Treating Summer Plant Rashes
Friday, March 29, 2019
With Spring and Summer on the way, kids and families are itching to shake the cabin fever of Winter and head outside to play and spend time. But unless you’re one of the fortunate people that aren’t affected by poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac, or wild parsnip, it’s important to know how to treat them in case they do occur (especially if you’re fond of hiking through the woods). Here are some easy ways to treat these rashes yourself.
These are just a few quick and effective remedies for poison ivy rashes. If the rash is located on the face, long-lasting, or if the reactions are severe (such as difficulty breathing or swallowing), seek medical attention immediately. Doctors’ Urgent Care is prepared and capable of treating poison ivy quickly and effectively.
- First – Resist scratching as much as possible
The impulse to scratch an itch is hard to overcome, and it is so much worse when you have a rash. But it’s important to note that not only are you risking opening the rash and turning it into an open wound, but there’s a decent change that you still have traces of the active ingredient in your fingernails that could make the situation much worse.
We know that this is a difficult thing for kids, so we recommend covering their hands with gloves when possible if they can’t resist the urge. It will be very frustrating for them but better in the long run.
- Bathe as soon as possible
If you realize that you’ve come in contact with one of these plants, try to shower or bathe as soon as you can in order to remove the oils. Some believe that if you do this within 60 minutes of contact, it’s possible to help reduce the spread of the rash.
You should also use rubber gloves and clean anything else that has come in contact with the plant as well.
- For Wild Parsnip, make sure to cover the area to protect it from the sun.
Wild parsnip is a little different from the others in that direct sunlight could worsen the rash. If you can’t wash it immediately, be sure to make sure it’s well protected until you can.
- Do NOT use rubbing alcohol.
While it’s a common belief that rubbing alcohol can help, we advise against it. Rubbing alcohol can actually cause further damage to the skin, especially if there is a break in the skin.