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Without proper treatment the affected area can get much worse.


leaves turn to yellow-green and or- ange, and turn red in the fall. In the spring, white flowers form and turn to white or tan berries. By late fall, the leaves and berries are all but gone, leaving naught but stems. Most of the United States battles


poison ivy while westerners go toe to toe with poison oak. Although there are slight variations in the plants, the ways that poison oak and ivy ravage a person’s body are identical. Spring through fall, the plant lends beauty to sunny slopes and provides cover for deer and wild turkey. But all its virtues are rendered void when the rash appears.


After Exposure Even the slightest amount of uru-


shiol on a person’s skin can cause a nasty rash to appear within 24 hours. The oil can remain toxic for years


and is so potent that the amount that could fit on the tip of a needle is enough to trigger a reaction in hun- dreds of people. Regular soap and water will not remove urushiol after it has bound to skin, it will only spread the oil around. Available at pharmacies and gro-


cery stores around the country, Tec- nu and Tecnu Extreme are the best products I have found to get rid of urushiol. Tecnu was developed in the Cold War, designed to wash away the radioactive dust from a nuclear blast. Since that has not been a real problem since 1945, Tec Labs turned their at- tention to that other bane of human existence — urushiol. To prevent a rash, Tecnu Extreme can be used at any point after expo-


WWW.AMERICANHANDGUNNER.COM


Tecnu Extreme: a medicated poison ivy scrub.


sure, but, is best to apply prior to the rash appearing; the sooner the better. If a rash breaks out, you should immediately wash all over to stop the rash in its tracks and start the healing process. In some cases the rash is so


dangerous a trip to the doctor is in order to get the appropriate shots to nullify the spread and itchy effects of the poison oak. Sub- sequent exposure for those most sensitive can be more intense.


Avoid A Rash The best way to avoid a rash


is identify the plant, then stay away from it. If touching the plant or items or animals that have come into contact with the plant is unavoidable, you can keep from contracting the rash by taking precautions. Applica- tion of products like Ivy Block prior to trekking out and wear- ing long sleeves, long pants and rubber gloves when washing the dog or cleaning a deer or a turkey. At the end of the day though, the clothes must go in the wash. Add Tecnu to the laundry. If in doubt, wash the clothes twice. Then take a shower with Tecnu Extreme and lukewarm water. There is likely nothing in the


landscape that causes hunters, hikers and mountain bikers more grief and misery than poison oak and ivy. Trouble is most people don’t know what it looks like, nor do they care, till they have scratched their way through their first rash. *


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