Poison Ivy and Oak Rash Treatment

Poison Ivy and Oak Rash Treatment in Easley, SC

AFC Urgent Care Center located at 5208 Calhoun Memorial Hwy Ste C Easley, SC 29640 is open Mon – Fri 8am – 8pm and Sat – Sun 8am – 5pm with doctors who treat poison ivy and oak rash with no appointment necessary. Walk-in or call (864) 309-0369

Poison Ivy & Other Plants to Avoid This Summer

While walking or working outside is one of the highlights of summer, there are a variety of poisonous ivy and oak plants in Easley, SC that can cause a rash that will linger for weeks. Many summer vacations have been ruined by these plants and for some people, they can be extremely dangerous. If you believe you’ve been exposed to a poison oak or ivy plant, visit our walk-in clinic in Easley, SC. AFC Urgent Care Center never requires an appointment to be seen by one of our board-certified doctors or access our services.

When you think of poisonous plants in this area, the big three are poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac. These plants all contain Urushiol, the substance that cause rashes when it makes contact with the skin. Keep in mind that this is a chemical, not bacteria. As long as you wash off this substance from the skin and clothes, the rash cannot spread. Until then however, you can spread it to other parts of your body as well as other people. You may not realize how often you touch your face or other objects throughout the day. If you aren’t mindful, you will spread the rash not only to yourself, but certainly others.

The Big Three

Poison ivy

Poison ivy can be found in just about any part of North America with the exception of very dry climates as well as Alaska and Hawaii. This obnoxious plant will appear as a vine or a shrub growing close to the ground. It can be found in urban or rural settings. Poison ivy leaves grow in groups of three. If you memorize “Leaves of three, leave them be” you’ll be able to identify them easier in nature. These plants also can have small flowers and light colored berries.

Poison oak

Poison oak leaves also grow in groups of three. But unlike the jagged leaves of poison ivy, the leaves of this plant are smooth and curve. Since these leaves are similar and often mistaken for a regular oak tree’s leaves, the plant has earned the name poison oak.

Poison sumac

Poison sumac is the most difficult to recognize of the “Big Three” and has a higher potential to cause a more severe rash. Fortunately, this plant is confined to very wet areas, such as swamps and riverbanks. The leaves of this plant are arranged in pairs and is often overlooked for being a harmless shrub or a small tree.

If you come in contact with any of these three plants, you risk developing a rash on your skin. If it becomes severe enough, you could develop additional symptoms. This includes blisters, swelling, and a fever. Some people may even develop an anaphylactic reaction and must seek immediate medical care. An anaphylactic reaction has the potential to be a life-threatening situation. While anyone can come in contact with these plants, if you are a farmer, groundskeeper, construction worker, or hike on a regular basis, you are more likely to have a brush with these plants. Anyone engaging in any activity outside that involves them touching plants or carrying the debris of cut plants puts themselves at risk for exposure.

If you do develop a rash, most people need not panic. A rash from one of these plants will generally heal itself in one to three weeks with over the counter anti-itch products. As mentioned above, as long as you wash the urushiol from your skin or clothes, this rash cannot spread. If your rash decides to hang around for longer than three weeks, consult a doctor. They may prescribe some topical steroids to help your immune system finally get rid of the rash.

If you work outside or head out into the woods, experts suggest wearing protective clothing and avoid touching plants you don’t recognize. By following these two tips, you cut the risk of becoming exposed to these plants dramatically. Do these plants grow at your home or place of business? Experts say you should use pesticides to kill these plants instead of pulling them up with your hands. Under no circumstances should these plants be burned. Burning can cause the urushiol particles to become airborne and inhaled. A rash from one of these plants in your throat or lungs is extremely dangerous.

Unsure if a rash has been caused by a poisonous plant or bacteria? Come to AFC Urgent Care Easley today for a thorough examination by one of our doctors. No appointment is ever needed and we accept most major insurances. We’ll treat you for your rash, regardless of the cause, and educate you on how to protect your family from dangerous outdoor plants.