Poison Ivy, as popularly known is a famous plant causing mild to severe allergic skin reaction. It’s scientific name is Toxicodendron radicans and is a poisonous weed of North America and Asian region. This flowering plant grows as trailing vine, shrubs or climbing vine and well known for causing an itching, irritating, and sometimes painful rash.
The reaction is caused by urushiol, a clear liquid in the sap of the plant. appearance varies and color of the plant differs seasonally. The tree can be easily recognizes with it’s tri-leaf arrangement. The popular rhymeReaction from ingestion is unknown but the contact dermatitis is the principal effect. This article depicts guide line for poison ivy rash treatment.
Poison Ivy: Photo Credit Wikipedia
Poison Ivy Leaf turning red during autumn: Source Wikipedia
The allergen causing allergic dermatitis is a oily chemical compound urushiol. It’s also common to poison oak, poison sumac and some of the mango trees. Though the principal chemical compound is same, its properties varies and allergenic strength as well. Chemical composition of urushiol is:
Poison Ivy Symptoms/ Signs
Most of the exposures happen accidentally and frequent victims are farmers, wildlife photographer, explorers and children. The severity of reaction depends on body parts exposed, duration and individual body reaction. Poison Ivy rash treatment also depends on age, severity and symptoms.
Common Symptoms are:
- 10-20 percent people are asymptomatic
- Rarely anaphylaxis characterized by breathing difficulties, chest tightness, chest tightness and syncope. May lead to death due to cardiopulmonary arrest.
Following are some examples of poison ivy rash:
Non contagious, the rashes or blisters does not spread.
Poison Ivy Rash Treatment:
- Immediate wash under running water is very beneficial to wash away the toxins. This must be the first step of poison ivy rash treatment. It is pointless to add layers of herbs or medicines without removing the already in contact chemical poison.
- Cold water is more effective as it closes down the body pores. Soaps can be useful to remove oily chemical.
- Do not scratch or rub to remove the toxin, it will go deeper inside.
- Calamina lotion or Burows solution when available is very soothing and when applied over the affected skin reduces inflammation
- Anti allergic dipheniramine maleate, Levocetrizine are useful to reduce itching and inflammation.
- Topical and oral steroids are prescribed in more severe cases.
- Identification and treatment of anaphylaxis in timely manner.
Resources: Wikipedia, Toxipedia