Poison ivy is a woody vine that belongs to the family Anacardiaceae which is of the sumac family. It is the most common allergy to people in the United States, with more than half of the population being affected once in contact.
Some people believe that if you rub or scratch at the irritation that the poison ivy causes, it will spread and this is completely false. There is only one way of spreading the rash, and that is to have contact or move the urushiol oil. Once in contact with the plant, it is wise to wash the area with soap and water to remove any oil that could be left on the skin so spreading cannot occur. Blisters can form, and if they are broke it can cause an infection or scars to occur, but will not cause the rash to be moved from one area to another.
The cures that seem to work the best are those that eradicate urushiol, the oil that covers the leaves of the ivy that causes the allergic reaction and rash. Some people think they are immune to the ivy rash and this is untrue also. For many first time sufferers, it can take up to 10 days for the rash to appear and the more times exposure takes place the more likely you will have a rash.
Some of the symptoms include red raised rashes or flat red welts where the poison ivy contact occurred. After appearing, the rash will be accompanied by an itch that will be around until the rash is gone. There are many different solutions available that are made to deal with this kind of problem.
Rhuli gel made by Band Aid is made for drying out the blisters that can occur with the reddened area and helping to demolish the itch that is associated with it. This can be found at many drug stores and larger department stores in the health and beauty aisle.
Ivy Dry is another itch relief medication that is used for this rash. It is available in liquid and cream forms, and helps to offset the irritating itch that is due to the oil the plant puts off. If you must visit a doctor, prednisone is commonly prescribed. It is a corticosteroid that is taken orally to help suppress the immune response to the reddened rash, causing it to not itch.
Some doctors will ask that you take a warm Epsom salt bath to quell the itch. Following with calamine lotion on the area will help to finish the itch. Within a couple of days the problem will cease and the itch will be completely gone.