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Something Poisonous Grows in the Woods

Many people have experienced getting incontact with poison ivy while camping, outing in the nature, hikingin the forest etc. This contact, if physical, is bound to result inan allergic skin reaction, having consequences which are quitesevere. Namely, the poison ivy, being a vine-like plant, often growsaround other trees. However, it may still be growing on the ground aswell. It surface is covered with a resin-like skin which causessevere irritation of the human skin, whenever we get in contact withit. What is more, the skin reaction is not likely to last severalhours, troubling us with itchiness, pain and discomfort for a lotlonger. As for the exact timespan of the allergic reaction, anythingfrom one week up to four weeks is possible. Moreover, sometimes, thereactions are so severe that the people affected need to seek medicalassistance since their symptoms have escalated to life-threateninglevels.

A Contagious Plant

Poison ivy is very contagious, and itscontact may be achieved through more than a physical encounter.Namely, apart from touching its leaves, bark, or any other part ofit, and experiencing the harsh side-effects, you might get affectedthrough some other situations. Once this plant is burnt, uponinhaling the smoke, you may trigger an allergic reaction in yourrespiratory system. Also, if poison ivy has gotten in contact withanything inanimate, like a gardening tool, upon touching this object,we are likely to be affected by the poison.

How Long Does the Effect Last?

As mentioned above, the poison ivyallergic reaction may last for up to four weeks. It usually strikesone several hours after the contact. Then, everything depends onone's capability of resisting the effects of this poisonous plant.The recovery period may last from two or three days, up to theaverage period of ten days. The worst case scenario involves severalweeks of suffering, where people are unable to get rid of the allergysymptoms and are troubled throughout the period.

How To Help Yourself?

There are several things you can do,once you find yourself in this awkward situation. Firstly, you mayconsider applying Calamine lotion and Hydrocortisone cream once youhave cleaned the troublesome spot with warm water and soap.Alternatively, in cases of swelling and painful irritation, you mightconsider applying ice compress. Rubbing the inner side of a bananapeel against the rash will reduce its effects upon your skin too. Ifthese methods fail, it is best to seek medical attention. Then, youwill get prescribed with antihistamine medications which are bound toreduce or completely stop your allergic reaction.

Finally, since this plant is a ratherbothersome one, make sure you avoid it and are able to identify it inthe nature. Also, upon contact, wash all of your clothes since youmight get affected upon wearing them again.

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