If you spend lots of time outdoors in the summer, chances are that you’ve come into contact with poison ivy, poison sumac or poison oak. These plants have an oil that can irritate the skin, causing itching, rash and swelling. While the severity of the rash does vary from person to person and how much oil penetrates the skin, for the most part poison ivy is not serious for most individuals.
How to Prevent Poison Ivy
To prevent poison ivy, learn how to recognize the plant and avoid contact with it whenever possible. Wear long pants, long sleeves, boots and gloves when it is not possible to avoid poison ivy. If you have touched poison ivy, try to avoid touching other parts of your body until you can wash your hands, as the oil from the plant can spread.
Is Poison Ivy Contagious?
Reactions to these poisonous plants can be dramatic, however the good news is that they are not contagious. If you have a poison ivy inflammation you cannot give the rash to others. Poison ivy rash also will not spread to new areas on your body. If the rash appears to grow or in size or in additional areas it is actually just a delayed reaction from the original exposure.
What To Do If You Have Poison Ivy
If you’ve been exposed to poison ivy and develop a reaction, wash your skin, hands and clothing immediately. Avoid treating your rash with a topical antihistamine creams with “cain” in the title (like lanocaine) because this may only further aggravate your symptoms.
For serious reactions and if your condition does not improve, schedule an appointment with your Radiant Complexions Dermatology expert. They can review your symptoms and provide the needed medical treatment included prescription medication or ointments if needed.