DoctorsCare has some tips on prevention and treatment of the dreaded poison oak, poison ivy, and poison sumac
After a hike in the woods, you might experience some itching then a red rash and then blisters. These are symptoms of poison oak, poison ivy, or poison sumac.
What to look out for:
- Poison Ivy
- It can grow as a vine or small shrub trailing along the ground or climbing on low plants, trees, or poles.
- Each leaf has three glossy leaflets with smooth or toothed edges.
- Leaves are reddish in spring, green in summer and yellow, orange, or red in the fall.
- Found throughout the United States except for Alaska.
- Poison Oak
- Grows as a low shrub and in tall clumps or long vines.
- Fuzzy green leaves in clusters of three are loved or deeply toothed with rounded tips.
- May have yellow-white berries.
- Poison Sumac
- Grows as a tall shrub or small tree in bogs or swamps.
- Each leaf has clusters of seven to 13 smooth-edged leaflets.
- Leaves are orange in spring, green in summer and yellow, orange or red in fall.
Poison plant rashes aren’t contagious and can’t be spread from person to person. But it is possible to pick up the rash from the plant oil that may have stuck to clothing, pets, garden tools, and other items that have come in contact with these plants.
Tips for Prevention:
- Learn what the different plants look like to avoid them.
- The CDC has a video you can watch.
Tips for Treatment:
- Don’t scratch the blisters!
- Relieve the itch by:
- Using wet compresses or soaking in cool water.
- Apply over-the-counter topical medications or taking prescription oral corticosteroids.
- Apply skiing protectants such as zinc oxide or calamine.
Come into DoctorsCare if:
- You have a temperature over 100º.
- There is pus, scabs, or tenderness on the rash.
- The itching gets worse or keeps you awake at night.
- The rash spreads to your eyes, mouth, genital areas.
- The rash is not improving within a few weeks.
- The rash is widespread and severe.
- You have difficulty breathing.
Try to have an itchy free summer but remember that DoctorsCare is close by if you need us.
- Sango – 2302 Madison Street (931) 245-2400
- St. Bethlehem – 2320 Wilma Rudolph Blvd (931) 645-1564