JUST LOVE THOSE GARDENS! by Lois W. Stern – Part 2

So as you can see, I love my gardens.

But sometimes my gardens don’t love me! 

 So as you can see, I love my gardens. I really do. But sometimes I think my gardens don’t love me. I don work gloves, a long sleeve shirt and long legged pants before I putter about, moving a rock here, pulling a weed there. But despite all precautions, poison ivy seems to find me. Last year was particularly bad. My skin turned raw and blistery. Prescription strength cortisone cream just didn’t seem to help. I was scratching in my sleep, waking several times during the night to apply hot water compresses. It was time to pay a visit to my dermatologist, Dr. Roger Koreen, who set me straight about a few myths and facts surrounding poison ivy.

It helps to be able to identify the plant, so let’s start there.

                Poison Ivy

                                                                                                                                              Poison Oak

Next, I thought this would be a good time to share some information I learned from dermatologist,  Dr. Roger Koreen, about the myths and truths surrounding poison ivy.

Myth: Once exposed, there is nothing you can do but wait and hope.

 Fact: If you are susceptible to poison ivy, take a hot water shower and scrub any exposed areas with soap immediately after gardening. But if you think you might have come in contact with the plant, don’t wait. Stop gardening, come inside and do that soap and water scrub down right away.

 Myth: It must be systemic as once it starts, I keep getting new breakouts.

 Fact: When we get outbreaks days or even weeks apart, it is not because the poison ivy is traveling through our system, but because we have been exposed to it more heavily on some parts of the body than others. Areas of increased exposure will erupt sooner.

 Myth: You must have direct contact with the plant to get poison ivy.

 Fact: You do not need direct contact with the plant to get poison ivy. On a windy day the offending agent, microscopic proteins called allergens, can blow in the air and attach themselves to you or other plants.  So it is possible to be exposed without actually touching the poison ivy plant.

 Myth: You can’t catch poison ivy from another human or animal.

 Fact: Although usually true, if you are in direct contact with a person or animal who was just exposed and has the active protein on their skin or fur, then you can be the unfortunate recipient of it as well.

 Myth: Since pets don’t get poison ivy, it won’t be a problem if they come in contact with the plant.

 Fact: Since the protein can remain on fur, it is possible that you can pick up poison ivy from your pet when you touch or cuddle it.

 Myth: The most effective way to treat severe cases of poison ivy is with steroid injections.

 Fact: Steroids often present other complications. If Cortisone Creams aren’t working for you (and they weren’t working for me), there are other drugs that can be effective. (The 0.05% Clobetasol Propionate Cream Dr. Koreen prescribed did the trick. I felt almost immediate relief. And that was indeed a relief!)

 Myth: Steroids should never be used to treat poison ivy.

 Fact: Although it is best to avoid oral steroids if possible, there are times when they are recommended. For example, if eyelids are swollen shut from a poison ivy outbreak, steroids might be the treatment of choice.

 Wishing you all the joys of gardening without the itch!

Please visit my Facebook Page take a look around, leave your comments and don’t forget to click on that LIKE button at the  top of the screen.

Get more info, ‘how to’s’ and ‘what if’s’ about Lois’ Tales2Inspire “Authors Helping Authors” project/contest.  FREE – No submission fee.

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About loiswstern

I was in education for just over 20 years when I unexpectedly pursued another passion and entered the world of authors and journalists. I have since published two non-fiction, full length books on different aspects of beauty, but also avidly endorse the confluence of Inner and Outer beauty. I have written feature articles for Long Island Beauty Guide and LI Woman, and have served as Editor-at-large for MakeMeHeal.com, the largest Internet site for plastic surgery and beauty needs. I enjoy researching what's new in the world of aesthetics & anti-aging and devote one of my blogs: www.FabulousBeautyBlog.wordpress.com to sharing cutting edge, hype-free information. I devote my second blog to my other passion: writing, collecting and sharing stories to warm the spirit and inspire the soul. To this end, I have created an 'Authors Helping Authors' project/contest, to create books for inspiration, the first of which is titled: Tales 2 Inspire ~ Beyond Coincidence. It is a jewel of a book, filled with inspiring stories and full color original photos and/or drawings. If you're a talented writer with one inspiring story to share, visit www.tales2inspire.com to learn how to participate. FREE to enter. All you need is the talent and perseverance to do so. Lots of positive platform building opportunities for the winners. Learn more at: www.tales2inspire.com.

Posted on July 12, 2012, in Making the World a Better Place, Off the Beaten Path and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Lois, thanks for some well-needed and interesting information. I don’t catch poison Ivy and used to climb poison sumac trees as a kid but now and then I get a little poison oak on my wrists and ankles–not in decades though. My poor son Michael walked the dog through an area with ivy and the oils got on the dogs fur. Michael got it all over his face. He looked so monstrous that his older sister Kim and younger brother, Dante sold tickets to the neighborhood kids. I never punished them. I figured Mike would have much worse things in store for them. This is one of many antecdotes in my book. I checked out my review comments on Carolyn’s site–thanks for helping me get them there.
    All my best,

  2. Micki, that is a hysterical little tidbit! It sounds like both Dante and Kim have great senses of humor! Do they get that from their mom? (I have a feeling the answer is YES,

    Warm regards,

  3. From time to time, i have some skin problems that is why i always consult a dermatologist to fix my skin problems.,

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