Allergies to Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac
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.
© 2012 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.