Gardening Vivian | 09 Feb 2010 05:07 am

Top Tips on How to Eradicate Poison Ivy

Come into any form of contact with this nasty plant and you will need poison ivy treatment. In fact the faster you get it, the better.

One of the world’s most potent allergens is urushiol which is the resin produced by poison ivy plants. Only a nanogram (a billionth of a gram) of urushiol is needed to instigate a reaction in a sensitive person. Since over half of the population is allergic to poison ivy, it is the cause of many thousands of cases of summertime rash.

Poison ivy rash starts with red lines or bumps that form fluid-filled blisters and sometimes larger, hives-like raised areas. The rash is extremely itchy throughout its course but particularly while blisters are present. It can become quite painful if the blisters are scratched and broken open. The major concern is that scratching the rash can result in a bacterial infection through the broken skin.

The first line of defence in any poison ivy treatment is to get rid of as much of the urushiol as possible. Once the resin absorbs into the skin there is little you can do. Since this happens in as little as 30 minutes, the first thing to do is wash off as much as you can with soap and warm water. Most exposure begins with the hands, forearms and any bare parts of the legs so wash them immediately.

Chances are likely that even with immediate washing you will still get a rash but it will be milder than it would have been. Once a rash develops, it will go away on its own but can take two to three weeks. Even a mild case of ivy can drive you up the wall with itching so the main poison ivy treatment is to deal with the itchiness.

One of the mainstays of poison ivy treatment is calamine lotion. Applied liberally to the rash, this pink liquid has saved the sanity of more than one mother trying to soothe a child who explored too far into the woods. Calamine lotion offers cooling relief for the burning itch while working to dry out the blisters of poison ivy rash.

Oatmeal baths are quite good at relieving the itch. You can purchase a product like Aveeno Oatmeal Bath or you can grind up a handful of regular oatmeal. Whichever you use, a cool bath will be the most effective itch relief. The relief will be temporary but can last for a few hours.

An over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream can be a useful poison ivy treatment in the very beginning of the rash or after the blisters have dried out. You don’t want to use hydrocortisone while there are blisters are present or open as it will sting and burn the affected area. It can help the rash clear up faster, though, when used at the proper time.

In highly allergic people, it may be necessary to get medical attention. If you get symptoms such as large, seeping blisters over a wide area, swelling of your face or throat or just an extremely bad rash, you should see a doctor right away. In those cases, poison ivy treatment will likely involve oral steroids such as prednisone or even an immediate injection for the most severe cases.

This article has shown just a little information about helping you to deal with poison ivy and it’s painful affects. For a wealth of vital free information on poison ivy to help you further visit the follow website today – How To Eradicate Poison Ivy

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