Poison ivy is a particular type of plant that grows in North America and Asia. Usually, this plant has three leaves; one grows on the top and two on the bottom. It extracts a certain type of oil that causes skin rash and itch. It is a climbing plant, and the oil is the main thing to get scared of. So, how long does poison ivy last?
Well, it stays for more than a week, and sometimes it takes two to three weeks to get better. It is not something that will kill you, but it will irritate you for long enough to get sick of it.
There are various methods of medication for poison ivy rash. Sometimes the skin may sallow, and for that reason, you need to use a soaked towel with cold water to keep the itchiness in control.
What is poison ivy?
Poison Ivy is a particular type of climbing plant that grows on rough and terrain places. These plants extract oil that can cause a skin rash, swallowing, burning, or worse. Not everyone has this particular allergy, but you have to thoroughly clean yourself and your clothes if you contact this specific plant.
You are wondering, How long does poison ivy last, and let me tell you one thing straight. Those who have severe allergic reactions can get into severe problems with this plant. It can get worse than just a typical skin rash. You may end up on a hospital bed and getting your medical insurance kicking in.
Sometimes it lasts for a week or two, and sometimes it lasts for more. So, try to be cautious wherever you go. Do not do hiking or forest exploring without high socks and anti repellent creams.
How to recognize poison ivy?
If you are someone who loves hiking or wandering in the forest, then you should know how does poison ivy looks. Poison ivy is a particular type of plant that gives you an allergic reaction when you touch it.
The poison ivy plant has three leaves all together at the tip of every branch. One leaf in the middle and two others are on both sides. They are green and slightly red in colour. Try to avoid them as much as possible.
However, if you contact it, you will feel a sudden burn and itchiness. You can see them on the ground and also on the cliff or while climbing a green mountain. It is not a very big plant, as it grows three feet max.
What causes the allergic reaction
An oily resin called urushiol extracts from the leaves of the poison ivy plant. It is toxic, and as soon as it contacts human skin, it starts burning, and a rash happens.
It means that whenever a human contact happens or bare skin contacts with poison ivy, an allergic reaction happens because of urushiol. No matter what you do, it will burn until the skin repairs itself. So, How long does poison ivy last? It will last for more than two weeks sometimes, and it remains for more.
However, Those who do not have an allergic reaction to poison ivy will not feel any burn or will not see any visible rash on their skin. It happens because not every human is allergic to poison ivy.
What are the symptoms
The symptoms are very visible as you will see redness and rash on your skin. Sometimes your skin can burn intensely, and you will feel pain.
Here are a few symptoms that will occur when you get into contact with poison ivy:
Sometimes the smoke of poison ivy can cause breathing problems. That is very toxic and can make you faint. You may see the rash in a straight line or at different parts of your body as the urushiol oil can move on other body parts with your nail and fingers. How long does poison ivy last? Well, more than weeks.
The oil can also contact your body by cloth and fur of your pet. The best practice is to wash the dress that you use on hiking or forest tracks. Make sure you know poison ivy and other allergic plants.
What are the complications of poison ivy?
If you scratch the contaminated place, you can cause serious complication to your body. The fingernail contains a lot of bacteria that can cause damage to the rash to make pus. It can get worse if you do not go see a doctor.
Many cases came as they unintentionally scratched their body and extreme rash and burning happened. It can happen in your case also. Do not make things complicated and do not even think that How long does poison ivy last? If you get contaminated, go see a doctor as soon as possible.
Please make sure the urushiol oil doesn’t go into your mouth as it can cause a medical emergency. So, be patient and visit a doctor if you see any symptoms.
Does it require a visit to a doctor?
Well, it depends on how much reaction happened on your skin. Sometimes the amount of urushiol oil is very low as it washes away with water and the rash goes away fast. But sometimes it remains for a long time.
Here are a few tips that may help you to find out whether you need to see a doctor or not:
- If the rash remains in your skin for a week
- You scratched the contaminated surface
- Your eyes, mouth and genitals feel slightly off
- When you have a fever
But, seek medical guidance emergency if you inhaled the smoke of the oil. You can face breathing problems and also can get fainted. So, Be cautious of the poison ivy plant.
The places where you need to be cautious
Does it matter that How long does poison ivy last? Yes, But it also matters what places are poison ivy available. If you know the places, you can get cautious and can also save others getting unwanted medical attention.
Here are a few places that you need to look twice before walking:
- Camping: When you are camping, you get a lot of activities to do, and those activities require a lot of movement. But be sure to move without caution as poison ivy can be found in any field.
- Construction: Usually, when the construction of any infrastructure starts, it takes years to get it completed. So, plants like poison ivy grow there.
- Forestry: If you are all about forestry, you should think before you leave your home as there is a high risk of getting contaminated from poison ivy at the forest.
- Hiking: This is the most common situation where people gets poison ivy contamination. Hiking consists of tracking to spending hours in forest and mountains. So, it is a high possibility that you can get the oil on your skin.
It would be best to keep in mind some other situations, such as Gardening, Firefighting, Cabling, Farming, Landscape viewing, and many more.
Prevention methods of poison ivy
If you want to prevent yourself from getting contaminated with poison ivy, you have to follow some ideas. Medical experts suggest you should follow a few tips to prevent from getting rash:
- Avoid poison ivy: Try to learn where poison ivy and other plants like these grows. It will help you to identify the pants and keep you safe from getting the rash. You can learn to identify the poison ivy plant from reading the article above. In comparison, if you are hiking, be cautious as these plants are present there.
- Protective clothes: Try to wear protective clothing such as long sleeves, socks, boots, pants and gloves. These can help you from direct contact of the plant.
- Remove the plant: If you are on to gardening, then try to learn how to identify the plants and remove them from your garden. It will keep the garden both safe and clean. You will also have less chance of getting contaminated by the oil.
- Wash yourself and your pet: Remember that you are very likely to get contaminated if you went out for hiking or tracking. So try to wash all the items you took with yourself and your body with cold water. Use a towel and soak it with cold water. Then gently wash the affected skin. Try to give bath to your pet as they can also contaminate you with the oil.
Try to follow these tips to prevent yourself from getting infected with the oil. It is very contagious and can burn your skin instantly. So try to identify the plant and move safely.
What to do when an allergic reaction happens
Poison ivy is not something that can risk your life, but if you get an allergic reaction, there are few things that you need to do fast. Make sure to follow these when you get into trouble:
- You can use a towel and soak it into cold water and gently clean the rash.
- Soothing lotions can help you with the rash.
- Put your hand under running water.
- Try to take anti-allergic medicine or natural medication.
- Try home medication.
Lastly, try to contact a medical expert to ensure that you don’t face complication in the future. However, you can try those steps and see if it works. How long does poison ivy last? Within a week or so, you will be back to normal. But if it does not get better, try to contact a doctor immediately.
Frequently asked question
Here are a few frequently asked questions that we face every now and then:
- How long does poison ivy last?
= Poison ivy usually remains for a week or two. But it can get worse as your skin can get infected from other bacterias. If that happens, it can stay for three to four weeks.
- How to cure poison ivy fast?
= Alcohol can remove urushiol oil, so if you feel that you are getting an allergic reaction, try to rub alcohol to help remove it.
- Why it rash spreads?
= Usually most of the cases of rash spreading happens because of scratching. When you scratch the rash, urushiol oil goes into your nail, and when you scratch somewhere else, you contaminate that place also. Sometimes when you scratch, the bacteria of your nails can amp up the rash.
- Does sunlight affect poison ivy?
= Yes, try to stay at home and do not go out. Try to keep your infected area cool and use a cold water-soaked towel to clean the rash. Do no go out till the inflammation heals.
- Is it safe to shower with poison ivy?
= Yes, it is entirely safe to shower with poison ivy just try to wash it separately so that the running water don’t touch you. Make sure you use cold water or normal temperature water because hot water can worsen your rash condition.
Recommendation for How long does poison ivy last
We see many cases all throughout the year, and most of them think this is not something serious. They think it maybe two or three days, and then it gets worse. So try to avoid those failures and seek medical help.
Conclusion of How long does poison ivy last
Usually, it lasts for more than a week and very likely it can stay up to two or three weeks depending on the amount of oil remaining on your skin. It burns the skin and makes irritating feel. Scratching the rash may end up with an infection and further medical emergency.
You never know what to do as out of basic instinct you will scratch it. So, make sure to wash it on running water and use a cold water-soaked towel to clean the contaminated area. Try to wash all the clothes that you were wearing and make sure you clean yourself thoroughly. Try to contact a doctor if you face breathing problem. It means you have inhaled the smoke of poison ivy. It is very risky, so call an ambulance as soon as you feel it.