A rash from poison ivy, oak, or sumac looks like patches or streaks of red, raised blisters. The rash doesn't usually spread unless urushiol is still in contact with your skin.
Poison sumac has clusters of white or light-green berries that sag downward on its branches, while the red berries of harmless sumac sit upright. Also, each stem on the poison sumac plant has a cluster of leaflets with smooth edges, while harmless sumac leaves have jagged edges.
What to do if you're exposed to poison sumac
Jun 1, 2017
Apply cool compresses to the skin. Use topical treatments to relieve itching, including calamine lotion, oatmeal baths, Tecnu, Zanfel, or aluminum acetate (Domeboro solution). Oral antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl), can also help relieve itching.
Poison sumac is considered the “most toxic plant in the country.” However, on a positive note, it's also much rarer than the others. It only grows in super wet areas, like bogs or swamps. Just like poison ivy, sumac also contains urushiol. That means it causes the same reaction as poison ivy — an itchy rash.
It may seem like the rash is spreading if it appears over time instead of all at once. But this is either because the plant oil is absorbed at different rates on different parts of the body or because of repeated exposure to contaminated objects or plant oil trapped under the fingernails.
The leaves in the fall are beautiful and can be yellow and pink, red and pink or red, pink and yellow. In late fall, the leaves can become a brilliant red color that is much like that of a red maple tree. In the fall, many well-meaning nature lovers often get too close to poison sumac and end up with a nasty rash.
Drying preparations like hydrogen peroxide and plain calamine lotion (without antihistamine or other additives) can be soothing; if itching is intense, so can taking an oral antihistamine like Benadryl.
Here are some steps you can take to help control the itching: Apply an over-the-counter cortisone cream or ointment (Cortizone 10) for the first few days. Apply calamine lotion or creams containing menthol. Take oral antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl), which may also help you sleep better.
Should I Break The Blisters From Poison Ivy Rash? Never pop poison ivy blisters! Although they may be painful, an open blister can easily become infected and lead to blood poisoning. The blisters form as part of your body's immune response to poison ivy and oak and are part of the healing process.
Heat overloads the nerve network so effectively that the urge to scratch is abolished for hours. Relief usually comes within seconds. Here is what some of our readers have to say: “Oh my gosh, hot water on a severe itch brings euphoric relief for a few seconds and then the itch stays away for hours.
Ocean Water. Unfortunately, we don't have much access to fresh ocean water in the Pittsburgh area, but if you do happen to be vacationing near the water, taking a dip in the ocean could help to calm your poison ivy rash. Another tip to try is dissolve one ounce of sea salt in a quart of water.
If you scratch a poison ivy rash, bacteria under your fingernails may cause the skin to become infected. See your doctor if pus starts oozing from the blisters. Your doctor might prescribe antibiotics.
If people wish to use apple cider vinegar as a treatment for poison ivy rash, anecdotal reports recommend dipping a clean cotton ball into apple cider vinegar and applying it gently to the rash or using a small spray bottle. People can apply the vinegar several times a day, until the symptoms ease.
Myth 2: A little bleach on the rash will dry it right up. A poison ivy rash is a break in the skin. Any caustic material, such as bleach or rubbing alcohol, can damage your tissues and make it harder for a wound to heal. Keep the rash clean with soap and water.
Applying rubbing alcohol to a rash can help dry it up and prevent infection. Some other home remedies that act as astringents and can dry up a poison ivy rash include: witch hazel.
Calamine is used to relieve the itching, pain, and discomfort of minor skin irritations, such as those caused by poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac. This medicine also dries oozing and weeping caused by poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac.
This medication is used to treat a variety of skin conditions (such as insect bites, poison oak/ivy, eczema, dermatitis, allergies, rash, itching of the outer female genitals, anal itching). Hydrocortisone reduces the swelling, itching, and redness that can occur in these types of conditions.
Most rashes caused by poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac are mild and last from five to 12 days. In severe cases, the rash can last for 30 days or longer.