Poison ivy rash is allergic contact dermatitis caused by a substance called urushiol, found in the sap of poison ivy. This same substance can be found in other plants as well, notably poison oak, and poison sumac. Urushiol is a colorless, or slightly yellow oil that oozes from any cut, or crushed, part of the plant, including both stem and leaves. Simply brushing against a plant may not cause a reaction. On the other hand, you may develop dermatitis without ever coming into contact with poison ivy, because the urushiol is so easily spread. Sticky, and virtually invisible, it can be carried on the fur of animals, on garden tools, golf balls, or on any objects that have come into contact with a broken plant. After exposure to air, urushiol turns a brownish-black, making it easier to spot, and is neutralized to an inactive state by water. Once it touches the skin, the urushiol begins to penetrate in a matter of minutes. In those individuals who are sensitive to the chemical, reaction will ap...
The beginning of summer kicks off the camping and hiking season, anxiously awaited by those who have endured a long cold winter.
But being in the outdoors in the warm weather may lead to contact dermatitis caused by exposure to poison ivy, poison oak or poison sumac. The resin on the plants' leaves, urushiol, is the cause of the trademark red, itchy patches and blisters.
It takes a little planning to avoid the plants and some immediate action to prevent or mitigate a reaction if you come in contact with them.
Continue reading How to Avoid and Treat Poison, Ivy, Oak and Sumac .
Definition Information Drying agents such as calamine lotion may help relieve the itchiness caused by poison ivy or rashes . Your doctor may prescribe strong steroids for extra relief.
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