Poison Ivy and what to do, when affected by it?
Poison Ivy is a plant that is to be seen through most of North America and is available in two main varieties – Western, or Pacific, and Atlantic.
The concern with Poison Ivy, which grows as ground cover and can grow into large bushes, is that it contains an oil – Urushiol – that, when it comes into contact with our skin, causes very unpleasant blistering and irritation.
It is imperative to understand that the poison ivy oil occurs not just in the leaves but in every part of the plant, including the root and the stem, and it is the immune system pushing against the
poison ivy, as it seeps into the skin, that is the root of the pain we undergo.
Why Poison Ivy is poisonous. It may seem odd to us that at plant should be poisonous, but like most living things Poison Ivy has its position in the ecosystem. The way poison ivy grows is a clue as it gives shelter for lower growing plants and ground dwelling animals, and the majority of them are, unlike humans, not affected by the oil. Plus, Poison Ivy bears berries that are an important foodstuff for a number of bird species.
How to know the symptoms and more about poison ivy’s urushiol oil?
The patient will very quickly undergo irritation in the skin when infected by poison ivy, in company with severe itching and inflammation in the infected area. The skin will become discoloured and a burning irritation will occur, and in a short period blisters will form along with the rash. Suffering can go on for many weeks or may be finished within days, and an individual case is different. It is suggested that cooling the skin is a good antidote and also prevents further infection.
There are various important facts that people need to be aware of about Urushiol oil, and the first is that it is very potent indeed. It is really important to know the symptoms of poison ivy to avoid it.
Research has indicated that a particle of the poison ivy oil the size of a pin-head could infect 500 people, and as it is not a water based substance it will not evaporate. The latter problem on poison ivy presents a major obstacle as it means the oil can stick to on items it has been in contact with for as long as, and maybe longer than, a year. This opens up the possibility of re-infection, or of an individual who has not been in contact with the plant being affected by poison ivy. Clothes, shoes, tools and pets can all hold the oil, and the very small amounts required to cause suffering give it greater potency.
Gloves and coats, along with boots, are among the most obvious causes of Poison Ivy infection and should be disinfected thoroughly if contamination is suspected. That’s how you know poison ivy.
How anyone can become infected
There are many ways that an individual can come into contact with the oil from Poison Ivy, and transfer from already infected clothing and other items is one way as we have already noted.
The reason that we suffer when having encountered the oil is because of the instant reaction it promotes, and it is notable that direct contact with the plant is not essential to induce a reaction.
If Poison Ivy is burned the smoke is contaminated with vaporised oil, and even coming into contact with this concoction can cause an attack. It has been said that a 100 year old item once affected a sufferer, an indication of how much troube the plant can be.
Anything that has touched the sap of the plant poison ivy must be avoided, therefore, and dogs kept away from Poison Ivy bushes.
How to look after a sufferer of a Poison Ivy reaction
It is essential that treatment is attempted immediately, and the best method is to wash the contaminated area in warm water. A sensible recommendation is to use a very potent antimicrobial soap and to do all one can to stop the patient from scratching, as this will spread the problem more.
It is recommended to open the blisters, too, and to enable the area of infection exposure to the air. Keeping blisters wrapped is vital in order not to add infection.
Remember that it is just the oil that will invite the infection to spread, so contact with it should be refrained from.
The condition will, eventually, clear up completely, but there are treatments available for the irritation and for extreme reactions. It is the decision of the individual whether to let it die naturally or to look for further help to get rid of poison ivy. Some of us are fortunate in that they have no sensitivity to Poison Ivy, but these are few and far between and most of us would be infected by coming into contact with the poison ivy.
If one finds Poison Ivy the best advice one can give is the most logical – avoid poison ivy very carefully and don’t let your pet near it.
Nadeeka Johnson is an experienced article writer with over a 1,000 articles covering a wid variety of topical written at www.allstop.com/poison-ivy/poison-ivy-treatment
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Factoids on This Topic
- Poison ivy rashes are no laughing matter, and shouldn’t be taken lightly if you have an allergic reaction to the poison ivy plant.
- Poison Ivy Symptoms and effects on fibrous tissues and risk factors hot painful swelling of joints.
- Poison ivy blisters form and a clear fluid oozes from the blisters.
- The safest way to kill poison ivy is with a systemic herbicide that contains triclopyr.
- If you are near the ocean anywhere, get into the water, lightly break the poison ivy blisters with sand and let the ocean water get at it.
- Poison ivy rashes typically go away on their own within one to three weeks.
- Although some people are immune to it’s poison ivy symptoms, most people experience an allergic reaction when coming into contact with poison ivy.
- Typical poison ivy symptoms include red, dry, itchy skin, and blisters that drain fluid and may be tender or painful.
- People respond differently to the poison ivy rashes; some have a severe Poison Ivy Rash reactions that require a visit to the doctor to get a shot.
- There is no poison ivy cure, only items that can help reduce the itch and discomfort.
- Some people are less likely to break out in a rash, but that does not necessarily mean that they are immune.
- While conventional treatment for poison ivy rashes exist, usually in cream format, these substances are almost never natural and many health-minded individuals prefer to choose treatments that are in greater accord with nature.
- If you do come in contact with poison ivy, clean the area with rubbing alcohol as soon as you can. Soap can sometimes spread the oil around. Drug stores sell a special type of soap that will get rid of poison ivy oil. And don’t …
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- So I was cutting through brush trying to clean up the lawn and I got poison Ivy on my hand and I forgot and scratched the sack and now I have it there and it’s driving me effing insane it’s so itchy ..how can I get rid of the itch …
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