Being outdoors during the summer is almost as natural as breathing. The hot temperatures and laid back days of summer bring people outside for fun and enjoyable activities. Staying cool is often a priority during the hot summer months, and many people seek shade among trees for a reprieve from the heat. While shady spots can bring relief from the sun’s rays beating down upon you, they can also pose a risk that can leave you miserable for weeks. Poison ivy is a plant that contains a highly allergic oil called urushiol. For most people, when their skin comes into contact with this oil, the skin will react with irritation, extreme itching, and discomfort.
Some people are more allergic to poison ivy than others. Some people say that they can just “look at poison ivy” and they will have its allergic rash, while others truly have to have close contact before they react. The thing about urushiol is that this oil can linger on just about anything – the bottom of your shoes, a dog’s fur coat, clothes that have brushed up against the plant, and even gardening tools. Therefore, you may not come in direct contact with poison ivy, but you can still get its rash from other things that have come in contact with it.
Poison ivy rash is an allergic reaction known as contact dermatitis that occurs when the skin is irritated by coming into contact with an irritant. Classic symptoms of poison ivy rash include: patches of redness, extreme itching, swelling at the site, and painful blisters. Scratching poison ivy rash only makes the rash worse because it easily spreads with contact. Keeping the rash covered in calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream can help stop the itching, and taking an over the counter antihistamine can help relieve itching throughout the night so that you can sleep more comfortably. For most people, this is the only “treatment” that they need for poison ivy rash; however, some people have an extreme reaction to poison ivy and need medical treatment.
For those who are highly allergic to poison ivy, it will often enter into their blood stream and travel throughout the body. What may start as a small patch on their ankle will soon appear on their arms, neck, and even their face. It is important that you seek medical treatment if your poison ivy rash reacts like this.
Medical Dermatology Specialists in Atlanta offers the relieve you need from poison ivy rash. If you need topical, oral, or systematic treatment for your poison ivy, please contact us right away. We proudly offer the most advanced skin care treatment.Posted on behalf of Dr. Jamie Weisman, Medical Dermatology Specialists, Inc.