Poison Ivy, Oak, or Sumac Treatment
Call 911 if the person has:
- Trouble swallowing or breathing
- Swelling, especially near the eyes or on the face
1. Wash Exposed Area
- Wash with warm soap and water.
- Washing within 10 minutes can significantly reduce the chance of an allergic reaction.
2. Remove Contaminated Clothing
- Plant oil can continue to spread from clothing and shoes.
3. Ease Itching and Discomfort
- Apply cool compresses for 15 to 30 minutes at a time.
- Avoid topical antihistamines, anesthetics like benzocaine, and antibiotic ointments, all of which may make skin more sensitive.
- Have the person take oatmeal baths.
- If itchiness makes sleep difficult, give an oral antihistamine.
4. When to See a Doctor
- Get medical help if rash covers a large part of the person's body, or if the person has blisters or can't sleep.
5. Follow Up
- Symptoms usually go away within a week or two.
- Wash contaminated clothing to avoid exposure to oil.
- If serious rash persists, call a doctor.
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