Thursday, July 23, 2009

Poison Ivy and what to do when affected by it




Poison Ivy is a plant that is widely found through all of North America and is available in two main varieties â€" Western, or Pacific, and Atlantic. The problem with Poison Ivy, which grows as ground cover and can eventually be seen as large bushes, is that it contains an oil â€" Urushiol â€" that, when it comes into contact with our skin, causes very irritating blistering and irritation.It is in our interest to understand that the oil occurs not just in the leaves but in all of the plant, including the root and the stem, and it is the immune system reacting against the poison, as it seeps into the skin, that is the instigator of the pain we undergo.Why Poison Ivy is poisonousIt may seem odd to us that at plant should be poisonous, but like the best living things Poison Ivy has its part in the ecosystem. The way it grows is interesting as it is used as shelter for lower growing plants and ground dwelling animals, and the majority of these are, unlike humans, not affected by the oil.Furthermore, Poison Ivy bears berries that are an important foodstuff for a great number of bird species.How to see the symptoms and more about Urushiol oil.The patient will very quickly undergo irritation in the skin, combined with severe itching and inflammation in the infected area. The skin will become darker and a burning sense will occur, and in a short span blisters will form along with the rash.Suffering can be endure for many weeks or may be finished within days, and a particular case is different. It is suggested that cooling the skin is a good antidote and also prevents further infection.There are many important points that people need to understand about Urushiol oil, and the first is that it is very potent indeed. Research has proven that a quantity of the oil the size of a pin-head could spread to 500 people, and as it is not a water based substance it will not evaporate.The latter mentioned presents a major difficulty as it means the oil can stick to on items it has been in contact with for as long as, and maybe longer than, a year. This presents the possibility of re-infection, or of a person who has not been in contact with the plant being affected. Clothes, shoes, tools and pets can all hold the oil, and the miniscule amounts required to cause suffering give it greater potency.Gloves and coats, and also boots, are among the commonest causes of Poison Ivy infection and should be cleaned thoroughly if contamination is suspected.How an individual can become infectedThere are many ways that an individual can come into contact with the oil from Poison Ivy, and transfer from already infected clothing and other items is one reason as we have already noted.The reason that we suffer when having been contaminated by the oil is because of the natural reaction it promotes, and it is notable that direct contact with the plant is not imperative to induce a reaction.If Poison Ivy is burned the smoke is mixed with vaporised oil, and even coming into contact with this mixture can cause an attack. It has been said that a 100 year old item once affected a man, an indication of how troublesome the plant can be.Anything that features the sap of the plant needs to be avoided, therefore, and cats kept away from Poison Ivy bushes.How to look after a sufferer of a Poison Ivy reactionIt is essential that treatment is initiated immediately, and the best method is to wash the problematic area in warm water. A popular recommendation is to use a very powerful antimicrobial soap and to do all one can to stop the patient from scratching, as this will spread the infection beyond its boundaries.It is imperative to crack the blisters, too, and to bring the area of infection exposure to the air. Keeping blisters wrapped is imperative in order not to invite infection.Remember that it is just the oil that will encourage the infection to spread, so contact with it should be limited.The condition will, eventually, clear up by itself, but there are treatments available for the irritation and for serious reactions. It is the decision of the individual whether to suffer in silence or to invest in further help. Some individuals are fortunate in that they have no sensitivity to Poison Ivy, but these are rare and most of us would be infected by coming into contact with the ivy.If one finds Poison Ivy the best advice we can give is the most logical â€" avoid it very carefully and don’t let your pet near it.--Nadeeka Johnson is an experienced article writer with over a 1,000 articles covering a wid variety of topical written at www.allstop.com/poison-ivy/poison-ivy-treatmentSource: http://www.articletrader.com
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