The poison ivy plant contains an oil called urushiol.
This oil "bonds" to skin when it comes in contact with it. If you are allergic
to urushiol and you get it on your skin, you'll develop an itchy, red rash.
poison ivy rash will usually begin to appear in one to two days. The affected
area will get red and swollen. A day or so later, small blisters will begin to form
and the rash will become very itchy. During this time, it's important to try to
keep from scratching the blisters.
If you think that you've come in contact
with poison ivy, you need to wash the area with plain cool water as soon as
possible. This may help to get some of the oil off your skin. Products that
contain solvents such as mineral oil (brand names: Technu, Zanfel) also may
help to remove urushiol from your skin. Because urushiol can remain active for
a long time, be sure to wash your clothes, shoes, tools or anything else that
may have touched the plant (like camping, sporting, fishing or hunting gear).
a rash starts to develop, there are several over-the-counter medications you
can use, including hydrocortisone creams (brand name: Cortizone-10), calamine
lotion, antihistamine tablets (one brand name: Benadryl) and oatmeal baths. You
should call your doctor if you have fever more than 100 degrees or the rash covers
large areas of your body.
Information provided Dr. Doug
Layton, D.O., Family Physicians at Prairie Trail.
Article courtesy of Ankeny Living.