After a great weekend camping with the kids, it’s time to get back into the working groove. However, nothing can hurt your workflow quite like a rash from poison ivy.
Poison ivy rashes are caused by an oil called urushiol. Urushiol is a resin released from the roots, stems, and leaves of poison ivy plants. Physical contact with it can result in an allergic reaction called contact dermatitis. Up of 85% of the American population is allergic to urushiol.
Poison ivy rash symptoms
Symptoms of poison ivy include itchy, red, or blistering skin. These rashes can take anywhere between 12 to 48 hours to develop on the skin, and this delayed reaction can cause serious problems. This makes it incredibly easy for urushiol to spread to other parts of your body.
In fact, urushiol can still affect you even if you haven’t touched a poison ivy plant directly. When the resin gets onto your clothes, equipment, or even your pet’s fur, it can come into indirect contact with your skin and cause an allergic reaction.
A rash from poison ivy typically lasts between two to three weeks. Of course, you won’t be able to put off your latest business meeting or parent-teacher conference until it goes away. So how can you keep your rash from interfering with your busy life?
Treating poison ivy rashes
An urgent care clinic can help you determine the severity of your rash. Minor cases of poison ivy rash are easily treatable. But first, it’s especially important that you don’t touch the infected area. Fluid from blisters is not capable of spreading urushiol, but touching the infected area on the skin and then touching elsewhere on your body can spread urushiol. As a result, urgent care centers are used to seeing these rashes in unlikely (and incredibly uncomfortable!) places. It may be difficult, but avoid touching the rash.
Medical professionals at an urgent care clinic can help you determine what methods work best for your rash. Antihistamines and over-the-counter medications like Benadryl typically help to relieve the itching. Also, an urgent care clinic may recommend topical ointments to help reduce the urge to itch. Ointments such as hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion work especially well.
Additional treatments can be done at home after work, and simply taking frequent baths in warm water can help tremendously. You can also apply a cold compress to the infected area.
A poison ivy rash can make any workday uncomfortable. To treat your rash without interrupting your day, consult a medical professional at an urgent care center near you.