As homeowners, we diligently care for our properties to keep them looking beautiful. Unfortunately, not all plants are friendly, and one of the most notorious is poison ivy. Poison ivy causes itching, burning, and even blistering and is a plant we often see in lawns with wooded areas. So, here are five steps you should take if you come in contact with poison ivy, brought to you by your friends at ArborLawn.
1. Identify Poison Ivy
The first thing you should do when you come in contact with poison ivy is to identify it. Poison ivy is a plant with three shiny, pointed leaves. It can appear as a bush, a vine, or a small plant. If you’re not sure if the plant you came in contact with is poison ivy, it’s better to assume that it is and take precautions.
2. Wash the Affected Area
The most important thing to do is to wash the affected area with soap and water as soon as possible. The sooner you do this, the less likely the urushiol oil (the substance that causes the reaction) will sink into your skin. Make sure to use cold water, as hot water can open the pores and cause the oil to sink deeper into your skin.
3. Apply a Cold Compress
Poison ivy causes inflammation, so applying a cold compress can help reduce the itching and swelling. You can use a cool, damp cloth or wrap some ice in a towel and apply it to the affected area for about 15 minutes.
4. Treat the Rash
If you develop a rash, there are many over-the-counter creams and ointments you can use to ease the itching and burning. Calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream can help soothe the skin and reduce inflammation. If the rash is severe and covers a large area of your body, you may want to consult your doctor, who may prescribe a stronger medication.
5. Prevent the Spreading
If you’ve come in contact with poison ivy, it’s crucial to wash your clothes and any other objects that may have also come in contact with the plant to prevent spread. Be sure to wash these items thoroughly in hot water with detergent. If you have pets, bathe them if they were outside with you.
Treat Your Lawn Correctly
Keeping your lawn healthy and risk-free is what we do here at ArborLawn. Not only do we help homeowners throughout Lansing, MI, get rid of poison ivy, but we also help them get rid of grubs, moles, and mosquitos. So, don’t wait! Contact us today at (517) 882-1941.