We are learning the hard way that Texas wants to kill us. McKay had a small breakout on his leg, Tyler has a few patches on his arms and legs. I have some on my arms and legs, and at some point I must have touched my face, because I look like the elephant man. Thank goodness Jamie doesn't have any on her! (And you'll see the lengths we are going to to prevent that.)
Apparantly, the oil from these plants is what causes the rash. You can't spread it by scratching an already existing rash, where the oil has already sunk into your pores. You can only spread it by spreading the oil. The oil is potent up to FIVE YEARS after it has rubbed off the plant, on ANY SURFACE (especially cloth surfaces like clothing and carpet) unless it is broken down by something like dish soap. Because I brought the plants in our house, it's EVERYWHERE. We could keep getting infected every few weeks for five years!
- Don't wear anything more than once without washing it
- Change and wash bed sheets everyday
- Shampoo carpets
- Wash with bleach any surface that has been touched by plants
- Wash hands frequently with dish soap, and always before touching Jamie or her clothes
I had to go grocery shopping last night, and I was hoping I could dash through quick enough without anyone seeing my swollen, rashy face. No such luck. Everyone was sneaking stares. The cashier started listing home remedies like garlic and banana peels.
I was so mortified. I just wanted to yell to everyone in the store: