Poison Ivy Rash: How Does It Spread

poison ivy rashes Poison ivy causes a rash that is due to a chemical that is present in the sap which is called urushiol. This chemical gets into the outer layer of the skin till it finally comes in contact with the dermis; it is here that the allergic reaction takes place. Urushiol causes swelling and itching as well. The rash may last for over a week at times and the symptoms normally don’t show up immediately. You may also even get a rash and reaction from poison ivy that is burning so be careful what plants you burn and check if your firewood is interspersed with it .

Some people develop immunity over time but others never do. Because the poison ivy plant is very fragile, it’s leaves or stems can easily break by animals scurrying through or weather conditions so that the chemical urushiol is released. Also using garden tools in the backyard may release the sap so be aware of this when working in the back.

One should avoid direct contact with poison ivy plants since the urushiol sap will stick on what it comes into contact with. Many times this chemical can retain its potency for years actually. In fact it can even survive for decades if the object that is contaminated by it is in dry environment. Urushiol could cause a reaction a year later as well depending on the underlying conditions. Urushiol puts all of the body at risk but where the skin is thicker like the soles of the feet the sap there is some level of protection. All reactions depend on the dose of urushiol exposure.

If you are exposed, wash with cold water and definitely do not use hot water! Some say that using alcohol on the body right away can remove the oil and prevent the rash but others say it is stubborn and infilitrates quickly. Natural cures include the application of the jewelweed plant. You can also get a prescription remedy from your doctor for some relief. Poison ivy is one of the top itchy rashes and rivals scabies and eczema. Remember that it can be on your dog if you were romping in the woods as well as shoes, clothing, tools, canes and other items you may have worn or had with you outdoors.

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3 Responses to “Poison Ivy Rash: How Does It Spread”

  1. My friend used jewelweed for poison ivy and said it did work and she didn’t want to use corticosteroids to treat the blisters and rash from poison ivy. I am not sure where you can get that plant though.

  2. We didn’t even know we had poison ivy plants in our backyard but we must’ve because after doing a big yard cleaning my son got it bad. He is not someone that has good tolerance for itching and pain.

  3. My son got poison ivy last year from a park near our house that we went to on memorial day. We were playing frisbee and it went into the brush and he got those red blisters plus the oil was hidden on his clothes too. He was pretty miserable even though he liked showing it off.

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