Getting Poison Ivy is no treat. Any of us who have experienced it know this to be true. A hiking trip in woods is a lot of fun until you stumble upon the wrong patch of plants and take a seat. Then before you know it, all of your exposed skin, legs, arms, hands, etc…feel like they are on fire and itching at the same time and you don’t know what to do. The feeling is nothing short of unbearable. Here are a few tips for how to deal with Poison Ivy:
- Whatever you do, don’t scratch! No matter how much it itches, and believe me it will! Scratching will always make it worse in the long run even if there is a temporary relief from it. Please heed my words on this! NO SCRATCHING! You can make it worse or get a bad infection.
- Some people are highly allergic to the poisonous compound that poison ivy secretes on contact, so seek medical attention if symptoms are severe. If you start to experience any shortness of breath, then get to a hospital immediately. This is serious and potentially life-threatening!
- For me, calamine lotion was a huge help. It made the itching and pain lessen and kept me from going completely insane. Also, I lived on Benedryl (antihistamine pills) for days. Another thing that worked were short, lukewarm baths. Soaking the skin that was covered in the rash made it feel better and doctors consider it to be good for the infected area.
- Another good idea is to wash everything that did or may have come into contact with the oil (or sap) of the Poison Ivy plant. That sap and oil can stay on surfaces and in fabrics for a really long time! The oil containing the poison can remain “active” (i.e. poisonous and can cause reactions) for years. So make sure to wash everything with warm soapy water to ensure that you do not get another infection.
- Finally, to prevent getting an infection again, make sure that when you go out in the woods or in the general vicinity of where you got poison ivy the first time, you wear long pants, long sleeves and boots.
- Do NOT burn these plants!!! This will release the toxin into the air and if you inhale it, the toxin can actually damage the lungs and cause severe pain and could (if enough is inhaled) be fatal.
So hopefully now you are better equipped to deal with Poison Ivy and avoid it the next time. Once with Posion Ivy is more than enough! So do your best to stay safe and stay healthy!