Beware of poison ivy this summer
Submitted to The Tribune
It’s summer in beautiful Trussville, and that means many homeowners are spicing up their yards and enjoying the outdoors. Most know the importance of keeping a close eye on cottonmouths and rattlesnakes. However, these aren’t the only dangers that can lurk around your garden. In fact, this danger blends in better with its surroundings than even the most stealthy snake. It’s called poison ivy. Let’s see how to identify, safely remove, and treat it when exposed.
Poison ivy is an important contact allergen
According to the American Skin AssociationApproximately 50 million Americans are allergic to positional ivy each year. That actually makes it one of the most common allergies in the United States
In most cases, the allergic reaction is called contact dermatitis, which occurs when the juice of poison ivy comes into direct contact with the skin. Even tiny amounts can trigger the reaction, and about nine in ten people are sensitive to the juice of poison ivy. Some people may also find that any incidence of an allergic reaction to poison ivy is worse than the last.
Accidental ingestion of poison ivy is rare in adults, but it can happen in curious children. In such cases, the poison fire reaction can cause severe damage to the digestive tract and kidneys. Similarly, inhaling the smoke from burning poison ivy can cause an allergic reaction in the lungs.
The poison ivy compound Urushiol is what is causing the allergic reaction. It’s a very oily substance that doesn’t evaporate easily. Even after carefully removing poison ivy from your yard, the remaining urushiol can stick for weeks to months to contaminate the area.
Remember that your garden tools, clothing, shoes, pets, etc. can also transmit the urushiol contamination to others who have not come into direct contact with the poison ivy plant.
Identify poison ivy
The first step in preventing an allergic reaction to poison ivy is to identify the presence in your yard here in Trussville, Alabama. Let’s look at some quick facts:
• It is a very adaptable plant.
• The leaves change color with the seasons – yellowish / orange / red in winter, reddish in spring and green in summer.
• It usually grows as a vine, but can also form a bush.
• The most striking characteristic of poison ivy is that the leaves grow in groups of three.
• Most poison ivy leaves have notched leaves, but some can have smooth leaves.
• The end of the leaves is pointed.
• The middle leaf is larger than the two side leaves, and the middle leaf, in contrast to the two side leaves, usually always has a small stem.
• Look for small clusters of white berries in spring and winter.
• In drier weather, the leaves of the oily urushiol often look shiny, but rainy seasons can tarnish this sheen.
Wear heavy vinyl gloves for your yard and yard work to avoid exposure. Long sleeves and pants should also be worn when you are in thick vegetation. People with previous severe allergic reactions to poison ivy may also want to consider a preventative skin cream, such as: Ivy blockif you work with poison ivy in known areas. In the event of contact, remember to wash the skin immediately with soap and water and carefully clean all personal items that have come into contact with the plant.
Getting rid of poison ivy
You never want to burn poison ivy. If you inhale the fumes you can have a severe allergic reaction and affect your ability to breathe and swallow. The plant particles also disperse in the air and land on your skin during the burning process.
The tricky thing about poison ivy is that even if you spray chemical on it or follow DIY tricks like a, it will likely come back Choking tarp or boiling water. Why? It has a fairly aggressive and strong root system. Regardless of the method you use to kill the part of the plant above the ground, you still need to wear protective clothing and dig up the entire root system. Put it in a plastic bag and throw it away.
What if i’m exposed to poison ivy?
Poison ivy dermatitis is often a little different for everyone. It really depends on the level of exposure and your own sensitivity. In general, after exposure, the following should be observed:
- Symptoms usually appear within four hours to four days, but it can take up to three weeks for symptoms to appear in people who have never been exposed.
- The first symptoms are localized redness, severe itching, and inflammation.
- The first symptoms are streaks of fluid-filled blisters that usually last about a week before drying out.
Treatment of poison ivy
Poison ivy is not contagious as the rash spreads itself over your body or to others. If the rash appears in one area and then another, it means you have been exposed to urushiol in both places. With that said, if urushiol is left on your clothes or skin, you can spread poison ivy to others.
After exposure, gently wash your skin with soap and water to remove the urushiol. A doctor’s appointment is usually not required. Most poison ivy rashes will go away on their own within a few weeks. However, see a doctor immediately Associate Dermatologist in Trussville if any of the following applies:
• High fever
• Yellow discharge from bubbles
• The rash is in a sensitive area – eyes, mouth, nose, genitals
• Difficulty breathing or swallowing
• You have diabetes or any other pre-existing condition that is affecting wound healing
• The rash does not get better within a few weeks.
In such cases, your doctor or dermatologist may prescribe steroid injections, creams, or pills to aid your allergic reaction and oral antibiotics for infection.
You will want it Watch carefully as your poison ivy bubbles heal. A dermatologist should show large, deep, and constantly deteriorating blisters to ensure proper healing and avoid unwanted scarring.