Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Poison Ivy and what need to know when affected by it




Poison Ivy is a plant that is widely found through most 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 grow into large bushes, is that it contains an oil â€" Urushiol â€" that, when it comes into contact with our skin, causes very nasty blistering and irritation.It is imperative to understand that the oil occurs not just in the leaves but in many parts 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 instigator of the pain we experience.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 position in the ecosystem. The way it grows is a clue 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.Also, Poison Ivy supplies berries that are an important foodstuff for a variety of bird species.How to see the symptoms and more about Urushiol oil.The patient will very quickly undergo irritation in the skin, in company with severe itching and inflammation in the infected area. The skin will become darker and a burning irritation will occur, and in a short while blisters will form along with the rash.Suffering can persist for many weeks or may be done with within days, and an individual case is different. It is suggested that cooling the skin is a good antidote and also prevents further infection.There are many important facts that people need to understand about Urushiol oil, and the first is that it is very potent indeed. Research has indicated that a particle of the oil the size of a pin-head could be enough for 500 people, and as it is not a water based substance it will not evaporate.The latter problem presents a major obstacle as it means the oil can still be on 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 an individual 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 believed to cause suffering give it greater potency.Gloves and coats, and also boots, are among the most common causes of Poison Ivy infection and should be disinfected thoroughly if contamination is suspected.How we can become infectedThere are a variety of 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 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 full with vaporised oil, and even coming into contact with this concoction can cause an attack. It has been said that a 100 year old item once affected a man, an indication of how dangerous the plant can be.Anything that has touched the sap of the plant must 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 attempted immediately, and the best method is to wash the problematic area in warm water. A popular recommendation is to use a very potent 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 open the blisters, too, and to give the area of infection exposure to the air. Keeping blisters bandaged is necessary in order not to add 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, in a while, clear up naturally, but there are treatments available for the irritation and for serious 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 few and far between and most of us would be infected by coming into contact with the ivy.If one sees Poison Ivy the best advice a man 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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