“This year, for some odd reason I can’t get rid of it out of my system,” said Almon, 32, of Raymond.

The reason for the severe cases may have something to do with changes in the poison ivy plant caused by higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, experts say.

Poison ivy is thriving and becoming much more potent, according to Lewis H. Ziska, a research weed ecologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Ziska has studied the effects of carbon dioxide on plants and has found that it’s changing the chemistry of the urushiol oil in poison ivy, making it more toxic and more likely to cause a skin reaction.

His research looked at how plants react to more sunlight appearing in forests that have become fragmented, especially in urban areas. Ziska found that poison ivy flourishes, spreading faster and becoming more potent.

“Poison ivy tends to do better than most of the plant species we looked at. It’s able to take in the additional carbon dioxide and convert it into additional growth,” he said.

While she hasn’t seen more poison ivy sufferers than usual, Dr. Ellen Bernard of Epping Regional Health Center said there are treatments available to ease the itching and clear things up. Topical steroids can be used, but more severe cases may require an oral steroid.

Susan Chadwick, director of marketing at Derry Medical Center, said she takes steps to avoid poison ivy, but still ended up with a case in July.

“I’m very sensitive to it, so I try like the devil to avoid it,” said Chadwick, whose colleague also suffered a severe reaction this summer and ended up on Prednisone.


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Poison ivy It's getting stronger and tougher

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