I had heard it only last year, and I looked it up now because it was only one thing I saw in passing, and others confirmed t though one source said it wasn't true. I just scrolled through them, didn't look further. Whatever the case, I ain't anxious to verify it, so I wouldn't near.
Another thing, this milkweed you've been picking, has this been with gloves? Has any touched your skin? Because that can irritate too (I just looked that up since I knew ingesting was bad)
I haven't been using gloves but you bring up a good point. I should wear them since it might be an irritant. My rash def looks like ivy though from what I've remember, I have PTSD from my former encounters. One one time I made my mom a pretty wreath from of vine I found outside it was Winter time but the next day I was broken out in a rash all over had to get on steroids. Turns out that stuff is potent even when it looks dead and my parents tease me about it to this day.
Sorry, I laughed a sec when I read that wreath bit, as it reminded me of a little story I read - an aside in Carol Ottesen's The Native Plant Primer (a great book for gardeners interested in such and what got me into wildlife gardening, only it's out of print) - of how the author got a nice Christmas wreath with white berries a friend made her, and yup, it was poison ivy.
We had relatives in Connecticut who lived next to the woods, and my Uncle (RIP) told me early on what it looked like when we visited, so I knew to stear clear.
Some years ago at the NY Botonical Gardens (where my apt was near and I often went), two people I knew who worked there were talking about how someone was handling a dried branch of it in their herbarium and broke out in a rash, and it had been there 75 years!
The irritant is a volatile oil which doesn't break down easily. That's how it can be passed from person to person, even if much later than the initial contamination.
Didn't mean to make light of what you went through, sounds horrible.
Here's dumb: I got stung by bees yesterday and went running to escape them down the path where I whalloped my lower leg on some fallen branch hidden by weeds real bad early July, doing a number on it. No gardening for the rest of the month, as my ankle was screwed (think that part happened after at home tho).
Wanna hear dumb with poison ivy?
In HS, took a couple of friends (brothers) to these Amtrack tracks nearby. I pointed out a stand of poison ivy, advising them to stear clear. So one of them grabs a bunch of leaves and starts rubbing them between his hands.
"I'm not kidding you, Jeff, that's poison ivy"
With a big assed grin, grabs some more.
"I'm not kidding you, that really IS poison ivy"
"I know," he says.
Anyways, he later gets the rash on his hands and upper arms. Gone from school for a week.
His brother told us he did it ON PURPOSE! to get out of school. But he was in bed all itchy n not feeling well the whole time, wouldn't even hang out. So what was the purpose?
The idot did the same thing with chewing tobacco, this one day someone brought in a tin. We were getting pinches of it in the locker room, he advised us not to swallow the stuff [this doesn't sound quite as intended!] or we'll be wretching something fierce.
So what does Jeff do? Gulp a wad down so he could get the rest of the day off, the frickin moron.
Years ago when I was in Boy Scouts we went to a summer camp were some of the other troops didn't like us, because we outperformed them at the activities. It turned into a sort of feud back-and-forth, until it escalated to the point of somebody throwing poison oak on a campfire, and the fumes got in the faces of some of the other kids and really messed them up.
Seriously, I have no idea of any good remedies except what I used to be slathered with at all times as a kid...calamine lotion. If it wasnt poison ivy, it was chiggers or chicken pox...or an anonymous rash. Calamine was the all-cure. Dont even know if you can find it anymore, probably causes cancer like everything else that works well.
Oh they still sell it but I avoid it like I should avoid those poisonous plants. Lol. I found a combination of apple cider vinegar, coconut oil and cortisone cream has been the best remedy. Still looking for how to exterminate those pesky buggers.
Interesting, I remember my granny pouring salt on the slugs near her house poor things, I think I'd need the entire Dead Sea to kill off the plants in my neighborhood, I literally live in the woods, lol
Actually I do feel bad about killing plants slowly like that, but poison ivy is parasitic, killing the trees they climb that way over time, as well as releasing allelopathic chemicals which hinder or prevent the growth of other plants around them.
A single plant can spread pretty wide via its roots, making huge beds, so killing them is difficult unless extensive and possibly repeated use of something like Roundup, which is toxic to people as well, is resorted to.
I've come across in the past some names of plants Native Americans used to treat it. but don't recall them as I don't seem to react to it and it's everwhere were I garden. Granted, I never wear shorts and I'm careful around it, but I have stepped on/through it as well as tripped and fallen with my arms and once the side of my face brushing it! Ok, not like I stayed lying there (remember Terminator 2 when the biker landed on the grill, his reaction? that was me), but still.
I also, like an idiot, have dug around it, and started coughing after a bit. I have some mild allergy to something undetermined but this was more hacking. YAYA for Darwin Awards!
I have loads of hydro laying around as my kids have excema. I've been using it and it does help. Another useful remedy is apple cider vinegar. Seems to dry it up pretty fast but burns like the dickens.
Apple cider vinegar is not recommended. If it burns like the dickens it's not supposed to be a treatment. Hydrocortisone mighht work but I have zero experience in this field. I don't have skin allergies and poison ivy doesn't grow here in Asia.