Poison Ivy Rash Pictures, Treatment, Symptoms, Causes
You may have heard of poison ivy rash, but have you experienced it yourself? Read on for to know more about this type of allergic reaction.
The skin is the body part that is always in contact with the environment that we are in. It is also the largest organ of the body. The skin plays an important role as it provides protection to our internal organs as well as other parts underneath. Although it has a protective role, it doesn’t mean that it is already immune to the foreign bodies that can irritate and cause problems.
One of the skin problems experienced by some people is poison ivy rash. This is a skin irritation caused by allergy to poison ivy and to other similar plants. This irritation is also called allergic contact dermatitis. Plants like the poison ivy contain oil resin called urushiol that irritates the skin and cause rashes.
Cause of Poison Ivy Rash
The main cause of poison ivy rash is basically the exposure or the direct contact of the poison ivy to the skin. Although the condition is annoying and unpleasant, it does not really pose any serious health problem to the patient. Most of the people who get these allergic rashes are those that have been hiking or walking around the woods where poison ivies are located. Walking without covering as much skin as you can, like wearing pants, will only lead to having allergic rashes.
Symptoms of Poison Ivy Rash
The symptoms of the poison ivy rash depend on the severity of the exposure and the overall sensitivity of the person towards this type of plants. Although many people are sensitive to poison ivy and have normal irritations, but about half of them are highly sensitive to it, presenting severe rashes and irritations.
The rash may start to come out two to three days after the contact. The initial stage of the rash is usually red blisters and at times with itchy bumps. These rashes may continue for days and even weeks. The rash may even spread. Generally, this allergy is not really serious. But there are isolated cases where the airways, lungs and the eyes also get inflamed. This may happen when one is exposed to the smoke from the burning of these plants.
Despite its mildness, preventing the allergic reaction from occurring is the best solution in order not to suffer from the symptoms. One should be able to identify what poison ivies and other similar plants are so contact can be avoided. The poison ivy has three leaflets.
Aside from that, keeping your skin covered while walking through thick vegetation is also advised. Applying barrier creams to the exposed skin may also help.
Poison Ivy Rash Treatment
When one already suspects the rash, washing the area with soap and water can help in relieving the rash and lessening its severity. Taking in antihistamines can also alleviate the itch. Cortisone creams can also aid in improving the appearance of blisters. But the rash, even without doing anything, will clear on its own after two weeks or so.
But for instances of severe poison ivy rash, oral steroids may be taken especially when the face is already affected. The doctor has to be contacted in these cases especially when rashes are already widespread and the blisters do not go away even after a few weeks. The patient may have to undergo therapy or certain medications may have to be taken.