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  The itching form these plants can drive you crazy but you can't ignore it and need to take care of the infection. Getting a rash from poison ivy or poison oak is hard to live with. You need to know what to do if you come in contact with these plants and how to treat the rash if you do. If you come in contact with poison ivy or the others and get a rash it is from the oil on the outside of the plants. You are having a allergic reaction from it.

 This oil is clear and called urushial and comes from the leaves or stems that has been broken or touched. This oil content runs the highest in the spring and summer. Poison ivy and oak are hardy weeds that can be found through out the United States. They are not in Alaska and Hawaii and some areas of Nevada. All three weed produce similar reactions and if you are allergic to one in most cases you are allergic to the others. Cases of poison oak and sumac affect ten to fifty million people a year. You may have a bad reaction to one of these weeds all your life. Once the oil touches the skin within twelve to forty eight hours a red itchy rash appears. This is followed by blisters that may weep and later get crusty. The area usually heals in about ten days. The rash can be severe and painful to some.

 If left untreated highly sensitive to these Poison Ivy plants you need to see a doctor. So what are the fix it ways to treat the problem or prevent it here are some ideas how to cope with poison ivy and oak. First you need to know the plant what it looks like and where it might be growing. If you hike and go into the woods you need to become familiar with how it looks like in that area. Normally poison ivy looks like a low vine with grayish white berries and pointed leaves usually in groups of three. The reddish leaves turn green in the summer and reddish again by fall. Poison oak is a shrub or small tree with greenish whit berries and oak like leaves that appear in groups of three. Spotting these plants is not always easy.

 Make sure to cover up if you walk in the brush or area with theses plants. This will provide a barrier form the oil and your skin. If you take your pets to romp in wooded area this can transfer to your skin if they have come in contact with the plant. The oils can cling to the animals fur and when you touch then it will transfer to you. The same is true of anything that comes into contact with poisonous plants like garden tools, bicycle
tires and even golf balls. This means you can catch the rash over and over again. When you have had a brush with these poisonous plants the oil may be all over your clothes. If you go inside you may transfer the oil to your furniture. Make sure to wash your clothes outside, the water will deactivate the oil make sure you soak your clothes good.

 If you have been camping it is a good idea to clean and wash these items also. Don't forget to wash your shoes this sounds like allot but if you suffer from the itchy rash it is well worth the trouble. If you think you have come into contact with Poison Ivy poisonous plants head for water fast. If you can get to water with in five to ten minutes and wash the skin you might be able to wash it off before the oil sinks in. You should carry rubbing alcohol with you when you are backpacking or hiking. The oil isn't absorbed right away and you can use the solution to wash off the area.

 You should not use a cloth wipe this will only spread the oil. Make sure you do not touch your eyes. If you have the poison ivy rash a cool bath may help with the itch and try an ice cold compress for a few minutes. Calamine lotion can be madly soothing and help dry the rash. Apply it in a thin layer so the pores of the skin are not sealed. You can try baking soda and oatmeal this may help dry oozing blisters and sooth the skin. Hydrocortisone creams may offer some relief for mild rashes. If the poison ivy rash is severe you need to go see a doctor. Remember the oil in the plant not the blister spreads the rash. Dead plants can spread the oil even if they have been dead for several years.  


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