Exposure to poison ivy usually results in an allergic reaction, which occurs when your skin comes in contact with the plant and or its oil. Some people are not allergic to poison ivy, but most people break out with rashes, blisters and develop an itching sensation after coming in contact with the plant. This usually occurs after coming in contact with the plant or any thing else that may contain the plants oils such as clothing, tools, ash and smoke from burning plants. You would usually see signs of poison ivy between the first twenty four to forty eight hours after coming in contact with the plant.
Most contact with poison ivy occurs during the summer months, this is because poison ivy is found mostly in the woods or forests and during the summer a lot more people participate in outdoor activities. The rash would usually occur on the face first and then spread through out the rest of the body. The severity of the rash would be determined by the thickness of your skin, and how much actual contact you had with the plant. Sometimes the rash is centralized on the site of contact and develops on only one area of the skin or is more severe in one area than in others. The rash can not be spread by scratching but scratching can lead to infection and could leave scars.
Swelling of the throat and eyes, or the entire body can also be caused by poison ivy’s rash as the symptoms spread. Other symptoms can include stomach cramps, fever, a general feeling of discomfort, nausea, diarrhea, headaches, vomiting, blisters and red blotches that may be raised or flat. Itching is the most common symptom and would likely be the first sign you would notice. The blisters will eventually break open, ooze out and then crust over. Of course you don’t want to experience any of these symptoms in the open woods, itching is annoying on its own but diarrhea, nausea or headaches can be disastrous in the wild.
If poison ivy is consumed it can result in fatality. People may mistakenly ingest poison ivy fruits simply because they look like all other berries to the untrained eye. Poison ivy poisoning is a very unpleasant experience and one which can leave you ill for a long while. So the next time you’re in the woods, looking for a bush or tree to do your business behind, be careful where you lean or squat. Contact with poison ivy should be avoided at all costs.