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Poison Ivy Tips!!

Treatments may not even be needed if one can recognize and avoid the deciduous leaves of the Toxicodendron Radicans (Poison Ivy) plant. As discussed previously, the poison ivy plant can change colors throughout the year, but once identified, follow these ideas to limit your exposure and possibly prevent any suffering.

Once identified, wear protective clothing and even a mask and goggles, and carefully pull out the plant by their roots, best done when the ground is wet and soft. Spray herbicides for poison ivy are also an option, for example, Ortho Max Pison Ivy or Bonide Oak and Ivy Killer. Make sure to follow the directions on the bottle on how to use. If going the spray route, make sure the plant has matured enough, the herbicide must be sprayed onto the leaves in order for it to work. Boiling water will also get rid of poison ivy. Herbicides or boiling water will remove any plant treated not just the poison ivy.

DO NOT burn the plants! Burning poison ivy can release the oil into the air possibly getting into your lungs. Lastly, you can try and use ivy barrier products, creams designed to prevent the oil from getting onto your skin. They are limited in their effectiveness and proper precautions still are required if handling poison ivy.

If you do come in contact with poison ivy wash skin with plain soap and water. Wash EVERYTHING that may have contacted the plant: clothes, tools, pet, etc. Shower, rather than bathe, as baths can spread the oil. Remember, it’s the oil of the plant that causes the allergic reaction. It can be spread from skin and objects. The rash or blisters that poison ivy identifies with can not cause the spread of poison ivy. Just the oil.

Hopefully, these tips will protect you from having to treat a contact dermatitis reaction from poison ivy.

If treatment is required though, we will discuss in detail, both the over the counter options, and if severe enough, the more typical prescription alternatives available. Stay tuned.

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