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    Understanding Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac -- Prevention

    How Can I Prevent Rashes From Poison Ivy, Oak, or Sumac?

    The best way to deal with this poisonous threesome is to learn to recognize the plants, then avoid them. Poison ivy -- with its shiny, sometimes reddish, yellow- or orange-colored leaves -- shares with poison oak a characteristic three-leaf pattern. Poison sumac has paired, pointed leaves, sometimes with yellow-white berries. Each leaf has seven to 13 leaflets.

    If you suspect contact with a poison plant, wash immediately and thoroughly with soap and water -- your skin, clothes, shoes, tools -- anything that might have picked up the plant's toxic resin. If you're going into poison-plant country, try one of the barrier lotions available from outdoor suppliers. The old folk tale about eating poison ivy leaves to make yourself immune is just that -- a myth. Never eat the leaves or berries of poison ivy or other wild plants, many of which can cause very dangerous reactions.

    Recommended Related to Skin Problems & Treatments

    Understanding Ringworm -- Diagnosis and Treatment

    Your doctor will probably recognize ringworm's characteristic rash. However, he or she may also: Look at the infection with a special light that can detect traces of fluorescent materials that occur in a ringworm infection Scrape an area of involved skin and look at the sample under the microscope Take a culture to find out which if any fungus is causing the infection in order to select the most effective antifungal medicine if the culture is positive

    Read the Understanding Ringworm -- Diagnosis and Treatment article > >

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on March 22, 2015

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