There’s nothing like spending time outdoors taking in the fresh air and beautiful scenery. But one thing you need to be mindful of before you set out for your hike is all the potentially poisonous plants. One plant to be on the lookout for in particular is poison ivy.
Unfortunately, sometimes it can be hard to know which plants are safe and which aren’t, or in some cases, you may brush up against a poisonous plant and not even know it until a rash develops. If you develop a skin rash and think it might be from poison ivy, here are the telltale signs and symptoms plus how to treat it and ways to prevent it from happening again!
Why Does Poison Ivy Cause a Rash?
You can touch plenty of plants without having a reaction, so what sets poison ivy apart? Poison ivy has an oily sap, called urushiol, that causes an allergic reaction in nearly 85-percent of the population. Even worse, urushiol is present in almost every part of the plant, including the roots, stems, and leaves.
Your skin most commonly reacts to urushiol after touching the plant but that’s not the only way you can develop a rash. You can also develop the rash after touching contaminated objects, such as clothing or shoes that have come into contact with poison ivy. You can even have a severe reaction from inhaling smoke from burning poison ivy.