Being in contact with plants like poison ivy, poison sumac or poison oak could cause you to break out into a nasty rash, known as a poison ivy rash. After exposure to these plants, it could take a few minutes, hours or even days for the rash to show up. Once it occurs, the rash may last for anywhere between a week and a month.
The leaves, stems and roots of the poison ivy plant contain an oily resin known as urushiol, which causes the rash. This substance is sticky and it clings to skin, clothes and other objects.
- Direct contact with any part of the poison ivy plants.
- Touching animals or objects that have been contaminated.
- Inhaling the smoke from burning poison ivy plants.
A poison ivy rash is not contagious; touching the blisters of an infected person will not cause you to develop it, unless urushiol is still present on that person’s skin.
Symptoms Of Infected Poison Ivy Rash
Because of the way a plant brushes against the skin, a poison ivy rash usually appears in a straight line. However, if you are exposed to a contaminated animal or object, the rash may be a bit more spread out. Given below are some of the more common signs and symptoms of a poison ivy rash.
- Blisters that are filled with fluid.
- Severe itching and burning sensation.
- Redness and swelling on the skin.
The severity of the rash may vary from one person to the other, depending upon the amount of urushiol that gets into the skin. In fact, development of the rash may be sooner and more severe in those sections of skin with higher urushiol. You may also spread the oil to other parts of your skin, worsening the problem.
On its own, poison ivy is not a serious condition.
- The rash covers a major part of your skin, including the face and genitals.
- The blisters begin to ooze pus.
- You develop a fever that is higher than 100 degrees F.
- The rash does not disappear or improve within three weeks.
Home Remedies For Treating Poison Ivy Rash
In most cases, the treatment for poison ivy includes self-care measures and simple home remedies to relieve the discomfort.
The first thing to do after exposure to poison ivy is to cleanse the skin thoroughly, preferably with some rubbing alcohol. Alternately, you could also try an over-the-counter poison ivy scrub to get rid of any urushiol on your skin. Once that is done, wash the area with some plain, warm water. It is best to take a shower with warm water and a mild soap.
Some of the natural and home remedies that are also useful in the treatment of a poison ivy rash include:
- Aloe Vera juice or gel
- Baking soda paste
- Banana peels (the inner part)
- Calamine lotion
- Fiddlehead ferns
- Goldenseal root powder
- Honeysuckle leaves
- Jewelweed leaves and juice
- Manzanita leaf tea
- Oatmeal mixture
- Sweet fern
- Tea tree oil
- Wild peach tea
While these remedies are quite safe if used correctly, it is best to check with a doctor before trying any of them.