With the rise in childhood obesity and more and more kids spending too much time inside playing video games and watching TV, most parents love when their kids go outside to play. Unfortunately, in addition to the sun and bugs, poison ivy can be a big problem for kids playing outside. Poison ivy can also be a hazard to gardeners, people landscaping their yards, hikers, campers, and anyone else who likes to spend time outdoors. Poison Ivy is one of the numerous climbing plants that grow in the wild and produce a colorless and odorless resin, urushiol, which causes an inflammation and allergy on the skin through direct contact.
Poison Ivy dermatitis is one kind of allergic contact dermatitis, i.e, it occurs when a foreign allergen compels the body’s immune system to respond to it. In poison ivy dermatitis, the body quickly absorbs Urushiol, the plant oil, which contains allergens. The body’s immune system then produces anti bodies to battle against the allergens. The anti bodies release certain chemicals that cause damage to the surrounding cells which manifest as the physical symptoms of an allergic reaction.
Having poison ivy, at first you get a slight itchy spot, which gets worse and worse. It can be a a small itchy area that will annoy you, or it can cover your whole body with giant red sores that will drive you nuts. The poison ivy rash, even when not huge and ugly, can be one of the itchiest experiences a person will ever have. For a serious case you MUST SEE A DOCTOR. For less serious cases check with your local drugstore or see the list below for remedies.
Here are lists of popular home remedies:
- Take a shower in the hottest water you can stand, for as long as you can stand – this may ease the itch for a few hours.
- If heat eases your rash, you can also try a hair dryer, but BE CAREFUL. Don’t burn yourself!
- Jewelweed is widely thought to help the rash. Mash the weed and apply to the rash.
- Spray with a deodorant containing aluminum, which most do.