Useful Tips On How To Prevent The Irritating Poison Ivy Rash

By: lynter
Poison Ivy is a plant found in the United States, but it is most commonly found in the Midwestern and Eastern areas. Poison Ivy has a long history, even being referred to by John Smith, who spoke about it in his journal saying: "If it grows in three, let it be." He's referring to the fact that poison ivy leaves grow in bunches of three. Today, we would provide a more specific description of poison ivy so you can spot it and avoid it more easily.

It's important to note that the leaves of the plant are glossy and that greenish white berries grow on it in the late fall season. The berries also have a particular shape and texture that make the plant stand out. They look like a peeled orange, not a common thing. What IS common, is the Cashew, which is part of the same family, as well as Poison Oak and Japanese Lacquer.

Just as there are many different types of people and genetic tendencies, there are just as many reactions to Poison Ivy. In fact, most times, coming in contact with it only once does not produce any reaction at all. Symptoms will usually manifest within 12 hours of exposure, though it's also possible for the symptoms to delay up to 10 full days after the contact actually occurred.

The associated rash caused by the poison shows streaks or lines with severe cases showing blisters or hives. Unfortunately, people who are more susceptible to the poison can find themselves in big trouble having severe reactions to it. It can even prove fatal.

The poison is transferred from the plant to the person through surface contact with the skin. The resin in the plant contains an oil. That oil is what causes the irritation or allergic reaction. You're not necessarily safe if you bundle up before you trek out into the woods or through a poison ivy patch. If the resin touches your clothing, tools or even animals, it can still remain active and cause the same reaction as if your skin touched it directly.

The best way to avert this scenario is to immediately wash anything you think may have had contact. The resin is extremely resilient and can remain a threat for a year. You should also be wary of touching dead or decaying Poison Ivy plants. Even under these conditions, the resin can thrive. It poses the same threat. The plants could even be burned and the smoke would still carry the particles of the poison. Inhaling would cause a reaction.

The best solution is to take an actively preventative approach - avoid the plant altogether. That's a tougher thing to do than to say since the plant thrives in the woods or in your backyard. It can grow in one isolated spot or it can grow in groups, like a vine along nearby shrubs. If you plan to be out in the woods or brushing against other plants, it's important to wear long sleeves, pants and even gloves where necessary.

If you think something has had contact, wash your hands and anything you think may have touched the plant. The saying: "It's better to be safe than sorry" is a solid approach. If you find yourself reacting to the plant, you can quickly purchase some over-the-counter anti-itch cream.

You will notice the best results from this approach when you apply the lotion within 20 minutes of exposure, so give yourself the best chance to lessen the effects of the poison. The easily accessible lotions are the fastest and best ways to quickly reduce or completely remove the symptoms brought on by contact with Poison Ivy. Always have some on hand because it's a great idea to be prepared. And Be Safe.

Summary:

Poison Ivy is part of the Toxicodendron Genus. It's popular status stretches back for hundreds of years in America. It causes us problems today and it was a big threat to colonial Americans. The best policy is to take a preventative approach. But if you do find yourself or a loved one having been exposed to the poison, it's important that you take the appropriate steps to quickly and effectively counteract the poison.
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