Poison Ivy, Oak & Sumac Itch Relief
Having an effective method of itch relief for poison ivy, oak, and sumac as a necessity for many, being that it is the most common allergic reaction in the U.S. According to the American Skin Association, as many as 50 million Americans a year are affected by poison ivy and its relatives, poison oak and poison sumac.
When people come in contact with these poisonous plants, they are very likely to develop an allergic reaction in the form of an itchy rash at the site of exposure. It’s even possible to develop this rash from touching contaminated objects like clothes, tools, or animal fur.
What Causes Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac?
The leaves, stems, and roots of these plants secrete an oil called urushiol (u-ROO-she-ol) which provokes a delayed allergic reaction a day or two after exposure to the skin. The Center for Disease Control explains that only 50 micrograms of urushiol – less than one grain of table salt – is needed for 80 to 90 percent of adults to experience a reaction.
For many people, the rash can be extremely itchy and sometimes painful. It can very easily spread to other parts of the body, especially if the poison ivy contact was with the hands, since urushiol is very sticky and doesn’t dry.
The good news is that the rash is generally not a serious condition and can be treated at home with over-the-counter anti-itch remedies. The TriCalm Extra Strength Itch Relief Spray is a particularly popular method of poison ivy relief since it is touch-less and steroid free.
What is Poison Ivy?
Poison ivy is an incredibly common, weed-like poisonous plant that can be found everywhere in the United States except for Alaska and Hawaii. The saying “leaves of three, let it be” is said to warn people of the three-leaflet plant.
The invasive plant is sneaky since it can appear to look like shrubbery while it grows vines that can climb in and around neighboring plants. In the fall, the leaves can turn yellow, orange, and red. In the spring, they produce small green flowers that bear waxy, off-white and green berries.
What is Poison Oak?
Poison oak is another invasive plant that grows low to the ground, most commonly in the western U.S. with leaves that resemble oak tree leaves.
Similar to poison ivy, poison oak leaves grow three leaflets to one stem, and produce yellow-white berries in the spring.
What is Poison Sumac?
Poison sumac generally grows as a small bush or a small tree, most commonly in the southern U.S., and has two rows of leaflets to one stem with one leaflet shooting out from the top of the stem.
Questions and Myths About Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac:
- The poison ivy rash is contagious. The blisters and rash produced by the urushiol do not spread and are not contagious. However, you can spread the rash if the urushiol is on your hands or clothes and come into contact someone else or with other parts of your body.
- Can you catch poison ivy without touching the plant? The only way you can expose yourself to poison ivy is by having direct contact with urushiol. This can happen by touching the plant, touching urushiol contaminated objects, and inhaling smoke from the burning plants. Stay away from forest fires or other situations that can cause the oil to become airborne. Wear long pants and sleeves when you’re in the vicinity of these plants. Wash your hands and clothes immediately after you’ve been outside.
- Leaves of three, let them be. This saying is accurate for avoiding poison ivy and poison oak since those plants have three leaves. Poison sumac can have 7 to 13 leaves per stem.
- Dead poison ivy plants will not cause an allergic reaction. Urushiol can stay active for up to five years on any surface, including dead plants. Furthermore, the urushiol can be present on the stems of the plants, even if no leaves are present.
- Scratching releases the urushiol and spreads the poison ivy rash. No, scratching the rash will not cause it to spread unless the urushiol is still on your hands. However, scratching could cause an open wound to become infected, and ultimately lead to scarring.
Symptoms of Poison Ivy, Oak, or Sumac
Most poison ivy symptoms can be treated with home remedies and itch relief spray. Of course, seek medical attention if your reaction is severe, you develop a fever, or the rash doesn’t improve within a few weeks. You should seek emergency medical attention if you inhaled smoke from burning poison ivy, oak, or sumac.
- The typical symptoms of poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac include:
- Inflammation of the skin
The rash is generally in a straight line because that’s how the plant brushed against your skin. If you came in contact with urushiol by way of clothing or animal fur, then the rash may spread outward.
Poison Ivy Treatment
The rash from poison ivy, oak, and sumac usually go away by itself in about one to two weeks. Many people utilize common home remedies for poison ivy like cool baths, lotions, and cold compresses.
If these home remedies are not enough to soothe the itch, TriCalm Extra Strength Itch Relief Spray can help stop the itching sensation. Because TriCalm is a steroid-free poison ivy treatment, you can use it as much as needed to stop the itching. This is especially important for sufferers of poison ivy since less scratching means less blisters.
Most people feel relief with TriCalm ant-itch spray for anywhere between two to six hours, although individual results may vary. If the affected area becomes hot, red, and swollen, contact your doctor immediately. This could indicate that you’ve developed a bacterial infection that will need to be treated with antibiotics.
Follow these directions to maximize the poison ivy treatment:
- Immediately cleanse your body and clothes including your shoes. Use an ordinary soap and detergent to remove the urushiol oil that may be on your skin, clothes, and shoes.
- Apply TriCalm Extra Strength Itch Relief Spray to the affected area.
- Apply a cold compress to relieve swelling and redness.