Sunday, September 6, 2009

Poison Ivy and what to do, when affected by it..

Poison Ivy is a plant that is widely found through most of North America and is known in two main varieties â€" Western, or Pacific, and Atlantic. The concern with Poison Ivy, which grows as ground cover and can become large bushes, is that it contains an oil â€" Urushiol â€" that, when it comes into contact with our skin, causes very unpleasant blistering and irritation.It is vital 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 pushing against the poison, as it seeps into the skin, that is the root of the pain we experience.Why Poison Ivy is poisonousIt may seem unusual to us that at plant should be poisonous, but like the best living things Poison Ivy has its home in the ecosystem. The way it grows is a guide as it is used as shelter for lower growing plants and ground dwelling animals, and the majority of them are, unlike humans, not affected by the oil.Plus, 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 notice irritation in the skin, mixed with severe itching and inflammation in the concerned area. The skin will become a different colour and a burning irritation will occur, and in a short while blisters will form along with the rash.Suffering can be endure for many weeks or may be done with within days, and every case is different. It is suggested that cooling the skin is a good antidote and also prevents further infection.There are a number of important points that people need to get to know about Urushiol oil, and the first is that it is very potent indeed. Research has displayed 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 concern as it means the oil can stay on items it has been in contact with for as long as, and maybe longer than, a year. This opens up the possibility of re-infection, or of anyone who has not been in contact with the plant being contaminated. Clothes, shoes, tools and pets can all hold the oil, and the tiny amounts required to cause suffering give it greater potency.Gloves and coats, and also boots, are among the most obvious causes of Poison Ivy infection and should be scrubbed thoroughly if contamination is suspected.How anyone can become infectedThere are numerous ways that an individual can come into contact with the oil from Poison Ivy, and transfer from affected clothing and other items is one reason as we have already noted.The reason that we suffer when having come into contact with the oil is because of the necessary 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 smog can induce an attack. It has been said that a 100 year old item once affected a person, an indication of how troublesome the plant can be.Anything that has touched the sap of the plant must be avoided, therefore, and dogs kept away from Poison Ivy bushes.How to look after a sufferer of a Poison Ivy reactionIt is essential that treatment is attempted immediately, and the best method is to wash the problematic area in warm water. A sensible 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 trouble ever more.It is imperative to score the blisters, too, and to bring the area of infection exposure to the air. Keeping blisters bandaged is imperative in order not to allow infection.Remember that it is just the oil that will allow the infection to spread, so contact with it should be treated with caution.The condition will, at some point, clear up by itself, but there are treatments available for the irritation and for extreme reactions. It is the domain of the individual whether to let it die naturally or to invite further help. Some individuals are fortunate in that they have no sensitivity to Poison Ivy, but these are scarece and most of us would be infected by coming into contact with the bush.If one sees 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

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