Category: First Aid

Jun 22

Learn How To Treat Poison Ivy

Learn How To Treat Poison Ivy (courtesy of howcast.com)

Uhhh…did you just sit in a patch of poison ivy? Yea, you did. Now what? You will need:

Rubbing alcohol
Cool water
Soap
Hydrocortisone cream
Calamine lotion
Cotton balls
Menthol cream
Cool compresses

Optional:

Jewelweed sap

Seek medical attention immediately if you experience a severe, allergic reaction to poison ivy, such as:

Swelling of the mouth or nose
Difficulty breathing or swallowing
Or a high fever

Step 1 – If you’ve been exposed to poison ivy and you act quickly, you may be able to avoid an outbreak. Pour rubbing alcohol on the area that came in contact with the plant, then rinse with cold, running water. Do NOT rinse with warm or hot water, which can cause the plant’s oils to be absorbed more quickly. Also, to avoid spreading the oils, don’t take a bath, and avoid showering without first rinsing.

Step 2 – Use soap and water to thoroughly wash the area. This might help prevent the outbreak. Scrub under your fingernails and immediately remove and wash your clothes and anything else that might have the plant’s oils on it, in hot water. If you have one on hand, use a poison ivy specific cleanser, like Tecnu or Zanfel.

Step 3 – Be on the look-out for symptoms, which appear anywhere between 4 and 48 hours after exposure. They can include:

Redness
Itching
Swelling
Blisters

Although you won’t be able to cure the rash, you can help reduce the itching. If an outbreak covers your entire body, or is in your eyes, mouth or genitals, see a doctor.

Step 4 – Once the outbreak has begun, use over-the-counter, anti-itch products, like Hydrocortisone cream, Calamine lotion and menthol creams like Sarna. See which works best for you, and DON’T scratch any blisters!
Step 5 – Applying cool compresses to the affected area can help relieve irritation. Also, instead of water, you can use an astringent solution with aluminum sulphate, like Domeboro. A natural remedy is to rub on the sap of the jewelweed plant, also known as touch-me-not. It’s found in damp, shady areas, often near poison ivy. From summer to fall, look for orange, trumpet-like flowers.

Step 6 – Still suffering? Soak in a cool tub filled with water and a colloidal oatmeal treatment, like Aveeno.

Step 7 – Before bed, take an oral antihistamine like Benadryl, to help with the symptoms and make you drowsy.

Step 8 – If the blisters begin to ooze pus, if you develop a fever above 100 degrees or if the outbreak doesn’t clear up within a few weeks, see a doctor. You may have caused a secondary infection by scratching, and could need antibiotics.

Did you know? Global warming has made poison ivy 50% to 75% stronger and more toxic than it was 50 years ago!

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May 18

Learn How To Take Care Of Yourself When You’re Sick

Learn How to Take Care of Yourself When You’re Sick (courtesy of Howcast.com)

Oh, the misery! Your head is pounding, your whole body aches, and there’s nobody – nobody around to pamper you…you’ll just have to pamper yourself! You will need:

– A bed
– Time to rest
– Vitamin C
– Chocolate
– Warm fluids
– Electrolyte drinks

Optional:

– Humidifier
– Some over-the-counter medication

Step 1 – Get lots of rest. Don’t try to work out, and make sure you get at least 8 hours of sleep a night. Don’t worsen your situation and get others sick by going out or going to work.

Step 2 – Take in lots of vitamin c with supplements, or through fluids, like orange juice.

Step 3 – Eat a little dark chocolate for its anti-oxidant qualities.

Step 4 – If you have a cough, put a humidifier near your bed or wherever you’re resting to help you breathe easier.

Step 5 – Take in warm fluids like soups and teas.

Step 6 – Keep yourself hydrated with lots of water and an occasional electrolyte drink.

Step 7 – Avoid dairy products which can uncomfortably coat the throat and mouth, as well as cause an upset stomach.

Step 8 – Rest, Rest, Rest! If you still feel lousy, try some over-the-counter medication, like ibuprophin, acetaminophin or cough syrup to alleviate some of your symptoms. They won’t cure you, but you’ll feel better.

Step 9 – Wait it out. It likely will take a few days for your sickness to run its course. But, if your symptoms persist or worsen dramatically, see a doctor.

Did you know? The #1 way to prevent the spread of illness is by washing your hands.

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