If you’ve ever been camping, you know to look for the telltale signs of plants like poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac. But if you haven’t, or it’s been a while, you just might stumble into some without realizing it, and once it touches you, it’s a problem. Here’s how poison ivy or poison oak can affect you and what you can do about it.
What Are Poison Ivy and Poison Oak?
Both of these plants contain an oil called urushiol. Urushiol is a highly allergenic compound that is likely to cause an allergic reaction known as contact dermatitis (specifically, Toxicodendron dermatitis) if it touches your skin. This reaction is characterized by a red rash and persistent itching.
What Causes an Allergy to Poison Ivy and Poison Oak?
An allergy to urushiol is something that most humans just have, just as most humans are allergic to mosquito bites. If these plants do not affect you, you are one of the lucky ones, although you may never realize it. Fewer than two out of ten people do not have an allergic reaction to urushiol.
How Are These Allergic Reactions Treated?
The best treatment is prevention. Try not to have direct contact with these plants or anything that has just touched these plants. Burning these plants is not advised as it can also create contagious and allergenic urushiol fumes. Standard anti-allergy medicines with antihistamines are generally not effective for poison ivy or poison oak, but calamine lotion often is. We can prescribe a corticosteroid cream to help with the symptoms.
BeWell Immediate Care for Poison Ivy or Poison Oak Treatment Near Whittier, CA
At BeWell Immediate Care, we can treat your poison ivy or poison oak rash fast. We can prescribe a cream to relieve symptoms and make sure you do not have a secondary infection from scratching. The process is quick, easy, and only costs $50 for a standard appointment, or $40 for a virtual consult. Schedule a consultation or just come into our clinic at 12533 Washington Blvd., Suite B. in Whittier, CA.