Summer Health Risks: Poison Ivy, Oak, & Sumac

Poison Ivy PlantAfter one of the longest and harshest winters in history, nothing’s better than finally getting to enjoy the warmth of the summer sun. With summer finally in full swing, many are craving time outdoors but, it is extremely important to stay aware of your surroundings and protect yourself from contact with poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac. These plants have peak growth in the summer and are coated with an oil named Urushiol which causes skin irritation on contact.
After coming in contact with poison ivy, you should do the following:

  • Immediately rinse your skin with warm, soapy water
  • Wash clothing, accessories, and anything else that may have come into contact with the plant
  • Avoid scratching and rubbing the affected area to prevent spreading and infection

The uncontrollable itching, redness, swelling, and overall discomfort of skin irritation doesn’t have to ruin your summer. Follow these simple tips for relief from your symptoms:

  • Apply calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream to the affected and surrounding area
  • Apply cool compresses to sooth the affected area
  • Take antihistamine allergy pills to reduce your reaction

If the rash continues to spread or appears to get worse, stop by our conveniently located center at 2100 88th Street in North Bergen, NJ. You can also give us a call at 201-588-1300 for more info or tips from our board-certified physicians.