Tuesday, October 20, 2009

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

Poison Ivy is a plant that is to be seen through most of North America and is available in two main varieties â€" Western, or Pacific, and Atlantic. The concern 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 unpleasant blistering and irritation.It is imperative to understand that the oil occurs not just in the leaves but in every part 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 undergo.Why Poison Ivy is poisonousIt may seem odd to us that at plant should be poisonous, but like most living things Poison Ivy has its position in the ecosystem. The way it grows is a clue as it gives 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 number of bird species.How to know 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 discoloured and a burning irritation will occur, and in a short period blisters will form along with the rash.Suffering can go on for many weeks or may be finished 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 various important facts that people need to be aware of 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 infect 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 stick to 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 affected. Clothes, shoes, tools and pets can all hold the oil, and the very small amounts required to cause suffering give it greater potency.Gloves and coats, along with boots, are among the most obvious causes of Poison Ivy infection and should be disinfected thoroughly if contamination is suspected.How anyone 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 way as we have already noted.The reason that we suffer when having encountered the oil is because of the instant reaction it promotes, and it is notable that direct contact with the plant is not essential to induce a reaction.If Poison Ivy is burned the smoke is contaminated 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 sufferer, an indication of how much troube 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 contaminated area in warm water. A sensible 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 problem more.It is recommended to open the blisters, too, and to enable the area of infection exposure to the air. Keeping blisters wrapped is vital in order not to add infection.Remember that it is just the oil that will invite the infection to spread, so contact with it should be refrained from.The condition will, eventually, clear up completely, but there are treatments available for the irritation and for extreme reactions. It is the decision of the individual whether to let it die naturally or to look for further help. Some of us 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 finds Poison Ivy the best advice one 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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