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Old 11-17-2006, 10:41 AM   #1
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Anyone ever get a rash from their plants?

I am a highly allergic person to begin with, as I always catch poison ivy and stuff. But I have not been near the woods lately, and now I have a rash on my fingers, looks just like poison ivy... The only thing I have done in the last 48 hours was to plant my first small pieces of Java Fern and Cryptocoryne Wendetii yesterday. I have never had any real plants in my tank... Anyone ever hear of anything like this before?
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Old 11-17-2006, 10:53 AM   #2
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I've been dealing with plants for the past two years, including those you mention. I've never experienced an allergic reaction of any kind. I know poison ivy secretes a mucous which is what causes the rash. I don't know of any aquatic plants that have such properties.
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Old 11-17-2006, 10:57 AM   #3
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Yeah, it is actually an oil called urushiol which causes the poison ivy rash, and I don't think there would be too many aquarium plants with oily leaves! But I know (the hard way) that some other land plants are distant cousins to PI, so I thought I would ask.
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Old 11-17-2006, 12:05 PM   #4
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Definitely no harm in asking, this is where knowledge comes from.
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Old 11-17-2006, 01:52 PM   #5
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You could be getting a rash from your dechlorinator or plant fertilizers. I do if I don't wear gloves. When I trim, I pull the plants out of the tank (with gloves) and put them in a bucket of new water to rinse them off a bit, and also because they can go limp if left out of water too long. I trim without gloves, but even doing this - handling the plants in a bucket and trimming - still causes a rash sometimes. I think it's from the dechlor and ferts still on the plants in my case. And fish were supposed to be a non-allergenic pet! I have found that if I only trim one tank a day, it's not so bad. If I have my hands in all of my tanks in one day, that is pushing it.

My husband got a rash on his arms suddenly one winter - it did look like poison ivy even though it seemed unlikely in February. He must have touched something that still had the oil on it.
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Old 11-17-2006, 03:13 PM   #6
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I did think of that (the ferts), but I thought that would cause more of a burn-like symptom than the rash I got. As far as dechlor, I have always used it without a problem and I spent MUCH time scaping in my 55 gal without problems.
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Old 11-17-2006, 04:01 PM   #7
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Has your rash spread at all? Is it getting better or worse? Anything leading you to beleive that you actually DO have poison Ivy exposure? It can come from some unknown sources at times. I had a freind highly alergic to it and he would get it even if he touched an old shirt or something that we had taken camping with us that was not washed. (His boots were a bad offender)

One time he even got it from a shipping box that had been sent by someone who had poison ivy near their home....the oil trasferrd to the box at some point when it got brushed past some or something like that. Since it was an oil is absorbed into the box...we assumed it came from the box when the UPS guy also mysteriously came down with poison ivy as well....this was in PHOENIX arizona....not much poison ivy growing in the city there.

I have personally always had sensitive skin prone to mysterious irritation, but recently I get a red rash on my hands whenever I handle acidic things...even cutting tomatoes or onions as well as some other things and any cleaning chemicals. It is called Contact Dermatitis. This was something my hands started doing after I worked a job where I was in contact with cleaning chemicals a lot. Now it seems to be a lifelong plague and many things set it off. I just wear gloves when preparing foods, handling chemicals etc. Funny thing is that my plants in my aquarium and sticking my hands in the water never seem to set it off. Go figure. lol.

It is a red rash, patchy, and it burns a bit, not exactly painful but very annoying. It goes away about an hour after washing my hands and using dove cucumber lotion. Not saying you have this of course, just giving you my experience.

If it really bothers you of course I would check with a health professional. Some hospitals/doctor offices even have free nurse advice lines where you can call and explain your symptoms and they give you some home remedy tips. It is pretty handy.
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Old 11-17-2006, 04:25 PM   #8
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I have a ffriend who breaks out in a rash if he comes in contact with duckweed. He gets a rash wherever there has been contact. This man has grown a lot of varieties of aquatic plants, and seems to have developed an allergy to duckweed, over time.
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Old 11-17-2006, 05:36 PM   #9
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Interesting thread. My arm usually stings a little after a pruning and I have gotten a slight rash, though I never thought much of it and it tends to go away pretty quick in my case. I am also highly allergic to many things... Sounds very similar to what happygirl65 described...

My guess is more ferts and acidic water than the plants themselves...
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Old 11-17-2006, 06:08 PM   #10
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I have seen a reaction to Hornwort that was half dead and half growing, didn't get a rash but itched like the dickens and I had to wash my hands and arms to get rid of it. Could also be a developed alergy to your dechlor or something but a plant allergy sounds about right to me. I get one from common lawn grass if I lie down on it without a shirt on. The java fern could also have some really fine hairs on it from either the roots or the leaves themselves that is causing an irritation kinda like turantula hair or the hairs from a jumping cactus.
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Old 11-17-2006, 07:43 PM   #11
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do you have outside pets? they can spread posion ive
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Old 11-17-2006, 08:31 PM   #12
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Yeah, but I have searched the yard. No sign of it anywhere. But I am allergic to Virginia Live Oak trees, certain palm trees and some grasses, alot of other things: cockroach debris, dust mites, you name it... Everything but dogs, cats, and birds according to the allergist that tested me.

To update, it has not spread. My hands itch right now, but that is because of some fiberglass insulation I handled this afternoon...

I will know next time I grab onto one of these plants for sure!
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Old 11-19-2006, 04:11 PM   #13
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Joining the thread late here, but I always get rashes on my arms after I touch my water. They just get red and itchy but go away after a few minutes of removing my arm. I dunno what it is, but I guess you aren't alone.

Also, it never happens in my sw tank, only my fw tank. So I have no idea. Interesting though.
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