Get rid of poison ivy, as soon as possible. Poison ivy can be more than just an irritating rash. When left untreated, poison ivy may cause intense itching sensations, blisters, swelling, and difficulty breathing and swallowing. Poison ivy blisters may even become infected, if scratching is severe enough to break skin.
What is poison ivy? Poison ivy is 1 of 3 different rashes that can form after contact with a chemical called urushiol. The other two include poison oak and poison sumac. It may take up to 48 hours for the rash to form after making contact with the stem or leaves of the plant.
When to Seek Emergency Help. If you notice any of the following signs or symptoms, visit the emergency room for immediate treatment:
- Difficulty breathing
- Trouble swallowing
- Rapidly spreading rashes that cover most of your body
- Rashes that develop into blisters, or open wounds
- Poison ivy rash spreads to face or genitals
If you do not exhibit the symptoms above, try the following tips for alleviating the itch caused by poison ivy. For professional treatment, schedule an appointment with Dr. Busso online or call our Miami office at 305-857-0144.
Tips to Get Rid of Poison Ivy
Immediately after being exposed to poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac, rinse the skin with soap and lukewarm water. Since the oil can stick to clothes, wash them in a washing machine. Wash with warm, soapy water everything that may have oil on its surface, such as a pet’s fur, gardening tools, and golf clubs.
The rash usually lasts 1 to 3 weeks. Although the skin can itch, do not scratch. Scratching poison ivy can cause an infection.
Leave blisters alone. If blisters open, do not remove the overlying skin’s the skin can protect the raw wound underneath and prevent infection. To ease the itch, try:
- short lukewarm baths with a product that has colloidal oatmeal or 1 cup of baking soda
- Short cool showers.
- Apply calamine lotion NOT Caladryl or Benadryl.
- hydrocortisone cream or lotion.
- cool compresses
- Antihistamine pills can help reduce itching
Visit a Dermatologist to Get Rid of Poison Ivy
Dr. Mariano Busso is a licensed dermatologist who can help you alleviate the symptoms of poison ivy, quickly. Readers are invited to schedule an appointment with Dr. Busso online or call our Miami office at 305-857-0144.