Poison oak or poison ivy is the plant found mostly in North America. Poison oak is also known as Toxicodendron diversilobum. These weeds are the most common cause of allergic reactions in North America. Poison oak’s leaves are divided into three densely haired leaflets with three to seven distinct lobes. You could be quite unlucky if you are young or fair because young or fair people are more susceptible to it. If you scratch poison oak blisters, then the rash will not spread because it is not contagious.
Although poison ivy can be a cause of severe skin irritation it is not a serious health threat. Poison ivy is just one of the many plants found in the United States that can cause such a reaction upon contact with the skin. This response is termed as contact dermatitis and more appropriately allergic contact dermatitis, as this is an allergic reaction. Allergic contact dermatitis of this nature, when the irritant is a plant, is termed as allergic phytodermatitis. Although there are plenty of home remedies for poison ivy that can provide some swift poison ivy relief, prevention is the most effective strategy.
Degree of patient’s sensitivity, amount of exposure and the body parts exposed determines the severity of the reactions. Body parts such as eyes, lips, genitals etc are more sensitive to the poison oak sap. After 24 to 48 hours of exposure, the victim may experience skin irritation followed by redness, blistering, swelling and severe itching. Affected area may have rash characterized by itchy bumps, blisters and swelling. Symptoms may be present for seven to ten days if the infection is mild or it may last for weeks.
Poison oak rash is caused when you come in contact with the oil called urushiol. Urushiol is a colorless or pale yellow oil found in the sap of poison oak. When exposed to air, it changes color to brownish-black. Avoid directly touching the sap of poison oak, it will cause problem to you. Indirect contact to the sap, by touching something on which the urushiol was present will also cause the rash, because urushiol can stick to fur, garden tools or any object that comes in its contact.
The poison ivy plant occurs naturally throughout the territories of the United States, with the exception of the desert areas and in higher elevations. It s very likely that the plant may be found growing wild in your backyard or as weeds in your garden, which is why many cases of poison ivy rash are traced back to tinkering in the garden or tool shed. Very often the residue of the resin responsible for the reaction may be picked up by a pet that has wandered off in to the woods or garden and then returned. Transference of the residue to your skin would cause poison ivy symptoms. Those of us who spend a lot of time in the outdoors are also vulnerable to exposure, but the best strategy would to always be prepared, with some knowledge of poison ivy rash treatment and home remedies for poison ivy. Another cause of poison ivy rash that many may not even be aware of would be from burning of such vegetation. It isn’t uncommon for poison ivy symptoms to afflict inhabitants living downwind from such burning vegetation.
The severity of poison ivy symptoms will determine the duration of the treatment. The most common poison ivy symptoms in children are fever, nausea, and swelling. There are plenty of natural home remedies and treatment options for poison ivy and oak rashes on the face, for blisters and itching. For fast and natural poison ivy relief you could try using a home remedy, hot water, bleach or other medicines. Dilute bleach is often used as a home remedy or mild poison ivy rash treatment for moderate cases.
Home remedies for poison ivy are primarily aimed at providing relief from the poison ivy symptoms, but even the best treatment for poison ivy blisters cannot eliminate the symptoms altogether. Before we delve into poison ivy relief solutions and natural remedies for poison ivy rashes it would be wise to gather information on preventive measures you could take so that you do not even need to try out any poison ivy treatment at home. Here are some tips that could help avert a poison ivy reaction:
The best way to avoid experiencing a poison ivy rash would quite naturally be by simply avoiding contact with the plant. This is of course a lot easier said than done, and is not really feasible. Even for those who know exactly what the plant looks like it would be hard to prevent contact, particularly when in thick vegetation as the plants can often go unnoticed. Clothing may offer some amount of protection, although limited. Try and wear long trousers and long sleeves when gardening or in an environment where you would be likely to come in contact with the plant. This may be uncomfortable but it could reduce the risk of a rash at least slightly. Barrier creams could help too, but they are again not horribly effective. When gardening and getting rid of weeds make sure that you wear gloves with your shirt sleeves tucked in tight so as to also protect the wrists and forearms which generally tend to get exposed. Gloves are extremely important and it would be best to use vinyl ones as they are not absorbent as most other materials.
In the event that you are exposed to poison ivy or suspect that you may have come in contact with the plant, then it would be wise to wash your skin with cool water as thoroughly as possible. However, this needs to be done swiftly as the reaction although not noticeable will already begin to set in. Since direct skin contact is not the only source of cause of a poison ivy rash and contact with residue left on other objects or animals is also a risk factor, it would be advisable to thoroughly wash all articles of clothing and any other objects that came in contact with the plant. Besides this you could also bathe your pet thoroughly if they have been roaming outdoors in areas that could have poison ivy.
Treating poison ivy rashes should therefore quite naturally begin with a cleansing routine for poison ivy removal from clothing and any other household items. The condition normally resolves naturally within one to three weeks, but here are some home remedies for poison ivy rash that should offer some prompt poison ivy relief.
Once the skin begins to blister and itch it is most important that you avoid giving in to the urge to scratch at the inflamed and blistered skin. Breakage of the blisters and skin damage could lead to a bacterial infection that would be much worse than the poison ivy rash itself. One natural remedy for poison ivy relief involves the use of hot water and bananas. Strange as it may sound this is actually believed to offer considerable relief from the poison ivy rash symptoms. Take a hot shower as this will actually help relieve the inflammation. After you’re done showering apply a banana peel over the areas of skin that are experiencing a rash for quick poison ivy relief.
One of the ingredients used in remedies and home treatments for poison ivy relief would be burdock roots. This unassuming herb has medicinal properties and can be used to prepare tea that can be applied to the skin and left to dry. This provides some much needed relief from the symptoms.
Potato is used for a variety of skin treatments like skin lightening, sunburn relief, and for many other inflammatory conditions. It is also one of the commonly used ingredients in home remedies for poison ivy rashes. Simply blend a potato in a mixer or blender until it is completely mashed into a pasty blob. Apply the paste over the skin that is affected. Do this as frequently as possible to reduce the skin irritation and itching.
Oatmeal is again known to be very soothing for skin conditions and it would be a good idea to have an oatmeal bath or soak. Likewise you could also add Epsom salts or baking soda to your bath water.
Rub alcohol to the affected area, then rinse it with water and later wash with soap and water.
Wet the infected area and rub plain table salt on it, this will not only relieve the victim but also stop further spread.
Rub the inner side of a banana peel on the rash. This will help you to relieve itching.
Place the infected area under running water. This will wash away histamines which cause itching of skin.
Pour 3 cups of oats into warm water and soak the infected area into it. Simultaneously rub the affected area. Doing this will relieve you of itching.
Mix 1/4 cup of bleach with 3/4 cup of warm water and apply to the affected area using a washcloth. This will kill the poison within 2 to 3 days.
Vitamin C taken daily with bioflavonoids will prevent infection, rapid spreading of the rash and heal inflammation.
Calcium and Beta-carotene helps to boost the immune system and speeds up healing.
Victim must take zinc as it helps to repair damaged skin tissues.
Take goldenseal, a root that is native to North America which has been used for centuries in herbal medicine.
Never burn poison oak because it can result in a dangerous smoke hazardous to the eyes, nose, throat and lungs. Wear full clothes and protective gear when you are in the woods. Don’t allow your pets to wander in poison oak area.