A poison ivy rash is miserable, but it's not life-threatening; scratching a poison ivy rash won't kill you, but it will continue to spread urushiol if you're not careful. If you want to wait for it to happen, that's fine. If you want to treat it, skip home remedies for poison ivy and see your doctor. Poison ivy rash is caused by an allergic reaction to an oily resin called urushiol (U-roo-she-ol).
This oily resin is found in the leaves, stems, and roots of poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac. Poison ivy, oak, and sumac contain an oil called urushiol (yur-oo-shee-aal). If you have an allergic reaction to this oil, you may develop a rash. Because most people are allergic to this oil, almost everyone who comes into contact with it develops a rash.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, approximately 85% of the population will develop some type of reaction to poison ivy, oak, or sumac if exposed. This is the most common allergy in the U.S. Department of State, and affects half of the population. While it is life-threatening only if Urushiol is swallowed or inhaled (when burned), severe cases should be taken seriously and seek medical help, as there can be serious consequences.
Start with our Hardscape 101 guides. She, after all, had said the same thing to me the previous spring, but what she had considered poison ivy turned out to be a strawberry patch. In addition to direct contact and contact with contaminated objects, you can also have a reaction to poison ivy by breathing in plant smoke if it burns. The rash may also last longer if it's your first reaction to poison ivy for three to four weeks.
Up to 50 million Americans have a reaction to poison ivy each year, making it the most common allergy in the United States, according to the American Skin Association. If you see a poison ivy-like rash on your child's skin for the first time, dermatologists recommend that you take it to your healthcare provider. Poison ivy is not contagious unless there is still oil from the plant on the skin and spreads it to other surfaces. If you're hiking or camping, stay on designated trails or campgrounds and away from areas where you know poison ivy plants have returned after being cleaned.
A poison ivy rash can also be infected, especially if you scratch the area and break the blisters. Formal outdoor activities attract approximately 49.2% of all Americans each year, approximately 43,000,000 people. In your own garden, you can get rid of poison ivy by applying a herbicide or pulling it out of the ground. Immediately after exposure to poison ivy, poison oak, or sumac, shower with soap and water and thoroughly clean any areas that were in contact. Tree care is important.
If you inhale smoke that contains poison ivy oil, symptoms may include irritation to the airways and lungs and difficulty breathing. Visit the Hall of Fame, which contains photos of some of the worst poison ivy eruptions in history, at your own risk. Unless you have a serious reaction, you should be able to treat a poison ivy rash without seeing a doctor.