Poison Ivy - Definition, Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
Poison ivy is a very common plant having leaves coated with a mixture of chemicals called urushiol .When people get contacted with this chemical,it causes an allergic contact dermatiti. This is a kind of immune system response called T cell-mediated immune response or delayed hypersensitivity in which body's immune system recognize a foreign and attacks which is generally an allergic skin reaction.The result is typically an itching, red rash with bumps or blisters. It is not really a poison. Not everyone reacts to urushiol.
Poison Ivy found in two forms:
- Low plant: It is usually found in groups of many plants and looks like weeds growing from 6 to 30 inches high.
- Hairy vine: That grows up a tree.
Each form has stems with 3 leaves. There is a common old saying, "Leaflets three, let it be." This is because most people are allergic to poison ivy.
The possible symptoms for poison ivy are as:-
- The first symptom include a red rash and extreme itching.
- The rash erupts in streaks or patches at the points where the plant touched the skin.
- Blisters filled with fluid that sometimes leaks out. On rare occasions, some people will develop blood-filled blisters that sometimes turn black and become shiny dark spots. In severe cases, oozing sores develop .
- Small bumps or larger raised areas.
- There may be fever after the allergic reaction from the plant.
- Swelling of your throat and eyes and there may be overall swelling of your body
- Stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea.
- Headache and general feeling of discomfort are common .
- The reaction may vary from mild to severe. Hospitalization is sometimes required.
.Anybody can be affected by the reaction, if he or she contacted the plant chemical from any of following way:-
- Direct contact with the poison ivy plant
- By touching any clothing, including shoes, that have come in contact with the plant.
- Also by touching any gardening tools that may have the plant chemical on it.
- Smoke from burning these plants can cause the same reaction.
- Touching any outdoor pets that have been around poison ivy and have gotten the oil on their hair.
The effective treatments for poison ivy are as:-
- First of all get your skin cleaned by alcohol and then apply some cold water which washes some of the urushiol from the skin.
- Now take a shower with soap and warm water.
- Then wash everything that you have with you like shoes ,tools, and your clothes with rubbing alcohol and water by wearing gloves on your hand.
- Cover any oozing blisters with a clean gauze bandage soaked in a baking soda and water solution.
- If necessary, use a very strong mixture of salt water. Wait until warm and then put onto affected areas to help dry it up.Do not do this on face.