How To Treat Poison Ivy, Oak, And Sumac Rashes
A rash from poison ivy, poison oak or poison sumac is caused by an oil found in these plants touching you skin. This often causes an itchy, blistering rash.
You can treat the rash at home if you:
- Have a mild rash
- Developed a rash on a small section of skin.
To treat the rash at home:
- Immediately rinse your skin with lukewarm, soapy water. If you can rinse your skin immediately after touching poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac, you may be able to rinse off some of the oil. If not washed off, the oil can spread from person to person and to other areas of your body.
- Wash your clothing. Thoroughly wash all of the clothes you were wearing when you came into contact with the poisonous plant. The oil can stick to clothing, and if it touches your skin, it can
- Do not scratch, as scratching can cause an infection.
- Leave blisters alone. If blisters open, do not remove the overlying skin, as the skin can protect the raw wound underneath and prevent infection.
- Use calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream. Calamine lotion can reduce the itch. If you have a mild case, a hydrocortisone cream or lotion is another treatment that can alleviate the itch.
To avoid getting oil from the plant on your skin, wear gloves while touching your clothes, even when taking off your clothes.
Wash everything that may have the oil on its surface. Besides clothing, the oil from poison ivy, oak, and sumac can stick to many surfaces, including gardening tools, golf clubs, leashes and even a pet’s fur. Be sure to rinse your pet’s fur, and wash tools and other objects with warm, soapy water.
If your rash is not improving after 7 to 10 days, or you think your rash may be infected, contact our office. We can help treat your rash and help relieve the itch. You can contact Western Maryland Dermatology at (301) 777-7900 or visit us online at wmderma.com contact where you can chat with one of our reservation specialists.