Poison Ivy, Oak, or Sumac
The rash (allergic Reference contact dermatitis Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window) from poison ivy, oak, or sumac typically is mild and can be treated at home. Home treatment for the rash usually helps relieve symptoms rather than speeding up the time it takes the rash to heal.
- If you know you had contact with one of the plants, Reference immediately wash areas of the skin that may have touched the plant. Sometimes the rash can be completely avoided by washing the affected areas with plenty of water. Clothing and other items that may have oil on them should be thoroughly washed right away too.
- Reference To relieve itching and help blisters dry out, apply wet compresses or soak the area in cool water. Reference Antihistamine Opens New Window pills or calamine lotion may help relieve symptoms.
- Reference To prevent infection, try not to scratch the rash. Also, cut your fingernails short to minimize the possibility of opening the skin and spreading bacteria.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference August 30, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Reference H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine