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Poison ivy is the common name for Toxicodendron radicans or Rhus radicans, which is a plant in the family Anacardiaceae. This plant is not a true Ivy or Hedera, but this is actually a woody vine has the ability to produce urushiol. This urushiol is a skin irritant and results in itching rash for most people, which is also known as urushiol induced contact dermatitis.

Poison Ivy and causes:
It has been seen that some people truly are immune to poison ivy but most of them develop a rash after coming into contact with the plant. Other plants that have similar reactions are poison sumac and poison oak. Even the people who have never had rashes or irritations can begin to develop an allergic response to urushiol. Both elders and kids have an allergic reaction to this plant, with very few exceptions.

Effects of Poison Ivy on the body:
Different kinds of reactions are caused in people who come in contact with poison ivy or the urushiol-induced contact dermatitis. Very few people have no allergic response to this plant but most of them become sensitized with repeated and concentrated exposure to urushiol. In some cases this reaction can progress to anaphylaxis as the urushiol binds to the skin on contact. Once it comes in contact with the plant it leads to severe itching that may grow into reddish colored inflammation and blistering. It should be remembered that the oozing fluids, which are released by itching these blisters, don’t spread poison. Along with this appearance of a spreading rash on the skin indicates that particular parts of the body had received more of the poison. These parts were the ones, which had reacted sooner and contamination was still happening due to contact with objects, which had initially triggered the spread of this reaction. Most of the times, the blisters and oozing are caused due to blood vessels, which had developed gaps, and allowed the fluid to seep through the skin. Once the skin is cooled, these vessels tighten and leak less. In some cases if poison ivy is burned and the released smoke is then inhaled, it can also lead to rash appearing on the lining of the lungs. This internal rash can cause extreme pain and possibly fatal respiratory difficulty. Eating poison ivy can damage the digestive tract, airway, kidneys and other organs. The affects of this poison ivy can last up to four weeks and extend in the worse cases. It should be remembered that the oils of urushiol can remain active in the body for years and thus handling vines and dead leaves could also cause a reaction.

Treatments for Poison Ivy:
Natural, home Remedies and Ayurvedic:

For people who had accidentally had external contact with poison ivy, calamine lotion is suggested. This lotion should be applied on the affected area and this should be followed with Burow solution compresses and Aveeno baths, for giving comfort. But in extreme cases where clear fluids ooze is coming out of open blistered sores and corticosteroids, medical treatment is vital.

Use of Aloe vera juice and golden seal root can cure poison ivy.

Treatment for the poison ivy can be availed at regular hospitals and centers across the country.

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