In the Unites States alone, roughly 85 percent of the population are allergic to either poison ivy, sumac or oak. Out of that 85 percent, 10 percent are extremely allergic.
Poison ivy rashes are caused by an allergic reaction to an oily substance called urushiol (u-ROO-she-ol). The oil that causes the reaction is found in the leaves, stems and roots of poison ivy, oak and sumac. The resin is very sticky so it can easily attach to clothing, objects, skin and more.
Poison ivy is hard to identify and avoid in certain situations. Poison ivy that grows in Eastern Oklahoma has leaves of 3 and always grows to the left then right. It never has more than 3 leaves or grows side by side. Poison ivy never has thorns of any kind and its leaves are never saw-toothed or scalloped.
Poison ivy is not spread by touch alone. The oil from the plant can be spread through the wind also. This is why it is important to learn if you are allergic to poison ivy so you can take the proper steps to treat it.
There are several ways to prevent the contact and spread of poison ivy:
Identify the plant.
If you know what poison ivy looks like, you will be able to identify it and avoid it at all costs.
Wear protective clothing.
If you come into contact with poison ivy, make sure to never touch it unless you are wearing protective clothing. Poison ivy is easily spreadable so always wear vinyl gloves and long-sleeved clothing when dealing with any poisonous plant.
Clean contaminated objects or clothing.
Poison ivy does not get on clothing alone, it gets on objects as well. Make sure and thoroughly rinse off every object and piece of clothing that may have come into contact with poison ivy.
Wash off the oil as soon as you make contact.
If you know you are allergic to poison ivy, wash it off immediately. The faster the oil is washed off reduces the chance of a rash appearing. Rashes can be very itchy and last for weeks.
Apply a barrier cream.
At Economy Pharmacy, we have over the counter, no prescription poison ivy gels that we compound in our compounding labs. We formulate a high quality topical gel that includes the active ingredients of the most popular name brands. We have a unique formula that delivers immediate soothing and menthol cooling to relieve your hot, itchy and inflamed rash. Make sure and apply a poison ivy gel to the rash as soon as possible.
For more information about compounding or if you have any questions for a pharmacist, call one of our four locations (Muskogee and Tulsa) or visit our website at www.economypharmacy.com.