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How to Relieve Poison Ivy

Posted in: Conditions
By Dr. Pantea Etminan, NHD
Aug 15, 2012 - 10:28:59 AM

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What do you know about this plant? Poison Ivy is in the similar family as sumac which are non-flowering plants that have the capability to cause severe allergic reactions upon contact skin contact. These symptoms could range from mild to more severe, depending on the amount of contact and the sensitivity of the individual. The plants could be found in the wild of course, but they are found in US and Canada more easily.

The varieties that could cause allergic reactions are:

  • Climbing (toxicodendron radicans)
  • Non-climbing (toxicondendron rydberigii)


What happens when you become in contact with poison ivy?

Usually, poison ivy's reactions come about with touching the plant or the leaves. They are rich in oils all over the plant which could absorb into the skin cells. The oil that causes reaction is called urushiol and can cause allergic reaction. Upon contact a red rash could appear followed or along with itching sensation that could easily spread. The rash could develop into blisters.

How to Take Care of Poison Ivy Contact?

  1. First, it is of great importance to try not to touch or itch it, because it could easily spread to other areas of your body.
  2. Get to water as soon as you can and rinse the affected areas with cold water. The colder the water the better at this point. If you do not have easy access to water then use rubbing alcohol to wash it off immediately. Also, a great alternative to have on hand would be witch hazel. Because this is an astringent natural alcohol it could help with itching or washing it off. Even if you already have washed off with water, apply the witch hazel after wards to assist with the itching and rash.
  3. Hot water is a good choice to utilize to stop the itching process. Because the sensory nerves in the skin become over whelmed and quit sending signals to the brain that you are itching the hot water treatment could work pretty well. Rinse with as hot as you can water for a length of time and stop. You could follow that by a lotion that treats itching. Some great ideas would be:
  • Calamine lotion
  • Aloe Vera
  • Calendula gel or lotion
  • Arnica (good addition)
  • Witch Hazel
  • Lavender mixed with lotion or oil

In Severe Condition of Poison Ivy

In case of serious and severe cases of poison ivy it is important that you would reach medical supervision and treatment, because it could be dangerous. Symptoms could range from mild to very severe, such as rash and blisters all over, including the eyes, and high fever. It is important that you would seek immediate medical assistance in such case to prevent harmful health issues that could follow.

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