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Allergies to Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac

(continued)

What Should I Do If I am Exposed to a Poison Plant?

If you think you may have been exposed to a poison plant:

  • Remove your clothes.
  • Wash all exposed areas with cool running water. Use soap and water if possible. Be sure to clean under fingernails. In the woods, the water of a running stream can be an effective cleanser.
  • Wash clothing and all gardening tools, camping gear, sports equipment, and other objects that came into contact with the plants.
  • Bathe pets exposed to the plants.

When Should I Call the Doctor About Poison Plants?

If any of the following occurs after being exposed to a poison plant, seek immediate medical attention:

  • You have symptoms of a severe reaction, such as severe swelling and/or difficulty breathing.
  • You have been exposed to the smoke of burning poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac.
  • The rash covers more than one quarter of your body.
  • The rash occurs on the face, lips, eyes, or genitals.
  • The initial treatment does not relieve symptoms.
  • You develop a fever and/or the rash shows signs of infection, such as increased tenderness, pus or yellow fluid oozing from the blisters, and an odor coming from the blisters.


 

 

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Jonathan L Gelfand, MD on May 14, 2012
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