Watch Out For The Poison Ivy!

Poison Ivy

Poison Ivy

Watch out for the poison ivy, when you go camping into the woods. I was on a camping trip to East Texas some years ago. But, I still remember it like yesterday.

My husband and I went fishing in our canoe that day. And after a few hours — I needed to take a hike into the woods. Well, I wasn’t thinking about poison ivy, but I sure should have been!

The next day, I had a rash on my face, one arm, on both legs due to wearing shorts. The worse place was on my backside and more. Oh my! Needless to say, I was miserable.

Finally, on Monday, I got to the doctor. I never saw my doctor laugh so hard. He said, “He had never seen a case like mine.” I was laughing too, but can you give me something? The itch was driving me crazy. He said, ” You better watch out for the poison ivy next time!” I had to go back for five days and take shots.

Remember that poison ivy has three leaves per cluster. Brush up against the plant and you have an 85% chance of an allergic reaction. Inside the plant is urushiol (oo-roo-she-Ohl) oil. If urushiol penetrates your skin, it causes the reaction. You get a red itching rash. Urushiol can stick to anything, including tarps, tools, clothing, shoes, or pets. Fact is Urushiol oil stays active on any surface, including dead plants, for up to five years. Best way to clean off the urushiol is with rubbing alcohol, so make sure you carry some with you when you camp.

Treat with an oral antihistamine like Benadryl. For the itch, treat with topical corticosteroids like benzocaine. Treat the blisters with zinc oxide. Always consult with your doctor.

Lastly, just learn what poison ivy looks like, save yourself from all the hassle.

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