When I was in the 6th Grade, I had the great pleasure of learning first-hand what it is like to have poison ivy, and the itching and scratching and swelling, and pussing that goes with it...on my face.
We still don't know how I got it all over my face, however, it was there...and it wasn't pleasant. My face was also swollen and misshapen. Not that it was ever that shapen to begin with.
And yes...there is a picture out there somewhere, but darn it all, can't find it :)
I recollect this now because a few days ago...Poison Ivy and I once again came together. I am pretty sure I know where and when it happened...however, as you will learn if you ever cross paths with this itchy vixen...the rash and itching will sometimes take up to 48 hours before showing up. At that point, you may have inadvertently spread it to other parts of your body.
Fortunately, this round of rash-bashing has kept to a pretty minimal area on my right leg. I have been able to contain it by keeping it wrapped and dry, changing the dressing about every 12 hours.
So I share with you today some words of advice if you ever come across Poison Ivy. First things first...if you know you have touched it, wash the area thoroughly. It is actually the oil from the plant that causes the rash and itching. This oil can remain potent up to a year after being brushed off of the plant. It is also located all over the plant, on leaves, stems, stalk and root.
If you scratch before washing, the oil can get under your nails and then spread to wherever else you may touch with your fingers.
Don't pick your nose.
That said...once the rash appears, and there really isn't much you can do to prevent it if you haven't washed thoroughly...is to just keep it clean. It will itch. It will blister. The blisters WILL pop. The area will be covered in yellow puss. Just keep cleaning it.
Doctors can give you medication to help...but most of it is not as affective as you would hope.
Best solution of all though...just don't mess with the stuff. It looks like this:
Remember, "Leaves of 3...let it be!"