Poison Ivy Rash: Causes, Prevention and Treatment  
Skin disorders    Poison Ivy is a plant found, commonly, across the United States. It generally has two forms. The first is a kind of hairy wine that grows attached to a tree. The second is weed like, and grows close to the ground, and is found in clusters.

Most people have an allergy to poison ivy.

Poison Ivy and Rash

The root cause of the allergic reaction of poison ivy is oil called Urushiol, which is present in the plant. When you touch the plant, this oil bonds itself with the skin and you develop an itchy feeling.

So what causes the Poison Ivy Allergic Ailment? Poison Ivy rash is caused:

 When you touch the poison ivy plant
 When you are brought into contact with anything that has come in contact with the plant. For e.g. clothing, shoes, gloves etc.
 When you touch gardening tools, which might have the remnants of the plant oil on them.
 Touch pets that might have been around the poison ivy plant
 When you burn the poison ivy plant. The smoke carries this oil.

The characteristics of the rash caused by poison ivy are:

 Red and swollen skin.
 Itchiness in the affected area.
 Formation of blisters after a few days

Prevention of Poison Ivy Rashes

The first and foremost prevention measure for poison ivy rash is not to be in contact with the poison ivy plant in any form. However, for some reason if the area that you are living in, or are traveling to/through has a considerable presence of poison ivy plants then here are a few precautions:

 Spray a good amount of deodorant, on your arms and legs. There are some chemicals that are a part of deodorants that prevent irritation from Urushiol.
 The first point repeats itself here. Don’t touch anything that you think has been in contact with the Poison Ivy Plant.
 If you have been through areas that are infested with poison ivy plants, then it’s advisable that you wash your clothing and foot wear thoroughly.

Plant oil can be removed by the use of a solvent or rubbing alcohol, acetone, and gasoline etc.

Treatment of Poison Ivy Rash

Typically poison ivy rash goes away on its own accord. However, here are a few treatment options:

 Various over-the-counter lotions can be applied to the rash immediately. These lotions will ease the itchiness of the rash.
 You can also compress the area with ice cold milk. The fat in the milk will help soothe the pain and itchiness.
 Application of ice to the poison ivy rash area will soothe the pain and itch on a temporary basis. However, do not apply ice if there is blistering.
 Antihistamines will control itching.

In the end, if the discomfort persists, it’s best that you contact your doctor for prescription drugs. Such drugs can be steroids, topical drugs, or antihistamines. Poison Ivy rash is not a serious skin disorder, and it completely disappears in around two weeks. Have patience, as the healing will take place over time.


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