Poison Oak, Poison Ivy and Sumac: Things You Should Know

Poison Ivy

Poison Oak


    Warning! Leaves of three, let them be. Plants with 3 leaves such as Poison Ivy, Poison Oak or Sumac typically leave a rash when they come into contact with the skin. This is caused by the oil (Urushiol) that’s secreted from the plants. This itchy, blistering rash usually appears within 12 to 72 hours after you come into contact with the oil. This rash isn’t contagious and won’t spread to others.

   Besides touching the plant, you can also get a rash from touching something that rubbed up against it or even just being near it. The oil (urushiol) that most people are allergic to can even travel through the air causing an allergic reaction. If you have swelling, difficulty breathing or swallowing these are signs of a serious reaction and you should seek medical care immediately.

   If you believe that you have a rash from one of these plants you should rinse the affected area with lukewarm water as well as wash your clothes and anything else that you may have touched. The rash can last anywhere from 5 to 12 days for mild cases and up to 30 days for severe.

   A few things that you can do to help alleviate your symptoms are:

· Take a cool shower or oatmeal bath

· Use anti-itch cream such as hydrocortisone or calamine lotion

· Do not scatch

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