Home Remedies For Poison Ivy

It is always worth knowing about home remedies for poison ivy. You or your kids may come across this nasty plant at any time, and if you do not take action, it spreads.

So what is poison ivy and what can you do about it?

Poison ivy and its friends poison oak and poison sumac contain a substance called urushiol which is responsible for the allergic reactionthat most people have when they touch one of these plants. Not everybody is susceptible; a few people are genuinely immune to urushiol.

However, in most cases the immunity will not hold through prolonged or repeated exposure. Even if you don’t react to poison ivy the first time you encounter it, you may the second, third or tenth time.

The usual response is a rash that looks like hives, forming on any part of the skin that has been in contact with urushiol.

This is a greasy substance that stays on the skin and is easily transferred either to another part of the body or to another person, especially if it gets on the hands. The rash often does not develop immediately but may take a few hours to several days to appear.

So the first thing to do is to clean the urushiol off of the person who has it. This will not stop the rash if exposure was more than about 15 minutes ago, but it will stop things from getting worse. First use rubbing alcohol or a liquid cleaner for oily hands, to remove the grease.

Don’t use a piece of soap which will just pick up the urushiol. Then shower, first in water only, then using liquid soap.

Next you will need to clean all of the clothes, gardening tools or toys that you or your child were carrying. Wear gloves and rub everything over with alcohol and water.

After everything is clean, the rash itself is not contagious. It is simply anallergic reaction that can be treated with anti histamine, moisturizer or an oatmeal bath, just like you would treat hives.

If the rash is severe or is forming and spreading very quickly, especially in children, see a doctor. A steroid shot may be required.

Home remedies for poison ivy also need to take account of prevention. Educate yourself and your kids by finding out what poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac look like, so that you can avoid them.

If you find poison ivy in your yard, spray it with herbicide, dig it up or have it professionally removed, but never burn it. Even the smoke is toxic and can be deadly.

If there are a lot of these plants in your area, consider using an ivy block (available from drugstores) to prevent rashes on hands or exposed areas.

Wear gloves and long sleeved shirts when gardening, and have your kids wear full shoes, not sandals, when playing in the woods or near water.Home remedies for poison ivy are never as good as avoiding it.

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