Thursday, August 25, 2016

Is it Okay to Scratch a Poison Ivy Rash?

Here's the second of a few posts on poison ivy, all stemming from an allergic reaction I had a few weeks back.  Is it okay to scratch a poison ivy rash?  Well, that depends on what you mean.  If you still have oils on your body from poison ivy, then the answer is no.  This will spread the oils and increase the region of skin affected.  If all of the oils have been washed away, scratching will not spread the affected area.  Maybe the observable affected area grows, but this is due to the allergic reaction continuing to develop from areas of your skin already exposed.  Scratching does not do this.

That doesn't mean it's okay to scratch however.  Scratching can open up the blisters and potentially increase your odds of getting an infection.  That's no fun.  Don't worry if you catch yourself scratching without meaning to.  It happens.  I've done it.  Just try to make an effort not to scratch.  Use lotions or anti-itch cream to soothe the affected area.  And remember, I feel your pain.  :-)

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