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  • Toxicodendron radicans

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    Toxicodendron radicans, commonly known as eastern poison ivy or poison ivy, is a poisonous Asian and Eastern North American flowering plant that is well-known for causing urushiol-induced contact dermatitis, an itchy, irritating, and sometimes painful rash, in most people who touch it. The rash is caused by urushiol, a clear liquid compound in the plant's sap. The species is variable in its appearance and habit, and despite its common name, it is not a true ivy (Hedera), but rather a member of the cashew and pistachio family (Anacardiaceae). T. radicans is commonly eaten by many animals, and the seeds are consumed by birds, but poison ivy is most often thought of as an unwelcome weed.

  • Fels-Naptha

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    Fels-Naptha is an American brand of laundry soap used for pre-treating stains on clothing and formerly as an effective home remedy for exposure to poison ivy and other skin irritants. Fels-Naptha is manufactured by and is a trademark of the Dial Corporation, a subsidiary of Henkel. The soap was originally created around 1893 by Fels and Company and was the first soap to include naphtha. The inclusion of naphtha made the soap very effective for cleaning laundry and dissolving the contagious oil of poison ivy, but was removed as a cancer risk. Naphtha is no longer an ingredient and therefore use of the product is no longer a cancer risk. The newly formulated product is still used as a preventative for poison ivy and poison oak.

  • Urushiol-induced contact dermatitis

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    Urushiol-induced contact dermatitis (also called Toxicodendron dermatitis and Rhus dermatitis) is the medical name given to allergic rashes produced by the oil urushiol, which is contained in various plants, most notably those of the genus Toxicodendron: the Chinese lacquer tree, poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac. The name is derived from the Japanese word for the sap of the Chinese lacquer tree, urushi. Other plants in the sumac family (including mango, pistachio, the Burmese lacquer tree, the India marking nut tree, and the shell of the cashew) also contain urushiol, as do unrelated plants such as Ginkgo biloba. As is the case with all contact dermatitis, urushiol-induced rashes are a Type IV hypersensitivity reaction, also known as delayed-type hypersensitivity. Symptoms include itching, inflammation, oozing, and, in severe cases, a burning sensation. The American Academy of Dermatology estimates that there are up to 50 million cases of urushiol-induced dermatitis annually in the United States alone, accounting for 10% of all lost-time injuries in the United States Forest Service.

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