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September 26, 2017

Learn To Recognize And Treat A Poison Ivy Rash

If you’ve been in the wilderness lately, you may wonder if the itching and blisters you’re experience are the signs of a poison ivy rash. Not everyone who is exposed to the plant will break out. But, the majority of people who come in contact with the plant will break out.

Poison ivy starts out as small fluid filled blisters or pustules. They may be accompanied by intense itching, particularly after they appear and begin to break open. Some blisters will dry up without blistering. The important thing to keep in mind is to avoid scratching the area with the poison ivy rash and the surrounding area, at all costs, as this can help the rash spread.

poison ivy rash

Poison Ivy Rash

If you have been outdoors and believe you may have come in contact with the poison ivy, oak, or sumac leaves, wash the affected areas right away and wash any clothing that may have come into contact with the plants. Skin and clothing will carry oils from the plant, which cause the rash. Washing with mild soap and water may remove much of the oils from the skin. If you’re lucky, you may be able to avoid getting a rash.

However, if you still break out, it is important for others to avoid the affected area. Usually, the small blisters will appear as slightly red, raised blisters, about the size of sunflower seeds or smaller. They can become larger, particularly if scratching occurs. You should particularly suspect poison ivy rash if it spreads from the initial area of contact. The rash will only spread to other parts of the body if the initial rash comes into contact with them.

poison ivy rash

Poison Ivy Rash

If you are unsure about the rash you have, a dermatologist can make a final diagnosis. Most people, however, are aware they may have come into contact with the leaves. This is particularly true of those who spend quite a bit of time outdoors or in the woods. Poison ivy rash is probably not going to be a surprise to those who spend plenty of time in the woods or open fields.

The current recommendations are to avoid applying any type of cream or topical antihistamine to the poison ivy rash. They are generally not effective in controlling the rash or itching. Cool compresses can be effective in reducing the inflammation of the blisters and can ease the intensity of itching.

Some over the counter remedies made specifically for poison ivy rashes can help dry up the blisters and take away some of the itching. Applying alcohol to the affected are should be done with caution, as the liquid can help the rash spread. Applying alcohol or baking soda to individual blisters is the best way to avoid spreading the poison ivy rash.

Dermatologists also recommend special preparations designed to ease the discomfort of a variety of rashes. Oatmeal baths or baking soda baths can help soothe the skin and take away the itching. When getting out of the bath, make sure to pat the area dry, rather than rubbing it. This way, you will avoid spreading the rash, particularly if some of the blisters have ruptured.

Another point to consider, when treating a poison ivy rash, is that small children may be unable to avoid scratching. Sometimes covering the area with breathable gauze can help. But, keeping the area dry and open to the air will help it dry quickly. Most cases of poison ivy rash clear up in 2 to 3 weeks, as long as they don’t become infected through scratching.

poison ivy rash

If you will be around others at work and have a visible rash on the arms or legs, you will want to keep these areas covered, to prevent the possible spread to those you work closely with. Leaving the rash visible, in plain sight, may cause panic among co-workers. Covering the rash, if at all possible, is the best way to avoid causing undue stress to others and to yourself.

A poison ivy rash will eventually go away on its own. There are no magic pills or creams that will make it vanish overnight. The best treatment is to keep the area as clean and dry as possible, while making sure to avoid contact with others, from the affected area. You will not likely require medical attention, unless the rash covers large areas of the body and you are extremely uncomfortable from the itching. Most people are able to get on with their lives and recover from poison ivy rash, by adhering to these simple self care tips.

About VJacques

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Vincent L. Jacques is a Professional Engineer in the Environmental Engineering Field, an entrepreneur, business owner, writer, photographer, angler, gardener, wine connoisseur, investor, philatelist, domainer, web-site developer, collector, diver, leader, husband and dad. Vincent has started and sold several businesses over the years and had presence on the internet as early as 1995, with Kenyon Environmental Inc., Kinetic Capital Management and AvoidLines.

Latest business/community launches by Vincent include www.foampix.com, www.vinsdomains.com, www.troutweekly.com, www.flickin.com, caddywise.com, with several more in the works.

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