Knowing How to Recognize and Treat Poison Ivy & Other Poisonous Plants
A few years ago, my nephew and his friend went to the hillside by his house to play and explore. They had a great time playing around and they made a shelter out of the sticks and vines that were everywhere. They even rolled around and wiped their faces with the leaves. Well, a day or so later he and his friend broke out in an angry rash all over their bodies. The poor boys had been playing for hours in poison ivy and they were miserable! Recognizing and treating poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac would have helped them avoid a lot of discomfort. At She Knows Home & Garden the writer shows how to identify the poisonous plants and how to treat them once you've been exposed.
It takes anywhere from 30 minutes to up to five days for a reaction to happen once skin comes into contact with the oils in the plant. It starts with redness and swelling of the skin and then leads to bumps or blisters.
With all three plants, the first thing to do upon exposure is to wash your skin as soon as possible with cold running water. The sooner the oil is removed from the skin the less severe the reaction. Avoid vigorously scrubbing the skin or using hot water as this might open the pores so the oil can get absorbed. Then take a warm shower. Remember to wash any clothing that might have come in contact with the plant with hot water.
Treat the area with cool compresses. Calamine lotion and other home made remedies will help relieve the itching and dry up the oozing blisters. Try not to scratch as that can lead to infection and scarring. If you have a severe reaction, contact a doctor.
Study the pictures of poison oak, poison ivy and poison sumac. These plants leaves usually grow in clusters of three. Just remember the old adage, “If it comes in three, let it be.”
Hopefully you will be able to avoid these noxious plants in the future. In the meantime, I know my nephew will ever build a fort out of the vines by his house again.
Here is the link to identify and treat these plants: http://www.sheknows.com/home-and-gardening/articles/804773/how-to-treat-and-avoid-poison-ivy-poison-oak-and-poison-sumac
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