Poison Ivy - How To Recognize and Treat

Fall hiking season has arrived in Northern Michigan and we aren't out of the woods yet with poison ivy. This time of the year the forest floor is lush but lurking there is my personal scourge - Poison Ivy. One year I had to go to marching band camp covered in the blisters of an unfortunate run in with my outdoor nemesis. Here are a few ways to both avoid or treat blisters. 

 Here are a few ways to dodge getting an itchy poison ivy rash.

  1. Avoid it – debatably the most obvious, but not the easiest. Know (or look up) what poison ivy plants look like, and watch where you step. If possible, stay on pathways or bridges, and avoid going into wooded areas. Check out this article link http://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/hw74805
  2. Herbicides – stop by your local northern Michigan gardening store and pick up some herbicide designed to get rid of poison ivy. Make sure to wear gloves, and take a shower when you are done. 
  3. Wear protective clothing – if you need to work in the woods, wear long pants, high socks and sturdy shoes, a long sleeve shirt, and gloves. (FYI This will also reduce your chance of a tick bite) 
  4. Over the counter protectants – use a barrier cream on your skin that acts as a shield between you and the poison ivy. 

If all else fails, and you do get poison ivy, head to a dermatologist to get prescription medicine so you can be back to enjoying your life faster!