Warmer weather calls for lots of outdoor play and activities. It’s also perfect weather for plants that cause skin rashes, such as poison ivy, poison sumac and poison oak.
Poison ivy, sumac and oak all belong to a family of plants that produce oil called urushiol, which is what causes an allergic reaction on the skin. About 70 percent of Americans are allergic to urushiol. The oil attaches to the skin after direct or indirect contact. Those who spend time outside should wash their hands regularly in order to help prevent the spread of the rash.
Symptoms of contact with poison ivy, sumac or oak are:
- Oozing blisters
- Itching and swelling of infected site
- Redness and warmth at infected site
Although it is very tempting, avoid scratching the infected area. Scratching allows dirt and bacteria to enter the skin and cause infection. Scratching can also cause scarring. Go to your nearest FastMed Urgent Care if the rash continues to worsen or if it spreads to the mouth, eyes or genitals. Our caring staff will be able to further assess any additional treatment that may be needed.