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Poison Ivy,Oak,or Sumac - Home Treatment

The rash (allergic contact dermatitis ) 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, 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.
  • To relieve itching and help blisters dry out, apply wet compresses or soak the area in cool water. Antihistamine pills or calamine lotion may help relieve symptoms.
  • 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.
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: August 30, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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