Poison Ivy : Tips for managing

Poison ivy is one of the most frequent causes of skin rash among children and adults who spend time outdoors. A rash from poison ivy is caused by an oil found in these plants called urushiol. When this oil touches your skin, it often causes an itchy, blistering rash.

 

How does Poison Ivy look

Poison ivy, an aggressive native plant that grows all over our territory. Poison ivy can grow as a vine, as a shrub, or even creeping along the ground. It can recognised by its leaf which has three leaflets. It may bear yellow - green flowers too.

To treat a rash from poison ivy, dermatologists recommend the following:

  1. Immediately rinse your skin with lukewarm, soapy water to rinse off some of the oil. If not washed off, the oil can spread from person to person and to other areas of your body.

  2. Thoroughly wash all of the clothes you were wearing when you came into contact with the poisonous plant. The oil can stick to clothing, and if it touches your skin, it can cause another rash.

  3. Wash everything that may have the oil on its surface with warm, soapy water.

  4. Do not scratch, as scratching can cause an infection.

  5. Leave blisters alone. If blisters open, do not remove the overlying skin, as the skin can protect the raw wound underneath and prevent infection.

  6. Take short, lukewarm baths by adding one cup of baking soda to the running water. Taking short, cool showers may also help.

  7. Apply calamine lotion to skin that itches. 

  8. Apply cool compresses to the itchy skin. 

  9. Take oral antihistamine pills to reduce itching, however use with caution. Do not apply an antihistamine to your skin, as it can worsen the rash and the itch. 

 

If your rash is not improving after seven to 10 days, or you think your rash may be infected, schedule an appointment at Dr Gauri's Skin & Hair clinic by calling

702-464-3430.

 

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