How to Tell If You Have a Poison Ivy Rash

Over 80 percent of Americans are allergic to the urushiol oil Poison Ivy contains, making this poisonous plant the most common allergy in the US Not everyone is allergic to this plant, 20 percent of people actually do not react to the poisonous oil this plant contains. The urushiol oil in poison ivy is what causes the itchy rash, blisters and other painful side effects. After coming in contact with the three leafed plant, the symptoms can occur within an hour up to a few days days.

Within 10 minutes of coming in contact with the poisonous plant you should act fast, waiting longer then 10 minutes the urushiol oil is more likely to stick to your skin. This urushiol oil is what causes the rash. According to the FDA, within 10 minutes from exposure to poison ivy you should:

  • Cleanse exposed areas with alcohol.
  • Wash with water only (by adding soap at this time you can make the condition worse).
  • Then you can take a shower and use soap (but use something soothing and calming for skin).
  • Clean everything with gloves, be sure to wipe down anything that came in contact with you.

There are many treatments you can use at anytime to get relief from the poison ivy rash.

Urushiol oil is located in all parts of the poison ivy plant including the leaves, berries, and stems. You can develop a poison ivy rash by touching any part of the plant. You can also develop a rash from touching an object that came into contact with the plant. Exposure to smoke from any burning plants can also cause an internal rash, and severe internal damage.

Usually the affected area will start to form into a rash with tiny red bumps and can develop into blisters. The rash will develop on parts of the skin the poison ivy came into contact with. Typically, your skin becomes red and itchy, swelling, rashes and blisters can occur. The rash can form into blisters and eventually they may become crusty and begin to flake off. By itching the skin too much you can cause the rash to worsen and also cause an infection inside the open areas. Be sure to keep clean any open sores you have, as it can become worse if not treated properly.

If you develop a fever along with the rash you should consult with a doctor. If a doctor is consulted about a poison ivy rash most likely he will recommend taking cold showers and use a soothing skin cream, such as Calamine lotion. This can be bought at any drugstore or pharmacy. A poison ivy rash can be cured with certain home remedies as well. However, if the rash is severe the doctor will prescribe steroids or creams that contain antihistamines.

Avoiding getting the rash in the first place is the best approach. Be able to identify poison ivy and other toxic plants by knowing what they look like, so you can steer clear of them. When your outside in the woods or areas these plants live in, be sure to wear long sleeves, long pants and boots. This can help prevent rashes or skin contact with poison ivy.