Ways To Cure Poison Ivy Fast – Oh how I wish I hadn’t written this blog post! Unfortunately, this article and research was prompted by a disastrous encounter with poison ivy this summer!
I hadn’t had poison ivy in decades until last summer. But after two encounters (this summer was even worse than last year) I now remember the excruciatingly itchy, uncomfortable, irritating feeling of “torture” I knew from East Coast summer camps as a kid.
Ways To Cure Poison Ivy Fast
My personal experience with poison ivy this year (see below) has taught me some lessons about how poison ivy does and doesn’t spread, and what the best natural remedies are to help.
How To Spot & Treat Poison Ivy, Poison Oak And Poison Sumac — Dermatology Of North Asheville
We hope you and your kids get rid of poison ivy this season. However, if you do come across this pesky plant, we hope this information will help you recover quickly!
Poison ivy rash is a type of allergic contact dermatitis caused by an oily resin called urushiol. Urushiol is found in the leaves, stems, berries, and roots of poison ivy plants (poison oak and poison sumac). This resin is very sticky and easily sticks to skin, clothing, objects and pet hair.
As the plant touches the skin, the rash often forms in a straight line. However, contact with clothing, objects, or pet fur that has urushiol on it can spread the rash further.
The severity of the rash depends on the amount of urushiol on the skin. Areas of the skin with more urushiol may develop a rash more quickly or more severely.
Poison Ivy: How To Treat The Rash, Destroy The Plant
In order for the skin to be affected, it must come into direct contact with the plant oil, urushiol. Direct communication includes:
A poison ivy rash usually develops 12 to 72 hours after exposure. However, if the oil is left on the body, clothing, pets, or other objects during this time, it can transfer urushiol to the body (or to others who come in contact with the oil by touching those objects). Please know in advance.
Usually, the rash appears over time, not all at once. This is because plant oils are absorbed at different rates in different parts of the body or spread through constant exposure (scratching objects, clothing, or oil under fingernails).
Poison ivy rashes themselves are not contagious, the blister fluid in the rash does not contain urushiol, and the rash does not spread.
Poison Oak Rash: Photos And Treatment Options
You can only catch poison ivy from another person if you have touched that person or the urushiol left on that person’s clothing. Also, poison ivy can only be transmitted if urushiol remains on your pet’s fur.
It is estimated that up to 85% of Americans are allergic to poison ivy, while 15% do not experience a rash. It is believed that an individual’s sensitivity to urushiol may change over time.
If you come into contact with poison ivy, wash your skin immediately with warm water and soap. Washing off the oil can reduce the chance of getting a poison ivy rash.
If you’re out in nature and soap and water aren’t available, using rubbing alcohol (think: hand sanitizer) or a product specifically designed to remove urushiol can help.
Poison Ivy: Symptoms, Rash, Treatment, And More
Wash affected items separately with laundry detergent. Set the machine to the hottest recommended water temperature and the longest, highest load setting. Washing clothes separately will not spread the urushiol to other clothes.
Rubbing alcohol can be applied to items that cannot be washed (such as flip flops, boots, hiking poles or garden equipment). Protect your hands by wearing disposable gloves.
Urushiol can remain active on an object for months (maybe years!) and then transfer to the skin.
Last summer I was with my friends and kids at our local lake. I leaned against the tree and saw the vines wrapped around her and joked to her, “I hope this isn’t poison ivy.”
Mdlive Rash Guide
I got poison ivy rashes on my wrists (where it came into contact with the plant) and on my stomach (I was wearing a shirt that day and tucked it into my shorts, obviously rubbing oil on my stomach). The whole ordeal lasted two weeks, and while it wasn’t fun and was definitely uncomfortable, it wasn’t absolutely horrible.
When I got sick with poison ivy this summer, it was a “perfect storm” that taught me so many lessons about how it spreads and how bad it can get (of course it did because we all need more learning opportunities and growth.
I think Eldorado Creek encountered poison ivy. We brought blankets and sat down by the stream, and no sumac was to be seen, but now we believe our blankets were on it. As I was about to leave, I wrapped the blanket and tucked it under my right arm.
See image below. This was the first rash that appeared on my body. After 72 hours of exposure, the spot where the oil first touched my skin was clearly visible.
Poison Ivy: How To Spot It And How To Treat It
Not realizing that I had just come into contact with ivy, I went down to the stream for a massage. I believe the massage spread the oil all over the body. Because within a few days I had a rash along my chin, under both legs, around both ankles, and a few spots on my back, stomach, etc. did it!
After finding out I had poison ivy (unfortunately more than 3 days after exposure) I couldn’t even remember what clothes and shoes I was wearing that day, washed everything (clothes, sheets, towels…) and tried my best, i did it. Could. Looking back, I think I only showered the day after I went to the bay to let the oil sit on my skin all day. I also shave in the shower and I think that put more oil on my skin too!
Realized I had poison ivy, I immediately went to a poison ivy sensitive massage therapist, expecting I must have passed it on to him, but relieved to know I hadn’t!
Although all I mentioned was applying vegetable oil on my body, his skin was not spared. As a trained massage therapist, his practice is to wash his hands up to the elbows with soap and warm water between massages. If he did this right after touching my body, he would avoid collecting oil on his skin.
How To Treat Poison Ivy, Oak, And Sumac And When To Go To A Doctor
Also, according to some sources, rubbing alcohol on the skin immediately after contact can prevent the plant’s urushiol from fully penetrating the skin. This was probably another plus for him, given the amount of hand sanitizer most practitioners have to do these days.
As we’ll get back to below, prevention and quick action are the keys to avoiding poison ivy rashes!
If you’ve made it this far, you should have personal experience with poison ivy. My condolences are with you!
The information on our website is provided for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment. Consult your healthcare provider before making any medical decisions.
Poison Ivy? Act Fast!
Mindful Family Medicine participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associate Program and other partnerships. Some links on our site may be affiliate links. If you purchase an item through these links, the price of the item will remain the same, but you will receive a very small referral fee. We only link to products that we personally use and/or recommend. Available at select retailers. If you shop through our links, we thank you for your support of our work and the information we provide! First itchiness, then a red rash, then blisters. These symptoms of poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac can appear anytime from hours to days after exposure to the plant oils found in the sap of these poisonous plants. The main culprit: urushiol oil. There are several tips to avoid this.
Poison ivy and other poisonous plant rashes are not contagious from person to person. However, it is possible to remove rashes from plant oils that may have stuck to clothing, pets, garden tools, and other items that have come into contact with these plants. Vegetable oils stay on almost any surface until they are washed off with water or alcohol (sometimes for years).
Since the rash only appears where the vegetable oil has come into contact with the skin, a person with poison ivy cannot spread it all over their body by scratching. If the rash does not appear immediately and appears over time, it may appear that the rash is spreading. However, this is because vegetable oils are absorbed at different rates in different parts.