Coming in contact with poison ivy causes an allergic reaction in most people. An oil in the plant called urushiol causes inflammation of the skin, which typically results in redness, itching or burning and sometimes blistering. All of this can cause a lot of discomfort. Fortunately, there are options for treating poison ivy reactions. Southeast Dermatology, your Southeast Houston and Pasadena, TX, dermatologists, can recommend a treatment option to provide relief from your poison ivy symptoms.
Treatment Options in Southeast Houston and Pasadena, TX
As soon as you know that you have been exposed to poison ivy, the best thing to do is rinse with warm water to wash away the urushiol oil that causes inflammation. Rinsing the skin as soon as possible after having contact with poison ivy can minimize the amount of redness, blistering, itching and burning that typically results after touching poison ivy. Even with thorough rinsing, a rash can still develop.
Skin rashes usually develop within one to two days after coming into contact with poison ivy, but clear up within two to three weeks. In the meantime, while waiting for the rash to clear, there are several different treatment options available that can provide relief from the itching and burning caused by the urushiol oil in the plant.
Some home-remedies for alleviating the discomfort of a poison ivy rash include using a cold compress on the skin and applying anti-itch topical treatments, such as calamine lotion or cortisone cream. A soothing oatmeal bath can also calm the skin. Benadryl or other oral antihistamines can provide relief, as well. If the poison ivy rash is severe and other methods have not provided sufficient relief, your Southeast Houston and Pasadena, TX, dermatologist might prescribe an oral steroid, like prednisone.