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Location: Philomath Oregon USA

HELP! Contact Dermatitus {Image Heavy}

Greetings from Oregon, the 'shower me' state. My wife and I have been living in a small house in western Oregon for several years now. The first year I took to pruning and cutting back some shubs around the perimeter of the house. A few days later I began to blister on my legs and thighs. Progressing rapidly, covering both legs I went to the clinic and got a shot of corticosteroid and the blistering ceased. Since that time this injection is no longer available owing to a malpractice lawsuit in this area.
So I'm faced with having to identify these shrubs, then, testing each to see if I react, then having the offending shrub removed.
I've been to the public library and looked over various books and catalogues but I just am doubtful to my identification skill.
The following are photos I've taken around the house and I'm hopeful that I can get these nailed down so I can move forward. Please be mindful that I'm a novice at identifying flora of these types so I appreciate your patience.

1. (perhaps Abelia Grandiflora?)[img]https://farm7.static.flickr.com/6011/5951835692_38a68c31d2.jpg[/img]

1a. (close up) [img]https://farm7.static.flickr.com/6016/5951831716_61cca1dd40.jpg[/img]

2. weigela? [img]https://farm7.static.flickr.com/6131/5951257221_ed5e67f511.jpg[/img]

2a. weigela? (close up) [img]https://farm7.static.flickr.com/6145/5951252529_b78cbe92a4.jpg[/img]

3. [img]https://farm7.static.flickr.com/6026/5951248723_84f9820147.jpg[/img]

3a. (close up) [img]https://farm7.static.flickr.com/6129/5951244361_e0b82b1505.jpg[/img]

4. [img]https://farm7.static.flickr.com/6141/5951239599_8f86460ef8.jpg[/img]

4a. (close up) [img]https://farm7.static.flickr.com/6142/5951790026_09b4e24968.jpg[/img]

5. NANDINA [img]https://farm7.static.flickr.com/6005/5951230581_dd2c103e2f.jpg[/img]

5a. NANDINA (close up) [img]https://farm7.static.flickr.com/6136/5951780764_b8d554954b.jpg[/img]

6. [img]https://farm7.static.flickr.com/6144/5951221963_8daab619ae.jpg[/img]

6a. (close up) [img]https://farm7.static.flickr.com/6124/5951217859_aee79ff901.jpg[/img]

7. [img]https://farm7.static.flickr.com/6124/5951767496_81e51b5dbe.jpg[/img]

7a. (close up) [img]https://farm7.static.flickr.com/6020/5951206877_9176f7c964.jpg[/img]

8. [img]https://farm7.static.flickr.com/6024/5951201775_c58885fc21.jpg[/img]

8a. (close up) [img]https://farm7.static.flickr.com/6150/5951197157_32a9b1b4e1.jpg[/img]

9. (Hydrangea? or Viburnum Carlcephalum?) [img]https://farm7.static.flickr.com/6005/5951745318_6e848b93e8.jpg[/img]

10. [img]https://farm7.static.flickr.com/6022/5951185915_9d14846700.jpg[/img]

11. (I think these are rhododenderons)[img]https://farm7.static.flickr.com/6142/5951737026_f72568bd73.jpg[/img]

11a (these too?) [img]https://farm7.static.flickr.com/6140/5951733016_c54b8e5925.jpg[/img]

11b. (close up) [img]https://farm7.static.flickr.com/6143/5951174229_fe0e81a4d8.jpg[/img]

12. [img]https://farm7.static.flickr.com/6148/5951170375_7639c14eda.jpg[/img]

13. (a mixed bag, I think I spot a rhodie, a Chosiya Ternata and perhaps a maple) [img]https://farm7.static.flickr.com/6013/5951131425_14876b4462.jpg[/img]

14. (boxwood? or Leucothoe Fontaneiana?) [img]https://farm7.static.flickr.com/6024/5951127385_0073d25737.jpg[/img]

15. AZALEA [img]https://farm7.static.flickr.com/6149/5951679128_76f79aabde.jpg[/img]

16. (this monstrosity is some form of juniper, I think) [img]https://farm7.static.flickr.com/6123/5951675266_f7c11dd7dd.jpg[/img]

16a. (close up) [img]https://farm7.static.flickr.com/6021/5951671156_2d9e737f86.jpg[/img]

I know this is a mighty tall order and I would greatly appreciate any help you kind folks can afford.

Thanks and a lift of the lynch lid.

Last edited by Turbogus on Thu Jul 21, 2011 11:45 am, edited 10 times in total.

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Welcome! I'm sorry, but I don't have time to examine all your photos right now, although I'll try to look at them more carefully when I can. However, I can tell you that your Poinsettias are actually rhododendrons. Poinsettias are tropical plants, and as far as I know, can't survive the winters outdoors in your area.

The shrub in pic #2 might be weigela. :)

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Location: Philomath Oregon USA

Right on! Thanks for your response! Ack! and I knew those were Rhodies, just a full moon brain fart I reckon. :oops: I'm counting on responses to be sporadic as this is quite a long list.

All the best from Kimiko and Gus :D

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Looks like you'll need to do what I do when cutting back plants in my yard. Unfortunately. It's a layman's version of personal protective equipment (PPE). First off, lay in a good supply of Tecnu(tm) and, if you can find it, Zanfel(tm). I have used each and found them helpful against contact dermatitis (poison oak and junipers, in my case). It's useful to assume you're allergic to *every single plant* out there.

Now, when the yard work needs to happen, esp. cutting back plants:

1) Place Tecnu(tm) and/or Zanfel(tm) next to the sink closest to the door which lets onto the yard. Place a large bath towel on the washing machine.

2) Wear long-sleeved shirt and long pants, regardless of the temperature. Neither the shirt nor the pants can have holes in them, unless these holes are in the exact places where you *want* to have skin reactions to plant saps and other "fun."

3) Wear hat or bandanna, making sure to cover the neck and as much of the face and scalp as possible without interfering with clear sight lines. Don't forget to cover the ears.

4) Wear long-wristed leather gardening/work gloves.

5) Tuck the long-sleeved shirt into the pants. For extra insurance, wear a T-shirt underneath that is already tucked into the pants.

6) Wear socks and ankle-height hiking boots. Tennis shoes won't do for this purpose.

Now that only a minimum of your face is visible, you're ready to do pretty normal yard work. Be very careful *not* to touch your face, neck, or any other exposed skin with your hands while working.

Note 1) When you need to take a break, take the gloves off and IMMEDIATELY wash your hands with soap, followed by Tecnu(tm), followed by soap again. A good lather is a good thing. :) Then wash your face and neck with the soap, again getting a good lather. *Now* you can eat, have a drink of water, "rest" :wink:, etc.

Suiting up again: Carefully insert your hands into the wrists of the gloves. It's not excessively paranoid to use nitrile liners; in fact, it can make suiting up again a little faster. Tie any bandannas or head-gear you may have removed before the break back on.

Over for the day: Walk into the house and stand before the washing machine. Take off everything that's washable and put it directly into the washer. (It might be wise to have a bath towel waiting, for the sake of navigating through the rest of the house....) The garden gloves and hiking boots should be wet-wiped with a small towel and placed outdoors to air-dry. Put some Tecnu(tm) into the washer, along with the usual soap/detergent, and start the load of garden clothing.

Take a shower, and take the Tecnu(tm) and Zanfel(tm) in there with you. If you suspect that any patches of skin were directly contacted by the plants, wash them with the soap and follow with Tecnu/Zanfel, following label instructions. Rinse off per label instructions (cool water, I think, not warm).

Blot, do not rub, yourself dry.

Get into clean, fresh clothes. Do *not* put anything on that you wore outside.

Yes: for anyone familiar with decon procedures, this is a slight modification for the purpose of doing needed yard work without losing weeks of one's life to complete misery.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

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Can't identify some of these, but #16 is an azalea and #6 is nandina. People don't report contact dermatitis with them.

Some of your evergreens are likely junipers. I personally get a mild dermatitis when handling junipers and cedars.

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Hi Cynthia, thanks for so many details about protection. After my first go round with Contact Dermatitus each year I purchase a set of tyvek coveralls and wear heavy leather gloves along with a white (for coolness) baseball cap. Each year I'm reminded of NBC training when I was in the Marines having to wear a TAP suit in the southern California sun, urrgh! at least they would occasionally splash us with a fire hose. :) Normally I disrobe in the garage adjacent to our laundry, but each year this stuff seems to work around my measures so far. Hence, I'm investigating which shrub is making life difficult :?
Last edited by Turbogus on Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Howdy thanrose, thanks for responding. I first suspected the juniper bush out front, but I've trimmed it back before wearing just shorts and a t shirt with no ill effects. I remember as a kid playing in and around a massive juniper bush at the family house and not once had any trouble. Nonetheless one of my customers mentioned that it's juniper that sets her off.
Last edited by Turbogus on Tue Jul 19, 2011 11:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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As these shrubs and such get identified by kindly knowledgeable folks I'll edit the photos with a bold label of their name. Thanks again to the group!

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