Reasons, Signs And Treatment Of Poison Ivy

Poison ivy is a plant that will cause an itchy skin rash when it touches your skin. The plant is a very common one and can be found growing on the ground or as an intertwining plant on tree trunks and branches. It will be situated between other plants and this can sometimes hide it from view or from recognition.

This plant contains urushiol which is oil. The oil attaches to the skin when it makes contact with it. Since it seems that most people are allergic to this plant, as soon as you make contact with it, you will get a red, itchy rash.

Since the oil makes contact with your body through touch, any other items you touch, be it tools or gear or shoes, will be affected. If you burn the plant it is also dangerous as the oil is retained in the smoke and this can settle on your skin and cause the rash.

The rash will show up within one to two days after a person has come into contact with the oil. The area will become swollen and red. Within a day or so little blisters will start to form and then the rash will increase in itchiness. It is imperative that you try not to scratch the blisters as dirt from your fingernails can enter the blisters and infection will set in. The blisters should start drying up after about 7 days and the rash will start disappearing. If the rash has covered big sections of your body, it may well last a lot longer.

If you are aware or think that you have touched poison ivy, you should immediately clean the region with cool water. Cold compresses and bathing in cool water will assist with relieving the symptoms. Any of your clothing or sports gear or equipment and tools should be cleaned as the oil is long lingering and may cause another bout of the itchy rash if you touch any of these items.

Non prescription antihistamines are very effective as a treatment. Calamine will also relieve some of the symptoms. Cortisone treatments can also be used and the creams are a very good treatment for the rash and itchiness. Bathing with oatmeal will also assist with the condition.

If your fever rises or if larger sections of the body become infected, you should go to your doctor for help. Sometimes the rash will extend to your genital area or into your mouth and neck. It may affect your eyelids and this will make it difficult to open your eyes.

If pus starts oozing from the blisters which were caused by the poison ivy rash, medical assistance should be sought immediately. You should also consider a visit to your doctor if the rash takes a very long time to disappear.

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