When we were still young, old folks had warn us about being careful with poison ivy when we play in the woods or set out at camp as we can get into real trouble when this plant comes in contact with our skin. Yes, poison ivy can cause skin irritations because it contains the compound, urushiol, which is responsible for the itching and burning sensation on the skin.
When this plant comes in contact with us, we suffer from red rashes that are very itchy and in severe cases it can cause inflammation and formation of blisters. The rashes usually appear after four hours from exposure or may even be prolonged for ten days. But the degree of rash and inflammation also depends upon the sensitivity of a person. When he or she is allergic, then further problems may arise.
How long does poison ivy last? This also depends upon the sensitivity of a person and the manner urishiol comes in skin contact. Typically, it would take one to two weeks for poison ivy to last or may take longer to heal for severe cases, like having inflammation and rashes.
We are not only affected with skin allergies through contact with any parts of this plant but also can experience further problems when poison ivy gets burnt because when the smoke passes through the lungs, this can cause us difficulty in breathing.
What to do when we come in contact with poison ivy? Since urishiol is a compound that easily binds on the skin and difficult to remove, therefore it causes us severe itchiness. We can apply calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream over the affected areas to reduce discomfort.
Another effective home treatment for itchiness is rubbing the inner portion of a banana peel over the affected areas or having an oatmeal bath with lukewarm water to reduce itchiness.
For reducing inflammation and swelling, we can apply cool compress on the skin. We can also take prescribed antihistamines to halt itchiness.
In mild cases, poison ivy rashes subside on their own given enough time as the rashes are considered self-limiting. If any conservative symptom reliefs do not take effect, it is best to consult the doctor especially when suffering from severe irritations because this can cause disabilities when let untreated.
To avoid repeated incident of contacting poison ivy, it is very important for us to be familiar with the plant so that we can take extra precaution when we get to encounter it in the future.