Q: My household enjoys mountain climbing within the foothills however now we have observed fairly a little bit of poison ivy on the market this summer time. What can I do if my children are uncovered to it?
A: Poison ivy is a quite common plant discovered all through america. The plant produces an oily resin referred to as urushiol which causes an allergic response (contact dermatitis or pores and skin rash) in most people who find themselves uncovered to it. Publicity may be from direct contact with any a part of the plant, or from contact with clothes, backyard instruments, or pets which have touched the plant.
The standard poison ivy rash develops anyplace from hours to days after publicity, and seems as fluid-filled blisters often organized in linear clusters or streaks. Surrounding pores and skin can look pink and swollen. Intense itching is the hallmark of poison ivy. The severity of the rash is proportional to the quantity of urushiol that got here into contact with the pores and skin, both instantly or not directly. Poison ivy isn’t contagious and can’t be unfold from the blisters.
The rash from poison ivy is self-limiting: It can go away with out remedy in a single to 3 weeks. However it may be a depressing expertise for many individuals and there are a number of remedies that will assist ease the discomfort. Attainable treatments embody cool compresses utilized to the pores and skin, hydrocortisone cream, and calamine lotion. Extreme instances might require steroid drugs or injections. Generally the pores and skin can grow to be contaminated as a result of in depth scratching warranting the usage of antibiotics. It’s best to keep away from antihistamine lotions or lotions and preparations containing benzocaine, neomycin, or bacitracin since these merchandise might make the rash worse.
One of the simplest ways to stop poison ivy rash is to study what the plant seems to be like and keep away from it.
There are a lot of good footage of poison ivy on the web, together with on the CDC toxic plant identification web page.
When mountain climbing in areas the place poison ivy is rising, put on lengthy sleeves and pants for defense. In case you come into contact with the plant, be sure you launder any clothes which may be contaminated. Urushiol on the fingers can simply unfold to different areas of the physique, so washing fingers and below the fingernails as quickly as attainable after publicity can cut back the probability of contracting the rash — or no less than might cut back its severity. When gardening close to poison ivy, use heavy-duty vinyl gloves since urushiol can penetrate latex and rubber. Over-the-counter lotions can be found that act as obstacles between your pores and skin and urushiol, and these could also be efficient for individuals who are steadily uncovered to poison ivy.
Sue Smith volunteers with the Grillo Heart which affords free, confidential analysis to help in well being understanding and choices.
The place To Discover It
American Academy of Household Physicians
U.S. FDA Client Updates