" Poisonous foreigners " : contact allergy

" Poisonous foreigners " : contact allergy
What to do when in contact with poisonous sap.Symptoms of contact allergies requiring treatment to the doctor.

poison ivy, oak and ivy - three plants, juice containing urushiol - irritating oily substance.Upon contact with the skin it causes an allergic reaction which leads to itching rash.The time interval between exposure and juice rash can take from several hours to several days.Skin contact with the juice can occur both directly and through objects previously come into contact with poisonous plants (garden tools, camping equipment, animal dander, etc.).

Contact allergic to urushiol

Contained in all parts of the plants and is retained even after their death.Poisonous substance rapidly penetrates deep into the skin.When burning plant is released into the air and can be inhaled by irritating the nasal passages and the lungs oropharynx.Often at the same time developing a very severe allergic reactions.

Initially, the skin is not sensitive to the urushiol.Sensitization develops gradually.Upon i

nitial exposure to the immune system is activated in response to an allergen irritating, and visible reaction usually does not occur.It was only after repeated contact with a substance can be seen allergic reactions of the skin.The rash that occurs when exposed to urushiol, is a manifestation of contact allergic dermatitis.

Where found

poison ivy, oak and ivy are not found on the territory of Russia.They grow mainly in North America (except Alaska and the southern desert areas).

Poison ivy can grow as a shrub or vine.Each page is composed of three leaflets.Poison oak looks like ivy, but most often occurs in the form of a bush, and its leaves resemble oak leaves normal.The lower surface of the leaves are much lighter than the top and covered with fuzz.Poison sumac is found in damp marshy areas.It has the shape of a tree-like shrub, each stem which contains 7 to 13 leaves, united in pairs.From harmless sumac poisonous plant is distinguished by hanging clusters of whitish berries.

symptoms of contact allergy

  • redness and itching of the skin;
  • rash in areas of contact with the plant - rash lesions may be spotty or strip;
  • rash becomes red nodules called papules or vesicles extensive with the liquid.


diagnosis of contact allergies is placed on the basis of reports of the incident handling, a characteristic sequence of symptoms and the appearance of the rash.

treatment of contact allergy

If formed increased sensitivity to urushiol, allergy cure is no longer possible.However, you can get rid of its symptoms.To reduce itching should take a cool shower or bath, and applied to the skin Special soothing lotions, for example, based on calamine zinc.Severe allergic reactions involving the mucous membranes of the nose, mouth, eyes and genitals may require medical attention and the introduction of hormones.Immunotherapy (introduction of small doses of allergen with curative intent) if you are allergic to poisonous plants is not used.

How long does the rash of allergies on poisonous plants

After contact with poison ivy, oak or ivy rash usually lasts from 5 to 14 days.In more severe cases, it does not go up to a month or more.

prevention of contact allergy

  • Learn to recognize poison ivy, oak and ivy in nature and avoid contact with them.
  • Get rid of plants your garden plot.
  • When you walk through the woods, which grow these plants, protect your skin clothing (long pants, long sleeves, shoes and socks).
  • not walk with the animals in the habitats of poisonous plants: they can bring to the urushiol wool.

If contact with a poisonous plant yet occurred

  • Immediately remove clothing.
  • body Wash under running water, preferably with soap and water.Pay special attention to the skin under the nails.
  • Wash clothes and clean garden tools, camping and sports equipment, and other items that may have contact with the plants.
  • Thoroughly bathe the pet after exposure to urushiol.

Therapeutic measures are made in cases where:

  • developed symptoms of severe reaction (pronounced swelling and / or shortness of breath);
  • rash covers more than 25% of the body surface;
  • rash observed on the face, lips, eyelids, genitals;
  • initial treatment does not relieve symptoms of allergies;
  • appeared fever and / or signs of infection rash elements - painful blisters, pus discharge, unpleasant odor;
  • happened inhalation of smoke formed during the combustion plants.

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