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What is Poison ivy rash – Symptoms and causes ?

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Contact with urushiol, an oil found in all parts of the poison ivy plant, causes poison ivy dermatitis. Although some people aren’t allergic to the oil and never get sick, poison ivy causes a rash in about 85 percent of people.

There are various effective poison ivy medicines for treating symptoms, as well as many precautions to take to avoid urushiol exposure.

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poison ivy

Poison Oak leaves held by someone with a Poison Oak skin rash.

Poison ivy is easy to spot:

Urushiol, an oil found in poison ivy, has been linked to contact dermatitis.

The most critical step in lowering the risk of poison ivy dermatitis is recognizing and avoiding poison ivy throughout the four seasons.

Here are a few pointers to assist in plant identification.

-There are three leaflets on each leaf
-The edges of the leaves might be smooth or serrated.
-Poison ivy is a shrub that grows in the northern and western parts of the United States and Canada. It’s a vine that grows in the east, middle, and south.

Seasonally, the color of the leaves changes as well:

-Reddish-brown blooms with yellow-green centers bloom in the spring.
-green in summer
-in autumn leaves are orange, red, or yellow in color.
-leaves fall off in the winter, and the vine becomes “hairy.”

Natural cures:

While the itching associated with poison ivy rash eventually goes away on its own, the itching can be excruciating and can interfere with sleep.

Symptoms of poison ivy can be alleviated using the following poison ivy remedies:

1. Alcoholic rubbing

The urushiol oil can be removed from the skin using rubbing alcohol, reducing the irritation.

This should be done as quickly as possible after being exposed to poison ivy, preferably within the first 10 minutes. It’s a good idea to have alcohol wipes with you when you go camping or trekking.

Unless cleansed with rubbing alcohol or water, urushiol can stay on the surface of most items that come into touch with poison ivy for years, according to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA)Trusted Source.

2. Take a bath or shower.

To eliminate plant oils, wash the skin thoroughly with simple soap and lukewarm water. Water can be substituted for rubbing alcohol, however, it is preferable to use alcohol first and then wash or bathe.

Showering within 60 minutes of exposure is thought to help prevent the rash from spreading and becoming severe.

Anything that comes into contact with the plant should be washed immediately. When performing this, people should use rubber gloves.

3. Apply ice on your face

Itching and irritation can be alleviated with cool, damp compresses.

Run a clean washcloth under cold water to create a compress. Excess water should be wrung out. For 15 to 30 minutes, leave on the skin. As needed, repeat this process multiple times a day.

To further relieve swelling and itching, some people soak the compress in an astringent substance. Aluminum acetate, apple cider vinegar, and cooled black tea are just a few examples of astringent liquids.

4. Try not to scratch your skin.

It is possible to get an infection from scratching your skin. It could also cause blisters to break, infecting the area.

Blisters that do open should be left alone because the skin that covers the wound can protect it and lessen the risk of infection.

Unscrubbed fingernails may retain residues of urushiol, which can be passed to the skin by scratching. This can cause even more itching and a more serious poison ivy rash to develop.

5. Lotions and creams that are applied directly to the skin

Poison ivy rash symptoms can be alleviated with over-the-counter medicines and lotions.

A variety of creams are available without a prescription to assist reduce the symptoms of a minor poison ivy rash.

To relieve itching and swelling, hydrocortisone creams and calamine lotion are widely used.

Poison ivy oozing and weeping can be treated with zinc acetate, zinc carbonate, or zinc oxide, according to the FDA. The instructions on the label should always be followed when using these goods.

Another calming topical poison ivy cure is aloe vera gel, derived from the aloe vera plant.

6. Antihistamines, both oral and topical

Antihistamines reduce itching and rash by lessening the severity of allergic reactions. Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) is an example of a drug that may help some people sleep better while they are experiencing symptoms.

Antihistamine cream should not be used on the rash because it will exacerbate the itching.

7. Taking a bath with oatmeal

Oatmeal has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities, which can help with a number of inflammatory skin disorders, according to a study.

A basic poison ivy cure is to soak in a warm bath with oats or an oatmeal-based product. A 30-minute soak in the tub may help relieve symptoms.

8. Clay made from bentonite

Bentonite clay is a popular natural clay that may be found in a number of cosmetics and personal care products.

When a paste of bentonite clay and water is applied to the affected area, some people experience relief from poison ivy rash.

According to research, a modified type of bentonite clay (quaternium-18 bentonite) significantly prevents or lowers poison ivy and poison oak allergic contact dermatitis.

9. Baking soda

Baking soda, often known as sodium bicarbonate, is a baking salt. It’s also used as a natural cleaner and a home treatment for a variety of diseases.

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends treating poison ivy rash with a cup of baking soda in the tub.

Poison ivy rash: how to avoid it

It’s easier to avoid poison ivy dermatitis than it is to cure it.

Poison ivy rash is best avoided by recognizing the plant and avoiding it. The following suggestions, on the other hand, may be beneficial:

-Make sure you’re dressed in protective gear. When you’re outside or in a location where poison ivy is a possibility, wear a protective covering. PVC or thick gardening gloves can be helpful, but thin latex gloves may allow the oil to penetrate the skin.

-Wear protective clothing. If used before being exposed to poison ivy, certain products, usually including bentoquatam, can help to alleviate the symptoms. Within a few hours of contact with the plant, these compounds must be washed off.

-Washing anything that comes into contact with the plant is a good idea. Poison ivy’s oil has a long-lasting effect. To avoid contact with the skin, anything that comes into contact with it must be properly cleaned in soap and water.

-Get rid of the poison ivy in the garden. Because all parts of the plant, including the roots, contain urushiol, it can be a difficult and risky task. The best choice could be to hire a professional removal service. Poison ivy should never be burned since the smoke can produce serious side effects. Contact dermatitis can be caused by even the dead plant.

-A poison ivy kit should be assembled. Having a variety of poison ivy treatments on hand, such as rubbing alcohol, water bottles, and soap, will help you respond quickly to exposure and lessen the intensity of your symptoms.

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