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Managing Poison Ivy: Prevention & Treatment Tips

family hiking in the forest

If you enjoy hiking, camping, walking your dog out in nature, or just generally love to spend time outdoors, you need to be aware of the possibility of encountering poison ivy. To identify this plant, look for distinctive compound leaves, which consist of three glossy leaflets. The leaves can vary in appearance, being smooth, lobed, or toothed. The leaves are shiny green in spring, dull green in summer, and yellow or scarlet in autumn. 

Upon encounter with poison ivy, you could develop typical symptoms such as itchiness, a red rash, and possibly blisters. These are caused by urushiol oil in the plant’s sap, and can appear from a few hours to several days after contact. 

poison ivy leaves

Poison ivy rashes are not contagious, you can’t spread the rash from person to person. However, the urushiol oil can linger on clothing, pets, garden tools, and other surfaces, which could result in a rash upon contact. It is important to wash any oil with water or rubbing alcohol. 

Prevention Tips:

  1. Learn to identify poison ivy! Familiarizing yourself with the appearance of the plant is the best way to avoid it. 

  2. Wear protective clothing: when working or walking in areas with poison ivy, wear long sleeves, long pants tucked into boots, and impermeable gloves. 

  3. Wash tools and pets: clean your garden tools regularly, and if your pet may have come into contact with the plant, wash them with pet shampoo and water while wearing rubber gloves.

  4. Wash your skin with soap and cool water as soon as possible if you potentially come into contact with the plant oil!

Treatment Tips:

LEMYKA Healing Lotion
  1. Avoid scratching: scratching can cause infection. The rash, blisters, and itch usually resolve within a few weeks without treatment. You can relieve itching with wet compresses or by soaking in cool water. 

  2. Consider using LEMYKA's Healing Lotion twice a day on your rashes! This all-natural cream offers deep skin hydration without greasiness or residues. It is ideal for various skin conditions, including poison ivy rashes, rosacea, acne-prone skin, common facial rashes, contact dermatitis, and more. 

  3. Over the Counter Remedies: Use topical corticosteroid preparations, calamine lotion, or skin protectants like zinc acetate, zinc carbonate, zinc oxide, and baking soda to soothe the rash. 

  4. Seek Medical Help if Needed: Talk to your doctor if you have a fever over 100°F, pus, yellow scabs, tenderness, worsening itching, or if the rash spreads to sensitive areas. 

A poison ivy rash will eventually heal on its own, but these steps can help manage itching and prevent the rash from worsening. If symptoms persist or worsen, seek medical attention as soon as possible!


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