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Poison Ivy

What is Poison Ivy?

Poison ivy is a poisonous plant that causes an allergic reaction when exposed to human skin. It can grow as a woody, self-supporting shrub, as a vine running along the ground, or growing on shrubs and trees.

Reactions to poison ivy exposure usually go away with 10 days.

Poison Ivy is also called Toxicodendron radicans, three-leaved ivy, and poison creeper.

How do you get Poison Ivy?

You can get a poison ivy rash from touching poison ivy, or touching something that has touched poison ivy. The most common way to get poison ivy is from touching the leaves. You can also get it by breathing smoke from firewood burning with poison ivy on it and touching the poison ivy vine or roots.

Symptoms of Poison Ivy

Most people develop 24-48 hours after they come in contact with the poison ivy plant. The first symptom is a severe itching of the skin. Later, a fever, redness, inflammation and blistering of the skin occurs.

In severe cases, oozing sores develop.

Treatments Options for Poison IV

There is no cure for the rash of poison ivy once it begins. The treatments are aimed at relieving the symptoms.

Medical treatment is most effective if applied before the oozing sores appear.

Once the area affected by poison ivy is healed, it will remain supersensitive to further contact for several months.

Complications of Poison Ivy

A common complication of poison ivy rash is infection. Swelling, pain and warmth around the affected area are all signs of infection. If you feel that your poison ivy rash had developed into an infection, visit your doctor immediately.

Where does Poison Ivy grow?

Poison Ivy grows everywhere in the United States and southern Canada. However, it does not grow in the far west, deserts and at high altitude.

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