Poison ivy treatment

Poison ivy is a vine that grows around the United States. It can be found in most of the United States but is typically not found on the west coast. Poison Ivy has a two sister vines that are called poison oak and poison sumac. Both poison ivy and poison oak can be identified by their characteristic 3 leaf groupings. Even though poison ivy is not found on the west coast, poison oak tends to be seen a lot there.

Most people who come into contact with any of the three types of plant will have an allergic reaction. Urushiol is the sap that runs through the plants that cause them to be poisonous. Just barely touching the plant can cause the poisonous sap to be released and rubbed off onto the skin. Some people have a much stronger reaction than others do to the poisonous sap that is transmitted from the plants to the skin. There are people that can come into contact with poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac and not get the allergic reaction that most others get. However, if these people get the poisonous sap on them it can rub off of them onto others or onto furniture that others may come in contact with and cause the other person to have a reaction. This also can happen if a pet has come into contact with poison ivy and carries the poisonous sap on the fur into the house or around people. Some people get poison ivy and have no recollection of how they could have come in contact with the plant but soon realize that their pets or children may have brought it into the home.

If you have a reaction to poison ivy you will know. A poison ivy rash consists of small red bumps that itch like crazy. Some people are able to get relief from the intense itching from over-the-counter medications such as calamine lotion or hydrocortisone creams. Depending on the severity of the rash, you may need to seek medical attention to get stronger medications or cortisone shots to help relieve the itching.

You can help lesson the chances of getting the rash from poison ivy if you wash the skin immediately after coming in contact with the poison. If you know that you have just touched poison ivy then you should immediately apply rubbing alcohol to the area of the skin. You should then rinse the skin with soap and water to remove all possible traces of the poison. You should also wash all clothes that have come in contact with the poison ivy immediately to avoid the poison ivy from spreading to anyone else or around the house.

Once the poison ivy rash has broken out on the skin, it is no longer contagious. The infected area is not the contagious part, only the poisonous sap. Once the sap is gone the poison ivy is no longer able to be passed on person to person.

The best way to avoid getting poison ivy is by wearing long pants and long sleeves when walking through wooded areas. Wash your hands thoroughly after working in the yard and remove clothing once entering the house and throw them in the wash immediately to avoid the sap from spreading. Make sure pets are unable to roam through areas where poison ivy is growing. Learn what poison ivy, poison sumac and poison oak look like so that you are able to identify them when you are outdoors. Teach children what the vines look like so they can be on the look out when outdoors playing as well.

Last updated on Jul 25th, 2009 and filed under Medical Treatment. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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