Poison ivy — like poison oak and poison sumac — is a plant that produces an oily, sticky resin that will get in your pores and skin for those who contact the plant or brush towards it. As soon as the oil is in your palms, it may simply unfold to another a part of the physique you contact, together with your eyes.
Most individuals — about 85% of the inhabitants — are allergic to the resin produced by poison ivy (known as urushiol). After contact with the plant, they get an itchy, crimson, blistery rash.
Reading: Poison ivy around the eyes
It’s additionally doable to get poison ivy by way of oblique contact. For instance, in case your canine or cat brushes towards the plant, they gained’t get a rash. However they’ll carry the oil on their fur, and you may then get it in your pores and skin when enjoying together with your pet.
Yearly, between 10 million and 50 million People see their docs for a poison ivy rash.
What are the signs of poison ivy in the eye?
A poison ivy rash in or around the eyes will be painful. Signs could embody:
A bumpy, itchy crimson rash around the eyes
A rash that turns into oozing blisters
Small bumps on the insides of the eyelids
Very watery, crimson itchy eyes
Swelling of the delicate tissue around the eyes
Dry eyelid pores and skin
The eyes could even swell shut in extreme circumstances
In case your eyes swell shut, see your eye physician instantly.
What ought to I do if I get poison ivy in my eyes?
As quickly as you notice you will have a poison ivy rash, ensure to bathe. You’ll want to wash off any oil which may nonetheless be in your pores and skin. Cleanse with cleaning soap and water thrice to utterly take away the poison ivy oil.
Wipes made with alcohol may also take away the oil. Launder your garments, and clear something you might have touched together with your palms. Your palms might unfold the plant’s oil to your cellular phone, or different private gadgets.
How lengthy does poison ivy in the eyes final?
A poison ivy rash can present up as quickly as a number of hours after your pores and skin is uncovered to the oil. It will possibly additionally take so long as a number of days to develop.
The rash will seem wherever the oil made contact with the pores and skin. When you get blisters, attempt to not scratch them, regardless of how a lot they itch.
The crimson rash and blisters will normally clear up in a number of weeks, no matter the place they’re situated in your physique.
How do I deal with poison ivy in the eye?
When you develop a rash around your eyes after coming into contact with poison ivy, you may:
Use cool moist compresses to appease the space around your infected, itchy eyes. Do that for 15 to half-hour a number of occasions a day.
Take oral antihistamines as directed, comparable to loratadine (Claritin) and diphenhydramine (Benadryl). This may be useful in case your itchy rash is conserving you awake at night time. (Understand that Benadryl is understood to trigger drowsiness.)
When sleeping, elevate your head above your coronary heart to assist cut back swelling. You are able to do this by resting your head on a number of pillows.
Go away your rash alone. It’s going to in all probability resolve by itself for those who do not do something, however scratching the itch could make it worse.
Whereas it’s OK to use over-the-counter cortisone or calamine lotion to different areas of your physique, seek the advice of your eye physician earlier than utilizing equally medicated lotions close to your eyes. Your physician can present steering and therapy — comparable to topical steroids or topical antihistamines particularly — which are protected to make use of in your eye space.
When ought to I see a physician?
You must see a physician if:
You may have a fever of over 100 levels Fahrenheit
The itchy rash in your eyes is oozing pus
The itchy rash is conserving you awake at night time
The rash doesn’t go away by itself in a number of weeks
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Your eyes are swollen (particularly if they’re swollen shut)
You scratched your rash and it turned contaminated
Swelling of the eye tissue means you’re having a critical response that must be assessed by a physician. From there, your physician could prescribe a steroid cream that’s stronger than the one you should buy in the drugstore. They could additionally prescribe oral steroids if needed, or an antibacterial cream in case your rash is contaminated. Anti-inflammatory eye drops out of your physician may also help as nicely.
All these therapies will assist clear up the irritation and itchy rash.
Most of the time you’ll not need to see a physician, as a result of a poison ivy rash ought to clear up by itself in a single to a few weeks. The blisters will dry up and the rash will fade away.
How can I keep away from getting poison ivy in my eyes?
There are a variety of how you may keep away from poison ivy in your eyes, together with:
Know the look of poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac. All these vegetation have three leaves. Certainly one of the hottest sayings that will help you bear in mind is: Leaves of three, allow them to be.
When you discover poison ivy in your garden or in your backyard, put on lengthy sleeves, pants and gloves when close to the plant and clear your gardening instruments and gloves earlier than placing them away.
After strolling, gardening or mountaineering in an space with poison ivy, wash your garments and footwear and take a bathe. Don’t rub your eyes till you realize your palms are clear.
When you’re fearful that your pets have come into contact with poison ivy, give them a shower so the oil doesn’t unfold to you.
Do not forget that the rash itself is just not contagious. However the oil can unfold simply to different folks in the event that they contact the oil on you, your clothes or any objects you will have touched.
SEE RELATED: Why it’s dangerous to rub your eyes
Web page printed in October 2021
Web page up to date in November 2021
Medically reviewed in October 2021