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Poison Ivy: How to spot, avoid, treat it

POSTED: Thursday, July 19, 2012 - 6:36pm

UPDATED: Friday, July 20, 2012 - 10:15am

It's the time of year when poison ivy is thriving, and if you're not careful, you may find yourself in an itchy mess.

Dr. David Martin says Trinity Clinic in Tyler is treating about two patients a week for Poison Ivy right now.

He says it's the liquid resin found on the plant that can make the skin break out, itch, or even worse.

So .... as a refresher ... how do you spot it?

"Poison Ivy has three leaves," said James Wilhite of Wilhite Landscaping and Lawn Care. "The leaves are not quite so serrated, Poison Oak: three leaves but the leaves look very much like an oak leaf ... That oil is very persistent ... it's very difficult to get off even with soap and water. You have to do some serious scrubbing to get that off your skin."

Wilhite and his staff are extra careful around the stuff.

"We handle Poison Ivy like it was a porcupine," Wilhite said. "Long sleeves, gloves, touch it as little as possible, try not to really disrupt it."

Dr. Martin says there are some over the counter remedies if you do get exposed to it, like calamine lotion and aloe vera, but Wilhite and his crew have their own little secret.

"What we have found that works best is a product called Tecnu," Wilhite said. "It has been my observation, if you follow those directions, you can get the oil off of you and actually not get Poison Ivy."

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I have just gotten over a very bad case of poison ivy. I use Ivy Dry. You can buy it at Brookshires or Walmart. It works wonderfully. I try to avoid it, but when you are working in the yard you don't always think about watching for it.

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