With summer on its way, it is important to know how to keep yourself healthy and avoid coming into contact with poisonous plants such as poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac. What makes these plants poisonous is the layer of oil called Urshiol that covers their stem and leaves. Urshiol causes skin to become inflamed and irritated with red bumps covering the skin within 12-72 hours of contact. These allergic reactions can last anywhere from 12-20 days upon contact.
Fortunately, a severe reaction to Urshiol is rare, however if you observe the following symptoms seek emergency care
- Swelling in the throat, mouth, tongue and eyelids
- A prolonged itching sensation
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing
- A blistering rash around most of the body
In the event that you do not show the above symptoms, but you have come into contact with Urushiol follow the directions below to treat your mild symptoms
- Immediately soak the affected area with lukewarm, soapy water
- Rinse the oil off of clothing, shoes and other apparel
- Apply OTC or prescription hydrocortisone cream to the affected area
- Consider taking antihistamine medication to reduce your reaction
If you or someone you know has been affected by poison ivy, oak or sumac stop by Natick for affordable, quality medical care that requires no appointment. Our clinic is located at 945 Worcester Street in Natick MA, or you can always call us at 508-650-6208.