Some plants contain oily resin like substance that causes itchy rash in men and women. Urushiol is one such resin found in the leaves and branches of poison ivy and oak trees that cause poison ivy rash. This type of resin can stick on to the clothing and boots of humans when they are walking through the plants. The same plant can produce worst type of infection in the lungs when it is burnt accidentally and the smoke is inhaled. Treatment can be given for poison ivy rash by medications like corticosteroid.
The symptoms caused by direct contact of poison ivy plant are itching, swelling and redness on the area that is exposed to plants and its roots. It can also cause pus filled blisters or lesions on the skin. Red colored straight line is seen on the skin in the place where the plant has brushed your skin. Sometime it can cause bumps or blisters or even hives on the skin from which oily fluid oozes out.
Initial symptoms of itching and swelling will begin within a day of exposure to the plant. As such direct contact of the plant or its stem will not produce severe itching. But if a person has direct exposure to urushiol resin of the plant the infectious rash will become severe. This oily resin will cause high itching and has the quality of spreading to other parts of the body when the person rubs his finger over it.
Itching and swelling may continue to be there for 2-3 weeks and can be controlled by medications. Poison ivy rash is not contagious and it is the oily resin called urushiol that causes rapid spreading on the skin. In rare cases it can cause swelling of mouth or neck region or even the genitals.
Oily resin by name urushiol is responsible for causing poison ivy rash. This oily resin is present in the leaves and stem and even on the roots of the poison oak plant. Due to its sticky nature this resin will easily attach to the skin and clothing. Pets can also spread the rash when its fur gets coated with oily resin.
There are 3 ways by which one can get poison ivy rash :
- One way is by direct touching of the leaves or stems or roots of the plant.
- Second way of spreading is by touching the objects that are contaminated with oily resin. You may touch the clothing or shoes or other tools used for cutting the plant through which you can get rashes. You can rub your fingers to other parts of the body accidentally after touching the sticky substance through which rashes can spread easily.
- Third method of spreading rashes is by direct inhalation of smoke from plants. Poisonous smoke is emitted from the burning plant can cause great harm to your lungs.
Who are at risk?
The tendency of poison ivy rash is considered to run in families. It is because their skin is very sensitive for oily resin which when contacted can cause rashes. People who are directly in contact with the plants like foresters, farmers, gardeners and construction workers are prone to develop this rash. In severe cases poison ivy rash can cause skin infection when bacteria enter into your body through pus.
Your doctor can easily diagnose poison ivy rash by mere physical examination and by looking for the symptoms of itching, red rashes and swelling. He may collect information from you by asking about your whereabouts the previous day.
Poison ivy rash will resolve on its own without wanting any treatment for mild cases. Self care methods are enough for reducing the symptoms of itching. However you need to visit the doctor if you have developed pus filled blisters and body swelling due to rashes. Steroid medication is prescribed for treating poison ivy rash. Prednisone is given in the form of oral pills and ointment. If the doctor suspects any bacterial infection he may give you antibiotics.
Home Remedies :
In case of severe itching with red colored lines on the skin, you can wash the skin with mild soapy water and apply calamine lotion on it. Antihistamines are effective in controlling itching. Benadryl or any other compound that contains diphenylhydramine is useful for reducing irritation and discomfort. If you have developed rashes on many parts of your body soaking in oatmeal bath is quite effective.
Pictures of Poison Ivy Rash :
Images, Pics, Pictures and Photos of Poison Ivy Rash
You need to avoid the poison icy sumac and oak plants by identifying it. Stay away from these plants when you are involved in hiking schedule. Do not let your pets to wander in strange areas that contain many plants. Oily resin of the plants can stick to their fur which may then be contacted by you.
If these plants grow in your backyard you need to remove them carefully by wearing heavy clothing and covering your hands with gloves. You need to bathe completely soaking your body for 5-10 minutes in warm soapy water to prevent any rash reaction. It is wise to wash your clothing thoroughly if you suspect exposure to poison ivy oak.