The beginning of summer kicks off the camping and hiking season, anxiously awaited by those who have endured a long cold winter. This year will likely prove to be one of the busier camping seasons as many Americans bypass more expensive vacations that involve pricey airline tickets or gas guzzling road trips. Emergency department staff will probably see a greater number of people with contact dermatitis caused by exposure to poison ivy, poison oak or poison sumac. Many people have never seen poison ivy , or perhaps wouldn't recognize it if they saw it. Poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac belong to the plant genus Toxicodendron (previously referred to as Rhus ). Toxicodendron means "poisonous tree." These plants have an oil-based substance in the resin on their leaves and in their stems and branches called urushiol that causes a delayed skin reaction in about 50% of people that contact it. Urushiol may cause severe contact dermatitis in people that have previousl...
The beginning of summer kicks off the camping and hiking season, anxiously awaited by those who have endured a long cold winter.
But being in the outdoors in the warm weather may lead to contact dermatitis caused by exposure to poison ivy, poison oak or poison sumac. The resin on the plants' leaves, urushiol, is the cause of the trademark red, itchy patches and blisters.
It takes a little planning to avoid the plants and some immediate action to prevent or mitigate a reaction if you come in contact with them.
Continue reading How to Avoid and Treat Poison, Ivy, Oak and Sumac .
Definition Information Drying agents such as calamine lotion may help relieve the itchiness caused by poison ivy or rashes . Your doctor may prescribe strong steroids for extra relief.
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