Outdoor World

Test your poison ivy knowledge before the plant ruins your summer


( CNN) It was a close encounter in 2012 that attained microbiologist John Jelesko take an interest in poison ivy.

The Virginia Tech associate professor was cutting up a downed tree with an electric chainsaw. What he didn’t recognise was that his power cable had been dragging through poison ivy. So, at the end of the day, as he coiled the cord around his palm and elbow, he unknowingly launched a career-bending science experiment.

“Within 48 hours, I had your classic case of poison ivy on my limb. And as a scientist, I mentioned, ‘This is interesting, how bad can it be? I’ll just leave this untreated, ‘” he recollected, sheepishly. “In about 2 week, I had learned just how uncomfortable poison ivy rash could be.”

Wash with soap and water within a few hours. This tends to prevent an outbreak in most people.

Keep an eye out for a streaky, red rash in the first few days, specially if you’ve previously had a reaction to poison ivy. For poison ivy newbies, the rash could take a week to develop. Repeat patrons can start breaking out in a day or two. Rather than build exemption, multiple exposures can attain someone more sensitive, priming the immune system to create a more “robust” answer, Jelesko mentioned.

When a rash appears, dermatologists recommend relieving it with anti-itch or corticosteroid ointment.

And if it gets really bad, go to the doctor, specially if the rash involves sensitive regions like the mouth or genitals.

But steroids and anti-itch drug doesn’t solve the whole difficulty. A researcher at Duke University found that part of the body’s reply involves a protein known for inducing inflammation on the skin, “exciting” the nerve fibers in the scalp and mailing itchy signals to the brain. An antibody that offsets the protein is currently in a clinical trial with humen to specify potential side effect.

If your puppy came along with you on the jaunt that uncovered you to poison ivy, never dread. Dogs are not allergic — but their fur can definitely hold the petroleum and transfer it to their owners, so pet your bird-dog with caution after hiking past poison ivy. Scientists haven’t observed many animals that break out like humen do, though lab mice seem to be allergic enough for research.

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