Yuck…Poison Ivy, Oak & Sumac
Poison Ivy, Oak & Sumac can ruin a great day spent outdoors. Coming in contact with their toxic leaves, stems and roots can give you a horrible itchy..possibly oozey rash that can last 1 to 3 weeks 🙁
*** The above pictures are left to right…Poison Ivy – Poison Oak – Poison Sumac ***
Learn to identify and avoid these toxic enemies…
Poison Ivy – Poison Ivy has 3 leaves on a single red stem and grow on a vine. New leaves are light green and have scalloped edges.
Poison Oak – Poison Oak also has 3 leaves and grows more shrub like. Leaves are similar to those of an Oak tree.
Poison Sumac – Poison Sumac grows as a shrub or small tree with groups of 7 or more leaves with pointed tips.
The sap contained in this plants…Urushiol Oil…is evil element that causes your misery. Urushiol oil is released when the plant is damaged in some way. You can come in contact directly with the plant or indirectly via a pet or clothing that has been exposed. A rash will form within 12 to 48 hours after exposure.
If you develop a rash & / or weeping blisters…as hard as it is…try not to scratch or rub the affected areas. Doing so can cause the rash to spread and possibly cause infection.
Here are a few remedies that may help…
- Rubbing Alcohol – Apply rubbing alcohol to your skin to dissolve the urushiol oil. The oil seeps slowly into your skin…rubbing alcohol will help prevent spreading.
- Cool Water – Rinse your skin with cool water..never hot or warm! Hot / warm water opens your pores allowing more toxins into your skin.
- Nails – If you’re scratched or touch the leaves of the plants…scrub your nails clean with a nail brush to remove any residual oil. Throw away the nail brush when you’re done!!
- Chilled Fruit Rinds – Apply a chilled watermelon rind or banana peel to the infected area if possible. The banana will be soothing…the watermelon stays cold longer for extended relief.
- Tea – Draw a coolish bath and add 12 Chamomile tea bags to the bath water. Chamomile has anti inflammatory properties and will soothe the itch.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – To expedite healing…apply vinegar to the infected area with a cotton ball…leave on for 20 -30 mins. then rinse with a mixture of equal parts cool water and apple cider vinegar. Pat to dry….do not reuse towel without washing it!!!
- Oatmeal Bath – Oatmeal has soothing and calming properties and will help give you relief from the itch. Be sure not to bath in hot water!!
- Cold Compress – A cold compress can instantly soothe irritation and itching.
- Vicks Vapor Rub – The thought of this may make you cringe…but it works like a charm. It can dry up your blisters and promote healing in no time. Dab…not rub…vapor rub on your infected skin using a cotton ball. Cover with gauge or bandage….repeat 2 to 3 times a day.
- Hemorrhoid Ointment – This will give you relief from irritation, swelling and itch.
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