Poison Ivy is not necessarily an infection. However, Poison Ivy as most people would term it is a plant that causes rashes on the skin in case one comes into contact with it. It is the rash that is caused by this plant that is known as Poison Ivy. The plant usually grows alongside weeds and it is sometimes very difficult to spot it since it resembles a variety of plants. However, some of the facts about this plant that you can rely on to ensure that you are able to spot among other plants are that:
- It is a climbing plant that intertwines on branches or stems of other plants.
- Grows to a height of between six to 30 inches
- It grows in two forms with the first one growing so low to the ground while the other one is hairy and has got stems and three leaves.
When the body comes into contact with Poison ivy, it is able to develop certain rashes that are accompanied with very unpleasant symptoms. The condition that is caused by this plant is sometimes known as Poison Ivy rash by some people. However, it can also be simply known as Poison Ivy.
Causes of Poison Ivy
Poison Ivy rash is it is known is mainly caused by coming into contact with the plant, Poison Ivy rash. The plant has got oil or a chemical that is known as Urushiol that bonds with the skin whenever someone comes into contact with the plant. Most people are generally allergic to this chemical and is the main reason why you will develop a rash whenever you come into contact with the plant.
There are several ways through which people are able to get Poison Ivy rash on their skins. Some of these include:
- Physically touching the Poison Ivy plant or brushing any part of the skin to the Poison Ivy plant
- Touching any clothing or shoes that have come into contact with the plant
- Touching garden tools that have got Urushiol on them
- Touching or coming into contact with animals including pets that have got Urushiol on their hairs or fur.
- Burning the Poison Ivy plant. You have to note that when the plant is burned, Urushiol is carried off in the smoke and whenever you come into contact with the smoke, you are able to get the rash.
Symptoms of Poison Ivy
In many occasions, people do not really know when they come into contact with the plant that is causing Poison Ivy rash. This can be as a result of the camouflaging property of the plant that makes it real hard to identify. However, after a short period of time that one gets into contact with the plant, they will be able to start experiencing the symptoms.
Generally the Poison Ivy rash looks like a line. However, this may change and even enlarge based on the cause or how one came into contact with the plant. Some of the common symptoms of poison Ivy rash include:
- Itching on the affected areas
- Redness of the skin
- Formation of small blisters on the affected areas.
- Swellings on the skin especially on the areas that are affected by the rash.
One thing that you have to take note of is that Poison Ivy rash symptoms may not appear immediately after coming into contact with the Poison Ivy plant. However, they can begin to be felt after a period of one tow two days after the contact. In case the area that was affected is just a small part of the skin, the blisters and symptoms may begin to fade after about one week. However, if the affected area is large enough then the symptoms may stay on a little longer.
Based on the amount of the urushiol or the rash-causing chemicals that have entered into your skin, the symptoms are able to last to a period of even eight weeks. The more the symptoms last, the higher the chances that the risks may spread out and even develop other symptoms. It is then important that you seek assistance within the appropriate time. One of the ways through which you are able to get assistance is getting to know some of the home remedies to Poison Ivy rash.
Poison Ivy Home Remedies
As a result of the discomfort and damage to the skin that the Poison Ivy rash causes, it is important that you get to know some of the best ways through which you are able to deal with it. Besides, you also never know when you might come into contact with the plant and so there is every reason for you to know the best home remedies that can help in alleviating the discomfort that comes with Poison Ivy rash. Below are some of the home remedies that can help you in toning down the effects of Poison Ivy: Remember, you should always consult with your physician in order to get a proper diagnosis and before trying to incorporate these home remedies and herbal remedies yourself! Here are some of the home remedies that you can try.
- Alcohol- In case you have come into contact with the Poison Ivy plant, you may need to look for alcohol and rub on the part of the skin that is affected using a soft cloth. Alcohol works best as a solvent to assist in stripping off the urushiol oils from the skin. It is advisable that this kind of home remedy should be used immediately one begins to experience the symptoms. It also helps in reducing the itching of the areas affected.
- Bleach- When you dilute the bleaching agent that you use at home, it can help in drying off the blisters and prevention of crusting. To ensure that it is effective, put half a cup of bleach in bathtub or a tablespoonful in a pint of water them compress in the affected areas. However, when using this remedy, ensure that the bleach does not come into contact with unaffected areas since that might cause certain unpleasant reactions.
- Acorns- Acorns are also among some of the most renowned home remedies to Poison Ivy rash. When you need to use acorns, it is advisable that you first crush them and then boil in water. After they have boiled to the desired temperature, strain the liquid and let it cool. Take the liquid and apply onto the affected areas carefully. Acorns are effective in soothing the affected areas to facilitate the drying off of the blisters.
- Baking Soda- Baking soda is known to contain Sodium Bicarbonate which is a better remedy in driving out the fluids that are trapped in the blisters hence leaving them dry. Just take a small portion of it and then apply to the affected areas as soon as you begin to feel the symptoms of Poison Ivy rash.
- Vinegar- One thing that you need to take note of when using vinegar as a remedy to Poison Ivy rash is that it has to be diluted since it may get very harsh when used on the skin in the way it is. It helps in cleaning out the blisters to keep off any bacterial infections that might access the body through the blisters. However, you have to note that it stings.
- Oatmeal paste- A small amount of cooked oatmeal works very well in healing people affected by this poison. Oatmeal paste should be applied directly on the skin. A thick paste is the best to ensure that it sticks on the skin. It is advisable to place warm oatmeal on the skin to ensure that it cool on the skin surface leaving it dry. Oatmeal can be mixed with baking soda to be more effective.
- Banana peel- Banana peel has also been used by old wives in treating people affected by ivy poison. By simply rubbing a banana peel on the affected skin part, the itching and pain that result from the poison contact disappears. Perhaps, this could be due to the cool effect that the peel has on the skin part with a rash.
- Aloe Vera- This has been a cure for a wide range of skin conditions. It should be applied on the affected part directly. There are many gels available in drug stores but you can also use juice from a raw aloe Vera.
- Cucumber- Organic cucumber also plays a very important role in treating skin rash resulting from ivy poison. To use this remedy, make a paste of organic cucumber then apply it on the affected part. You can slice a cucumber piece then leave it to dry while on the skin.
- Cider vinegar- This herbal remedy has been used for many years in the treatment of ivy poison effects for a long time. For effective results, cider vinegar should be used on daily basis until ivy poison effects disappear.
- Watermelon rind- This herbal remedy also works like cucumber. It cools the skin while reducing the itch on the rush.
Apart from the above mentioned, there are other home remedies that can also be used on Poison Ivy rash like Buttermilk, Oatmeal, Gasoline, Teabags, Watermelon rind, banana peel among several others.
Diet for Poison Ivy
Nutrition is an important part of any health living and is the main reason why in every condition that interferes with the normal functioning of the body, dieting has to be mentioned. However, when talking about Poison Ivy rash, you have to take note there is no specific diet that has been identified to help in ripping the skin off the urushiol oils of the Poison Ivy rash.
- Since Poison Ivy rash causes blisters that may cause certain little open wounds on the skin, it is advisable that you eat plenty of fresh fruits so as to hasten the healing process of the wounds. Fresh fruits and vegetable like spinach, oranges, and mangoes among others can help in healing the blisters.
- Foods that are rich in Calcium and beta-carotene are also helpful in speeding up the healing process.
- The diet of a person who has been a victim of Poison Ivy skin rash should also contain Zinc to help in the repair of the worn out tissues in the skin. This will help in ensuring that even after the rash; the person is able to have a better looking skin.
Prevention of Poison Ivy
It is always said that prevention is better than cure. In deed that is true. To be able to stay away from the wrath of Poison Ivy rash, below are some of the steps that you need to go by:
- Take time to identify the Poison Ivy plant so that you are able to stay away from coming into contact with it.
- Ensure that whenever you are planning on going to the woods or in areas where you suspect you might come into contact with the plant, you have got an effective anti-allergic lotion at hand. Always apply the lotion about fifteen minutes before going into the woods to shield you from the allergic reaction of Poison Ivy.
- Give your pet’s thorough washing in case you suspect that they have come into contact with the Poison Ivy plant.
- Wear protective clothing in case you are going into places that might harbor the Poison Ivy plant.
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