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Poison Ivy/Oak/Sumac
 
 
 


 

Signs and Symptoms:

  • An itchy or burning rash appears within 2 to 3 days as small red bumps that usually blister.  Blisters can be different sizes and may ooze clear fluid. 
  • The bumps and blisters may look like straight lines or streaks on the skin.
  • The rash may begin to look crusty as it heals.

What to Do:

    • Wash skin and scrub under fingernails immediately with soap and water.
    • For itching, use calamine lotion (avoid using on the face, especially near the eyes, or on the genitals) or an oral antihistamine such as diphenhydramine (avoid antihistamine-containing creams or lotions which can worsen the rash and itching).
    • Cut fingernails short to keep from breaking the skin when scratching.
    • Place cool compresses on the skin as needed.
    • Wash all clothing recently worn, plus any items or outdoor pets that may have come into contact with the plant.

Call a doctor or seek medical attention if:

  • The rash covers a large portion of the body, or is on the genitals or the face
  • The rash is getting worse despite home treatment
  • The skin looks infected (increasing redness, warmth, pain, swelling, or pus)

Seek emergency medical care if:

  • You have a known severe allergy to poison ivy/oak/sumac
  • Swelling around the nose or mouth develops
  • You have chest tightness or difficulty breathing
  • You're sounding hoarse or having trouble speaking
  • Redness or swelling widespread over the body develops
  • You become dizzy or lightheaded
  • Given a dose of injectable epinephrine

Think Prevention!
Learn what poison ivy/oak/sumac look like, and how the plants’ appearances can change during different times of the year.  Always wear long-sleeved shirts and pants whenever close to these plants.


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