poison ivy is a rash that comes when you touch the poison ivy plant. I am sure you’ve had the experience before, probably as a kid, when you played with your kids outside. The poison ivy plant is green and has big, thick hairy leaves. I mean, they are not huge like those of a water lilly but they are not tiny either.
I described the plant, just so that you can identify it in your mind, but we’ll not talk about the plant very much anymore. Instead we’ll focus on the rash that I’ve mentioned before, which, incidentally, has the exact same name.
So, what does poison ivy look like?
In most cases, when you have the rash, you’ll not notice any swelling or raising at all. Your skin will get a little red where the contact with the plant was made and that’s about it. In some, rare cases, you’ll notice little bubbles forming with a bit of a discharge, which, even though they look a little scarry are pretty harmless.
When you first touch poison ivy, it burns a lot, although it’s not unbearable. Then your skin gets a little red and then it itches for some time. You don’t want to scratch that, obviously, but unless you’re allergic to it, nothing serious will happen.
How to treat poison ivy?The first thing you have to do is make sure you don’t scratch it, as I mentioned above. That’s the very first step. Then, a good idea is to take some rubbing alcohol and clean your skin off before the substance that causes the rash, which is called urushiol, by the way, gets into your skin. You have approximately ten minutes to do that.
Then, rinse the skin off well, remembering to use cold water for this instead of hot. If you use hot water, you’ll make it a little easier for urushiol to enter your skin pores as warm water opens them up.
Washing the clothes is the very next step to take. See, when you get in contact with poison ivy, that nasty urushiol will stay on your clothes and even if you get back home, you can still get new rashes because of that. Just toss your clothes in the wash and you’ll be fine.
Seeing a doctor would also be useful just to make sure that what looks like a normal ivy rash is not anything serious. If it is just poison ivy, then the last thing you could try is waiting it out. It will pass pretty soon.
Poison ivy can be really annoying. It burns and itches, but if you follow the tips above, you’ll be ok.