Everyone should be familiar with the poison ivy plant in its different variations, so as to be able to recognize it when out the country or in parks.The leaves are a shiny green, look like spinach leaves but are arranged three in one plane on the same level.
Poison ivy grows low on small stems and also on vines climbing up the trunks of trees or on fences. In this last variety, the leaves are much larges and the plant has clusters of small, silver-gray berries at the end of the summer.The berries, when touched, are just as poisonous as the leaves and the rest of the plant, " like mother like daughter."
Keep away from it when sitting on the ground. Look the spot over carefully to make sure there are none of these poisonous plants around.Spread paper or canvas over the grass, if you are not certain.
If you suspect that you touched poison ivy, wash your hands or any other part which touched it with plenty of yellow or naphtha soap and water.Lather the skin a few times and rinse thoroughly.
This one of the best ways to dissolve out and rid the skin of the irritating poison.Sodium perborate moistened and applied to the skin where it is left on for five minutes and washed off thoroughly is also an effective way of preventing the development of the poison ivy eruption.
When the eruption has appeared, do not scratch, for the love of God and for your own sake. Scratching aggravates every skin eruption and especially this one.
By scratching you inoculate yourself even more with the poison, besides aggravating the condition already present.Compresses of burow's solution applied for a few hours seem to give much relief.
Follow them by applying the following calamine lotion:
- Zinc oxide and Calamine, each 3 drams
- glycerin and Lime Water, enough to make 4 ounces
Mix. for external use.Shake well and apply on affected part every three hours
The burow's solution should be diluted with five parts of water and kept cold in the refrigerator.Nothing will relieve poison ivy itching better than cold applications or holding the affected part under the cold water faucet for a few minutes.
If blisters form, they should be punctured with a sterile needle and sodium perborate paste applied for a few minutes, then rinsed off and the calamine lotion thickly applied.
The remains of the lotion should be washed away daily before fresh applications are made.There are hundreds of different aids for poison ivy, but this rational and simple treatment seems to be most effective.
The same methods of prevention and treatment may be used for skin eruptions caused by other poisonous plants, such as poison sumach and poison oak