Poison Ivy Rash
Over 85% of the people in the United States are allergic to poison ivy. This plant is commonly found in wooded areas where it can grow in the form of ground cover, vine or shrub. Poison ivy plant is composed of three leaflets roughly triangular in shape. It oozes an oily resin made up of urushiol that upon contact with skin will cause itching, blisters and hive-like lesions that can leave you feeling miserable for several days. If the Poison ivy plant is burned, the urushiol particles can be inhaled causing internal allergic reactions.
Poison Ivy Rash Symptoms
Poison ivy is not a plant one should deal with without proper care. This plant can cause extreme discomfort to many people it comes in contact with. Not everyone will have the same reactions to poison ivy plant, you can build up an immunity to the plant through repeated exposures.
What most people experience is an allergic reaction. They will break out in a very irritating poison ivy rash that covers the area that was exposed to the poison ivy. This rash will begin with some redness and itching. And as it continues it should produce blisters and bumps. In some cases the poison ivy rash can worsen. The rash will then continue to open sores that ooze a clear liquid. The poison ivy rash does not spread, rather in the areas that had the most contact with the poison ivy plant they will develop a rash first. The other areas had less contact so it took longer for the allergic reaction to occur.
The rash is not contagious, and the clear liquid that may be released from the blisters or sores will not spread poison ivy’s effects. There are worse effects if poison ivy is burned and inhaled or even eaten. If poison ivy is inhaled through burning, the same rash will develop on the inside of the lungs and could potentially be fatal. If poison ivy is ingested, the rash can develop down the digestive tract and damage organs. It is also interesting to note that those with more severe reactions to poison ivy may also be allergic to mangoes, since both plants are in the same family.
Poison ivy can affect people through direct contact with the plant, even years after the plant has died. It is also important to note that the oils can be carried on animal fur and then rubbed off on people in contact with them. And poison ivy is often grouped with aromatic surmac or the Japanese lacquer tree because they all have similar symptoms.
Because it is such a common plant numerous methods of preventing and treating poison ivy have been developed over the years. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, just ask anyone who’s had a difficult bout with poison ivy or watched a loved one suffer with it.
Prevention Tips for Poison Ivy Rash
A posion ivy rash is not only very bothersome, it can also be annoying and extremely itchy. You do not have to suffer from the affects of poison ivy. There are ways to prevent a poison ivy rash. I will talk about two ways you can prevent and protect youself from having the annoying poison ivy rash. The first way to prevent the rash is by protecting your skin from coming into contact with the poison ivy plant. Create a barrier between your skin and the poisonous plant. This may sound simple and obvious, but often people may miss this step of prevention. If you live in an area where you come into contact with poison ivy often, be sure to cover up your skin. When possible where long sleeve shirts, long pants, and even gloves.
There are also creams that you can apply to your skin which will provide a barrier between the skin and the poison ivy. The creams contain an ingredient called bentoquatam which can protect the skin from the urushiol found in poison ivy. Urushiol is what causes the poison ivy rash. The cream may not always work though, the same goes for protective clothing.
Another way to prevent poison ivy rash is to be sure to wash all things that may have come into contact with the poison ivy plant. Wash all of your gardening tools, your footwear, your clothing, and even the pets that may have been with you at the time a poison ivy plant was seen. Be sure to wash your hands and fingernails as well. Preventing poison ivy rash can at times be very difficult. You may not realize you are touching something that may have previously come in contact with poison ivy.
As long as you try to prevent, and know how to prevent it, you are decreasing your chances of getting the poison ivy rash. If you try all you can to protect yourself and prevent the rash and you still end up with it, it is your best bet to seek some treatments and home remedies. Sometimes even the best prevention still does not help.
How to Get Rid of Poison Ivy Rash
While the rash can be quite uncomfortable, it usually disappears in around two weeks as the skin’s allergic reaction fades. At home, treatment is usually focused on reducing the inflammation and providing relief from the itching. Over-the-counter hydrocortisones can help in mild cases, but more severe reactions (especially those that develop blisters) need to be examined by a doctor, who may have to prescribe oral corticosteroids and antihistamines. If blisters develop, do not touch them, since they form a natural bandage and protect the damaged skin tissue. A simple cold compress can be very soothing and helps to numb the areas affected by the rash.
Poison Ivy Treatment – Natural Ways to Get rid of Poison Ivy Rash