Poison ivy is the only one that always has three leaves, one on each side and one in the center. They are soft or slightly shiny. They are shiny with smooth or slightly jagged edges. Poison oak looks similar, but the leaves are larger and more rounded like an oak leaf.
They have a hairy, textured surface. There can be groups of three, five or seven leaves. Poison sumac leaves grow in clusters of seven to 13 leaves, with only one at the end. It forms between 24 and 72 hours after contact, depending on where the plant touched it.
It usually peaks within a week, but can last up to 3 weeks. A poison ivy, oak, or sumac rash looks like raised, red blister patches or streaks. The rash usually doesn't spread unless urushiol is still in contact with the skin. It's usually safe to breathe where poisonous plants grow.
But if you burn them in your garden, the smoke could cause problems. When poison ivy leaves burn, they expel chemicals that can bother the eyes, nose, or lungs. You may need to see a doctor if you breathe in the smoke. You will be prescribed steroids to control your symptoms.
But using them together with over-the-counter medications can relieve itching and keep you more comfortable. Once a rash appears, keep it clean, dry and fresh. Calamine lotion, diphenhydramine, or hydrocortisone can help control itching. Cold compresses or baths with baking soda or oatmeal can also relieve a rash.
It won't spread the rash, but it can cause scarring or infection. Your doctor may suggest other treatments for your symptoms. If someone in your household has poison ivy, oak, or sumac, they won't be able to get infected through that person, even if they come into contact with the blisters. Just because you've never had a rash from one of these plants doesn't mean you're clear.
Most people (about 85%) are allergic to urushiol. You can be affected by it at any age. Don't burn poison ivy, oak, or sumac. Urushiol particles remain in the smoke and can aggravate the eyes, nose and respiratory tract, and can fall on the skin.
Instead, dress appropriately and dig up the plants, pulling out as much root as possible. Put them in a plastic garbage bag and throw it away. Ask someone else to do it if you are very sensitive to the plant. Read the label carefully and use it at the right time of the year.
Be careful: Urushiol remains active, even on dead plants. The skin itches intensely where the rash will appear. Itching can be so severe that it wakes you up from a deep sleep. Soon after the skin starts to itch, the rash appears.
Most people have an itchy, red, and blistering rash. Poison ivy grows like vines or low shrubs in most climates. Each leaf of a poison ivy plant has three smaller leaflets. Touching any part of the poison ivy plant can cause redness and swelling of the skin, blisters and severe itching, sometimes hours after exposure.
Poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac are a year-round hazard. Here are some tips to prevent and treat itchy rashes and blisters. Most plants have some type of chemical defense system that helps protect them from predators, and chemicals produced by poison ivy and its relatives are particularly effective. The rash occurs only where the vegetable oil has been in contact with the skin, so a person with poison ivy cannot spread it through the body by scratching.
Talk to your doctor if you have a severe poison ivy rash or if the rash affects your face or genital area. Poison ivy rash often appears in a straight line because of the way the plant rubs against the skin. If you scratch a poison ivy rash, bacteria under your nails can cause skin to become infected. However, it is possible to get poison ivy rash if you touch the plant resin that is still on the person or contaminated clothing.
When you return to the classroom, anyone who thinks they might have touched poison ivy should wash well with soap and water. .