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Hudson River Skin Irritation?

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  • Hudson River Skin Irritation?

    Probably a long shot but… By any chance has anyone here ever noticed if they got a skin irritation within a day or two after swimming in the Hudson River, particularly in the Adirondacks, or more specifically in the Hudson Gorge region? Or any body of water for that matter?
    This is the second time I developed a rash (or fungal infection?) after swimming in the gorge region near Blue Ledge. I know there is some poison ivy in that region, which I saw and was careful to avoid but somehow still ended up with some sort of funk on my skin in various locations. Just wondering if maybe it could be some kind of reaction to the water in that area for some reason..?
    Is it possible the sand in that region is saturated with urushoil from the thick patches of poison ivy along the shore in that region and is carried downstream in the water?
    Thoughts?

  • #2
    I swim in the Hudson in or near the gorge at least 2x yr. Never had a problem. I enjoy swimming in the Hudson multiple places S of there too, above Glens Falls. Also, no problem.

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    • #3
      Is the rash everywhere you got wet? Or is it contained?

      If it's contained I bet you got into something thrashing around in the bush, if it's all over - I have no idea.

      I'd doubt with the amount of flow in the Hudson any toxin would really hang around for long.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Bob K View Post
        I swim in the Hudson in or near the gorge at least 2x yr. Never had a problem. I enjoy swimming in the Hudson multiple places S of there too, above Glens Falls. Also, no problem.
        Thanks Bob, good to know.

        Originally posted by montcalm View Post
        Is the rash everywhere you got wet? Or is it contained?

        If it's contained I bet you got into something thrashing around in the bush, if it's all over - I have no idea.

        I'd doubt with the amount of flow in the Hudson any toxin would really hang around for long.
        It’s pretty much all over my body. It was pretty warm out and I was sweating a lot, and it felt good to cool off in the river, and to splash the water all over my me. I definitely recognized the poison ivy patches nearby, and did my best to avoid them, but now I have a good rash here 2 days later. I’ve had poison ivy countless times throughout my life, haven’t had it this bad since I was a little kid. Usually it lasts for only a few days or so, so hopefully I’ll be turning the corner back to normal within the next day or two. If not I’ll be sure to check with Doc.

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        • #5
          Could be "duck itch" or swimmers itch.

          https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-...20warm%20water.
          Tick Magnet

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Tick Magnet View Post
            Could be "duck itch" or swimmers itch.

            https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-...20warm%20water.
            Thank you.
            And thankfully my legs don’t look that bad. But oddly enough my chest & stomach area are most affected.

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            • #7
              I don't know a lot about poison ivy, it doesn't seem to affect me but I also know that the oils can really spread all over the skin if you're rubbing it around. My BIL got into some in his garden and didn't know what it was, pulled it out without gloves, then touched around his eyes other parts of his body and broke out there.

              So maybe you got some on your hands at some point and then spread it around when you were splashing and washing yourself?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by montcalm View Post
                I don't know a lot about poison ivy, it doesn't seem to affect me but I also know that the oils can really spread all over the skin if you're rubbing it around. My BIL got into some in his garden and didn't know what it was, pulled it out without gloves, then touched around his eyes other parts of his body and broke out there.

                So maybe you got some on your hands at some point and then spread it around when you were splashing and washing yourself?
                Definitely very possible, as I’ve always been very receptive to poison ivy ever since I was a little kid. As the cliche goes, If I even look at it I’ll break out in a rash so to speak lol. Maybe that’s all it takes, and splashing around in the water trying to wash myself off didn’t help, but in fact made it worse. Lesson learned!
                Thanks for the input.

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                • #9
                  No idea. Hope you feel better man...

                  I think if you're really sensitive best to stay away though - there may be old oils on the rocks and soils around where it is as well (although that's a WAG). Those river riparian areas can be a real hazard for some because of it.

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                  • #10
                    Sounds like swimmers itch to me

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                    • #11
                      Seriously, those oils can hang around a loooonngg time.
                      I too seem to attract poison ivy... In the warmer seasons, I might go a few weeks between wearing socks, well, I once got some on my ankle, even though I was wearing socks. A month later, after the first rash cleared up, I got it again, even though I was nowhere near any poison ivy, it was still in my socks, even after they were washed!!

                      Since your stuff is localized, my guess is poison ivy from an indirect contact. I've read that even years dead poison ivy vines can affect some people. That would be me, and maybe you too.

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                      • #12
                        From what I’m reading, swimmers itch I guess is more associated with ponds or lakes, or even sea water. I haven’t seen much about it in rivers, but I guess could still be possible. I just found it odd that both times I “cooled off” in the Hudson River in this area I ended up with itchy patches of rash on my body that didn’t necessarily come in any direct contact with the poison ivy that I had recognized nearby and did my best to avoid.

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                        • #13
                          The flow rate in the Hudson there is high & steady. Hard to think of some toxic hanging out.

                          I recall that the trail most use to BL is a bit overgrown particularly near the river. I wonder if you picked it up along the way. I'm one of the lucky people who seem not to get poison ivy/oak/sumac in spite of exposure to it.

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                          • #14
                            Think back on what you had to eat and drink. Anything outside your normal diet could be a possibility. Also, there are many plant allergens besides the obvious ones like poison ivy

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                            • #15
                              it's a llittle late in the season, but wild parsnip is really nasty stuff when it is actively growing. Very common along roadsides and is a relative of giant hogweed. Most of it is dry now, but I have seen some fresh late season growth. I am particularly susceptable to the stuff and give it all a wide passage.

                              https://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/105364.html
                              Last edited by Wldrns; 09-22-2021, 08:47 AM.
                              "Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth." -Walt Whitman

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