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How to Recognize Poison Ivy
If you want to avoid getting a bad case of poison ivy, it helps to see it! The photo below is filled with it!
If you do touch it (or touch a dog that has just been rolling in it) wash all exposed skin as soon as possible (within an hour) with strong soap (like laundry detergent, thoroughly). It is an allergen, so removing it quickly is key.
There are blocking creams you can put on, before you go into the woods. Larger drugs stores sell them.
|Note 90% of the plants in this photo are poison ivy, there are a two small maple tree seedlings, in the top left corner and towards the top right. I assume you can figure out the obvious differences.|
If you get some of the poison ivy plant oil on you and don't realize it and wash it off, you may get a rash. You may not; remember, it is an allergen, and some people just aren't allergic to it. If you start to itch and see red bumps, like small bug bits, but raised and hard, and many of them clustered together, that is probably it.
First wash the affected area with a strong drying soap to remove as much of the remaining plant oil as possible. Then apply a drying cream, like Calamine lotion. You may also want to use an anti-itch cream, like Lanacaine. And above all, do NOT scratch it! That spreads any remaining oil, and if you create a cut, may open your skin to an infection.
The contents of the pustules do not spread poison ivy, though.
And if you haven't had it before call your doctor just to be sure you haven't misdiagnosed yourself!
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