If you have any rashes after your trip from the woods, then it is probably poison ivy. Moreover, your skin gets rubbed with any poisonous leaves; then, it will cause rashes where it had made contact. So, you need to know how to treat poison ivy if you accidentally get them while exploring the woods.
Poison ivy is a plant whose leaves causes irritation and rashes when it comes to human or animal skin contact. Knowing the remedies will certainly help with the irritations and inflammation when you stuck in the woods; moreover, instant action on the affected place will reduce the pain until any medical help arrives.
That is why we wrote this brief article, to have a guideline on how to treat poison ivy so that no matter what happens in the woods, you will have some relief until you go to the doctors.
What is Poison Ivy?
It is a plant that causes an allergic reaction to your skin. Poison ivy originated from Asia and North America. The plant’s leaves are known to cause irritation and rashes, and burning on your skin. That is why they are called poisonous, and it is very effective when it makes contact.
Every leaf of this poisonous plant has three leaflets and has small flowers. These flowers create white fruits, and they are lovely. However, it may be very attractive, but it can also deliver a lethal blow when you touch it.
You can cure mild poison ivy reaction at home by washing it with soap. A cool bath and some lotion can also help with the burning. Moreover, you can reduce the effect when your skin comes in contact with the oil by washing it right away with water and soap.
On the other hand, if you accidentally have a severe case, then a doctor is your best bet. Moreover, when in the woods, you need to know how to treat poison ivy till you get to a hospital.
Symptoms that Indicate Poison Ivy
You are in the wild, and you start scratching your body. Your body starts to develop a rash and a burning sensation; then it could be because you touched something poisonous. It could be poison ivy, sumac, or oak. No matter what it is, you need to know the symptom to use some remedies until you get some medical help. If you have the poison ivy, then you will see –
- Swelling on the affected place
- Blisters all around the contact area
- Redness where it itches
- You will feel difficult while you breathe. It happens if you accidentally inhaled poison ivy smoke from burning it.
These are the things you need to check, and we recommend straight away go to a hospital. It is straightforward to brush your skin by mistake with poison ivy as they stay in a branch’s straight line. Moreover, you can spread the urushiol oil from the ivy plant to other parts of your body if you touch it here and there.
Causes of the Poison Ivy
It is an allergic reaction, and it occurs when you come in contact with any ivy plant. When you touch the plant, it releases an oily substance which is called urushiol. It is very sticky and can easily get stuck on your skin. Until the oil remains on your skin, you will feel itchiness and burning. You can get affected by poison ivy if you –
- Touch any contaminated object with poison ivy – Poison ivy oil is very sticky, and it likely gets stuck on something that you touch. Suppose you got in contact with the ivy plant and touch something else. The oil will get on the object that you touched, and at some point, when you pick up that object, the oil will easily affect you. That is how almost half of the cases of poison ivy happen.
- Plant – The plant on the poison ivy is where this oil comes from, and it is very likely that you somehow came in contact with the plant. Almost every part of this poisonous tree is dangerous. The leaves, which have most of the oil, then stem barriers and roots. However, the leaves are easy to see as they appear straight and shorter than non-poisonous plants.
- Smoke inhale – Poison ivy smoke can also cause you such problems. If you are burning some leaves and there is an ivy plant there, you did not notice. When you start burning the leaves, the smoke from that can also cause rashes and itchiness in your skin.
However, if the above situations did occur, but you still see the symptoms of ivy poisoning, then it is because you have caught it from someone else. Typically, someone’s cloth could contain the resin of the plant.
How to Prevent Poison Ivy
Ivy poisoning is very unfortunate, and no one wants it. But it could happen to anyone. Knowing the remedies is crucial, but you have also been cautious not to let this situation occur in your life.
- Avoiding the plants – The first thing you need to know is which one is poison ivy. When you are hiking, hunting, or in the woods, it is very common to get infected. As the woods are full of so many plants, it will be challenging to identify an ivy plant. So, you need to know what an ivy plant looks like and avoid it no matter what.
- Protective gear – Poison ivy reacts when it comes in contact with your skin. When you go hiking or hunting in the wilderness, wear clothes that expose your skin less. Try to cover up any place where you will contact any plants to make it easier to avoid any ivy plant.
- Wash your clothes, skin, and pet’s fur – If unfortunately you get exposed to the sticky, oily urushiol, wash it off. Try to wash your skin and clothes within 30 minutes of this exposure. You can use soap and water to wash the affected area; moreover, wash your clothes, clean your pet’s fur when you get home. Washing your skin will not altogether remove the resin, but it will give you temporary relief; go to a doctor. However, it will reduce the effect of poison ivy’s resins.
- Apply cream – You can use a cream that will act as a barrier to your skin. If you accidentally touch a poison ivy tree, the effect will be a little less, and you will get more time until the infection starts. You can try over-the-counter products if you want.
Remedies for poison ivy
If you somehow get infected and the rashes show up, then you can try some home remedies. You can search on the web about how to treat poison ivy at home. However, our article is also beneficial too. When you have the infection, you will rashes, itchiness, and burning on your skin. So, you can try different things to get rid of every particular effect of the resins –
For the rash –
- Rinsing your skin – When affected, take a lukewarm bath so that you can wash off some oily resins from your skin. If you do not do it, the oil will spread from your skin to clothes to someone else. So, you must wash your skin with soap.
- Wash the clothes – If you do not want to get infected again or get someone else infected, wash your clothes. After you come back from hiking or hunting, wash your clothes. Poison ivy resins can get stuck to your clothes, and if someone touches them, they can also affect.
- Wash everything you carried – you will have to wash everything you had on you when you got infected as the oily resins can get stuck on them. So, if you get infected, then wash everything that you were carrying while in the woods.
- Do not touch the blisters – when the blisters open up, do not try to remove the skin from there. The skin overlying the blister’s open mouth is the barrier that prevents infected blood and oil not to spread. Moreover, the skin also protects the wound due to an open blister.
For the Itchiness –
- Use cream – The blisters on your skin after getting poison ivy will itch non-stop. However, you can try calamine lotion, which will reduce the itchiness a little bit. Moreover, hydrocortisone cream is excellent for a mild case.
- Take short baths – You can ease the itchiness sensation by taking a short, lukewarm bath in periods. Moreover, you can try a colloidal oatmeal prepared bath, which is proven to have much more effect on itchiness. On the other hand, one cup of baking soda in the bathtub water can also reduce your itchiness.
- Cool compresses – A wet cloth on the rashes can help you reduce this sensation to itch. You can soak a cloth in cold water and apply it to the area where it itches. It will help you with the itchiness as it cools the blisters and reduces the sensations.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How do you get rid of poison ivy overnight?
Well, there is no permanent cure that works overnight. However, if you infected and within 30 minutes or less, you can try a few things that can stop the effect or reduce it –
- Use Rubbing alcohol to the area.
- Take a bath in a mixture of baking soda and water.
- You can make a paste of baking soda and water and apply it.
- Apply aloe vera gel to cool and stop the infection.
- Use cucumber slices to hydrate the skin and also cool it.
- What dries up poison ivy rash?
You can dry the poison ivy oozing and weeping rashes with topical OTC skin protectants such as – zinc oxide, zinc carbonate, and calamine. It will dry up poison ivy rashes. Moreover, baking soda baths will reduce your minor rashes and irritations.
- Does toothpaste treat poison ivy?
Who does not have toothpaste in their home? You can use one ounce of diluted toothpaste in water and then apply it to the blisters or rashes. It will dry up your poison ivy very quickly and efficiently. However, it is for a mild case and a quick fix.
Poison ivy is a painful infection that no one should get affected. However, hundreds of people get this while hiking or hunting. You must know how to treat poison ivy infection on the spot until you get to a hospital.
That is why we came up with this information for everyone. You know what ins necessary to do when you or anyone with or around you accidentally gets in contact with poison ivy.