Skip Navigation Links
 



                     


 



   
    Learn More     Subscribe    
Join Now!      Login
 
 
 
FREE HEALTH
NEWSLETTER
 
 
Walking Quiz
Which of the following in NOT a direct benefit of a regular walking regimen?
 
 
 
 
E
mergency & First Aid
 

Poison Ivy (Oak, Sumac)

Poison ivy, oak, and sumac are the most common plants that cause a skin rash. A sap that comes from these plants causes the rash. The sap is not really a poison, but can cause an allergic reaction in some people.



Signs & Symptoms

The skin rash comes a day or two after contact with the plant. Symptoms that follow can range from mild to severe.

  • Itching.
  • Redness.
  • Burning feeling.
  • Swelling.
  • Blisters.


  • Causes

    You can get poison ivy, oak, or sumac when you touch one of these plants or pets, clothes, shoes, etc. that have the sap on them. Contact with the smoke of these burning plants can also cause a rash.



    Treatment

    Self-care treats most cases of poison ivy, oak, and sumac. For severe cases, your doctor may prescribe medicine(s).

    Poison Ivy.

    Poison Oak.

    Poison Sumac.

    Questions to Ask

    After contact with poison ivy, oak, or sumac, do you have any of these problems?

  • The skin is a very bright red color.
  • Severe itching, swelling, or blisters.
  • A rash on large areas of the body or the face.
  • A rash that has spread to the mouth, eyes, or genitals.
  • Pus.
  • Self-Care / Prevention

    To Prevent Getting a Rash

  • Know what these plants look like and avoid them. (See above.)
  • Poison ivy and poison oak both have 3 leaflets per stem. This is why you may have heard the saying, "Leaflets three, let them be."
  • Poison sumac has 7 to 11 leaflets.
  • Use an over-the-counter lotion (IvyBlock), which blocks skin contact with the sap. Use it as directed.
  • To help prevent an allergic reaction, do the things listed below. Do them within 6 hours of contact with one of the plants.
  • Avoid contact with poison ivy, oak, and sumac.

  • Remove all clothes and shoes that have touched the plant.
  • Wash your skin with soap and water.
  • Apply rubbing alcohol or alcohol wipes to the parts of the skin that are affected.
  • Use an over-the-counter product (e.g., Tecnu) that removes poison ivy sap.
  • Rinse the affected area with water.

  • To Treat Poison Ivy, Oak, or Sumac

  • Take a cold shower, put the rash area in cold water, or pour cold water over it. Use soap when you shower.
  • To relieve itching, take an over-the-counter antihistamine, such as Benadryl. Follow the label's directions.
  • For weeping blisters, mix 2 teaspoons of baking soda in 4 cups of water. Dip squares of gauze in this mixture. Cover the blisters with wet gauze for 10 minutes, 4 times a day. Do not apply this to the eyes.
  • Wash all clothes and shoes with hot water and a strong soap. Bathe pets that have come in contact with the plant. The sap can stay on pets for many days. Clean items used to wash clothing and pets. Wear rubber gloves when you do all these things.
  • Keep your hands away from your eyes, mouth, and face.
  • Do not scratch or rub the rash.
  • Apply any of these to the skin rash:
  • Calamine (not Caladryl) lotion.
  • Over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream. Follow the directions on the label.
  • A paste of 3 teaspoons of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of water.
  • Take baths with lukewarm water. Add an over-the-counter product called Aveeno colloidal oatmeal.
  • Add your comment      
    About The Author
    This article has been taken from Healthier at Home® – Your Complete Guide to Symptoms, Solutions & Self-Care, a book published by the American Institute for Preventive Medicine. To order this book and/or to learn more about the work of the Institute,......more
     
    Share   Facebook   Buzz   Delicious   Digg   Twitter  
     
     
     
     
     
     
    From Our Sponsor
     

    Search   
    Home       Wellness       Health A-Z       Alternative Therapies       Find a Practitioner       Healthy Products       Bookstore       Wellness Inventory
    Healthy Kitchen       Healthy Woman       Healthy Man       Healthy Child       Healthy Aging       Wellness Center       Nutrition Center       Fitness Center
    Free Newsletter      What Doctor's Don't Tell You      Stevia.com      Discount Lab Tests      First Aid      Global Health Calendar      Privacy Policy     Contact Us

    Disclaimer: The information provided on HealthWorld Online is for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.