Hiram College

Poison Ivy.

 Spring is just around the corner and what better way to celebrate than to go for a nice hike in the woods or plant some flowers in your garden? Unfortunately, hiking and gardening can often result in an unwanted case of Poison Ivy. 

Brushing against a poison ivy plant can cause a red, itchy rash with swelling, bumps and blisters that will start to appear 12-48 hours after exposure. Frequently, the rash takes a linear form due to the way the plant sweeps across the skin.

An effective approach to treating the symptoms of poison ivy is a histamine blocker with Zyrtec 10mg orally twice daily (for adults) for a 2-week course. This has been recommended as a new and better replacement for Benadryl for an acute allergic reaction.

Whenever outside and a possible exposure to poison ivy could occur, wash the area with Dawn dishwashing liquid soap. This is the soap used to remove oils from birds and animals exposed to oil spills and is best at removing the oils from poison ivy. If possible, use this as a first-pass soap prior to using regular soap and shampoo after being in the woods or working in the yard. It is inexpensive and available everywhere.