Poison ivy is a plant found in North America which is known to be very poisonous. The plant produces urushiol, which is a clear liquid that is found in the sap. When the sap comes into contact with the skin, it begins to cause itching, irritation, and a rash. The plant is not considered to be an actual form of ivy. Generally, poison ivy can be found as a climbing vine that is growing on trees or other support areas, a shrub that is able to grow up to 3 feet tall, or a trailing vine which is around 25 centimeters in length. The plant grows throughout much of North America and is even present in many of the Canadian provinces. It is able to grow in rocky areas and even locations where the soil and other environmental aspects may have been disturbed.
It is estimated that there are over 350,000 people that are affected by poison ivy on a regular basis within the US. The sap of the poison ivy plant is known to cause an allergic reaction. The elements that are found within the sap bind to the skin on contact with oxygen, which causes it to create a itching sensation which becomes inflamed over a period of time. It can also turn into non-colored bumps and blisters as the affliction progresses. The lesions can be treated with the use of Calamine lotion, compresses, and baths to help remove some of the discomfort. However, it is believed that many of the traditional remedies for poison ivy do not actually help at all. Over the counter products will ease the itching that is associated with the condition. Individuals can also use oatmeal baths or baking soda to help soothe the skin.
If blisters rupture and begin to ooze any of the fluids, it is important to understand that these blisters will not spread any of the poison from the plant. However, it can leave marks upon the skin if the individual is not careful. A spreading rash will indicate that the areas received more poison than other areas or that they were able to react sooner to the irritant. It can also indicate that contamination is still occurring via some other element that has not been noticed yet. If poison ivy is eaten, it can severely damage the lining of the mouth and the digestive tract. If the leaves of the poison ivy is burnt and individuals inhale it, it is possible for it to lead to fatal respiratory difficulty.