Poison oak and ivy are two plants that can cause contact dermatitis, which is a skin rash that develops when these plants touch your skin. This rash causes redness and itchiness of the skin.
What are the symptoms of poison oak and ivy?
Generally, there will be itchy skin where the plant came into contact with it, as well as redness or even red streaks. Hives will develop, which appear as small bumps on your skin. In some extreme cases, you may develop blisters. These symptoms start between 8-48 hours after you touched the plant, but it can start anywhere up to 15 days after contact. If you have an incredibly serious allergy to poison oak and ivy, your face may develop swelling, and you may have many large blisters on your skin.
What causes poison oak and ivy?
There is an oil located in poison oak and ivy called urushiol, which causes the allergic reaction on the skin. While it does not cause a rash on anyone, it will cause a rash on anyone that is allergic to urushiol.
How do you treat poison oak and ivy?
If you come into contact with poison oak and ivy, you need to wash the affected area with water immediately. Afterwards, you can use compresses and cool baths to sooth your skin. Antihistamines and anti-itch creams can also provide relief. If you have a particularly severe reaction to the rash, you may be prescribed pills, creams, or shots by the doctor.
How do you prevent poison oak and ivy?
The most effective weapon against poison oak and ivy is education. Take the time to understand and recognize poison oak and ivy so that you can avoid the plants when you see them. You may also wish to keep your skin covered with heavy clothing so that the plants cannot come into contact with your skin.