Coming in contact with the poison ivy plant could leave you with an itchy rash. The oily resin from the plant called urushiol is known to trigger an allergic reaction in most people who are exposed to the plant directly or an item that is contaminated with the resin. How do you know when you have been exposed to the irritant from the poison ivy plant? What are the signs and symptoms of a poison ivy rash that you should know?
Symptoms of Poison Ivy
After contact with the resin from the poison ivy plant, it could take up to 12-48 hours for signs and symptoms to appear. Common signs include:
- Swelling and itching
- Streaky rash (if skin brushed against the plant)
Treatment of Poison Ivy Rash
After exposure, wash the affected skin with soap and water to eliminate the irritant or resin (urushiol) to limit the severity of the rash. To bring some comfort and calm the affected skin or ease the discomfort caused by the rash, consider taking over-the-counter antihistamines, cold compress, or calamine lotion.
If you continue to experience symptoms (blisters, fever, swelling, or difficulty breathing) and the rash is still present, seek treatment at your AFC Urgent Care North Bergen. Seek medical care if the rash worsens, pus escaping from blisters, fever above 100 F (37.8 C) develops
Stay away from the plant: One of the easiest things that you can do is avoid contact with the poison ivy plant. Consider taking a different path for hiking or a different area for doing other outdoor activities.
Wear Protective Gear: Wear the appropriate clothing that will protect your skin from exposure to the plant’s resin when outdoors. Long-sleeved shirt, heavy gloves, long pants, and boots are some of the gear that you should wear to protect yourself from exposure.
Get Rid of the Plant: If you have the plant in your garden or yard, don’t think twice about cutting it down or killing it with a herbicide. To prevent regrowth, get rid of the root of the plant entirely.
Dispose of or Wash Contaminated Items: Secondary transfer of the poison ivy resin is possible. If you suspect or know without a doubt that an item of yours has been contaminated with poison ivy resin, wash the object immediately or dispose of it if necessary.
Clothing, garden tools, shoes, and outdoor gear are just some of the items that can become contaminated and cause exposure to urushiol. The last thing that you want to do is expose yourself to poison ivy. As the adage goes, “An ounce of prevention is better than cure.” Taking the necessary prevention measures can save you a world of discomfort that poison ivy can bring.