How to treat rash, how to get rid of plants

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Oils in the poison ivy and poison sumac plants can cause allergic reactions severe enough to require medical treatment.

Kellie Goare, a nurse at the CVS Minute Clinic in Worthington, treats cases of poison ivy in people who have come into contact with the plants while hiking or gardening.

Within 10 minutes, urushiol oil from the plants can begin to affect exposed skin. The rash can appear anywhere from four hours to four days later, Goare said.

“Generally, it’s a rash, redness, and itching,” Goare said of the symptoms. “Sometimes they can cry or drain the area.”

Poison Ivy Rash Treatments

A number of over-the-counter products will help:

  • Washes remove the urushiol oil that causes the allergic skin reaction
  • Hydrocortisone cream supports healing and relieves itching
  • Calamine Lotion dries wounds and relieves itching.
  • An over-the-counter allergy pill will also help stop the itching.

“I would say if the rash is bothering you, spreading, or getting worse in any way, it’s definitely time to see a doctor,” Goare said. “Even if it’s on your face or on sensitive areas, it’s best to see a doctor as well.”

If you have trouble breathing, call 911.

Connect or not? “If it’s crying, it’s best to hide until the crying stops. But if you can leave it open as much as possible, that will help,” Goare said.

recovery time

The rash can take a week or two to heal. If it’s been there for more than two weeks and doesn’t improve, see a doctor. There are stronger topical creams available by prescription, as well as oral steroids, but you’ll need an appointment with the nurse or your doctor to get them.

In the garden or in the woods, wear light, long-sleeved, slacks and think “leaves of three, let it be” whenever you see a plant, just in case it’s poison ivy.

Rinse your skin with water and wash clothes with soap at the laundry. Wipe down and rinse shoes if they’ve been in contact with the plant, Goare advised.

How to get rid of poison ivy in your garden

The Delaware County Master Gardeners responded to an email from NBC4 with this information on how to get rid of the plants:

“Glyphosate herbicides (e.g. Roundup Original Concentrate) have far less soil activity (a few days) than a triclopyr (e.g. Ortho Max Poison Ivy & Bought Brush Killer Concentrate) or a 3-way herbicide (Ferti-lome Weed-Out Lawn Weed Killer Concentrate), that’s a couple of weeks.

“Therefore, glyphosate is recommended in planned or existing beds with ornamental flowers or shrubs. If the bed hasn’t already been planted, wait four or five days after application before planting,” the email reads.

“Glyphosate works best when applied two weeks before and two weeks after full bloom, which typically occurs in early summer.

“If you need to kill poison ivy on lawns or along fence lines, a 3-way or triclopyr herbicide is preferable. These work best in late spring or early summer when plants are actively growing.

“Do not use clippings from this area as mulch in vegetable gardens or ornamental beds because of the longevity of herbicides. Herbicides can be sprayed on plants, but be careful not to get them on the leaves, stems, or trunks of the desired plants.

Cut back poison ivy

You can also prune the poison ivy and spray or brush the herbicide on the freshly cut stems or stumps to protect neighboring plants.

“Whatever herbicide you use, look for new poison ivy growth every week for several weeks after application. If new growth is seen, reapply the herbicide,” the master gardener’s email reads.

dig it up

“Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts, and protect your arms and hands with disposable gloves or long plastic bags like those used for newspapers or loaves of bread; Secure the tips with rubber bands. Be sure to throw away the gloves or bags. If clothing comes into contact with poison ivy, wash separately from family laundry.”

If you’re dealing with a small infestation, dig up the plant (try to get the entire rhizome) and dispose of in a plastic bag at the landfill. You can also prune it back to the ground to starve it out. After cutting, inspect the site weekly and cut back to the ground when new growth appears.

“Do not dispose of poison ivy cuttings in a compost heap or by burning, which will release the urushiol oil that causes the allergic skin reaction.

“Instead, bag up the clippings and dispose of them in the landfill,” the master gardener’s email said.

Poisonous Ivy. (Image credit: Rick Gardner)
poison sumac. (Image credit: Rick Gardner)

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