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Leaves of Three, Let It Be… Tips and Tricks for Poison Ivy Exposure

Posted on April 11 2014

As we adventure outdoors to enjoy the nicer weather, one thing that won’t be enjoyed is poison ivy, oak, and/or sumac rashes. While we’ve all heard the expression ‘leaves of three, let it be’ sometimes we’ve already been in contact with the plant before noticing that its there. Even brief contact with these plants can cause their oils to get on our skin, clothing, hair, pets, and even objects like gardening tools, leashes, or golf clubs.   In most cases (about 85%, according to an April 8th article published on the AmericanAcademy of Dermatology website), poison ivy, oak, or sumac contact causes rashes that are accompanied by intense itching and blistering, which if not treated properly may become infected. The other 15% may have more serious reactions, such as a hard time breathing or swallowing, swelling, or widespread rashes and blisters, that require a visit to the ER for treatment.   For those who experience mild reactions there are steps that can be taken to help ease the symptoms and help the rashes clear up sooner.   -          Rinse the skin with lukewarm, soapy water to rinse off the oils and help prevent the rashes from spreading -          Wash any clothing that could have been exposed to the plants to help avoid re-exposing yourself to the plants oils, which can stick on clothing -          Wash any objects (such as gardening tools, leashes, golf clubs, and even our pets fur) that may have been exposed so you don’t re-expose yourself again the next time you touch them -          Muster up your self-control to prevent yourself for scratching those intense itches. Scratching or exposing opened blisters greatly increases the risk of infections -          Try bathing in colloidal oatmeal or adding one cup of baking soda while drawing your bathwater to help calm the itching -          Try applying calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream to relieve the itching -          Applying cool compresses, or even a cold wet washcloth, can also help ease the itching -          Taking antihistamine medications can also help relieve the itching   Poison ivy, oak, and sumac rashes can really put a damper of spring-summer time fun, which is why Mountainside Medical Equipment carries a wide range of products designed to help alleviate and heal the rashes. Browse through the products in our Poison Ivy Category today and see what might work best for you.   Sources: http://www.aad.org/stories-and-news/news-releases/treating-poison-ivy-ease-the-itch-with-tips-from-dermatologists http://www.mountainside-medical.com/calamine-lotion.html/

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