Poisonous plants can be anywhere from the woods to your own backyard. Poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac are all green leaf plants making them hard to identify and easy to blend in with other non rash-causing plants.
All three plants contain the rash-causing substance called urushiol, a colorless, odorless oil on the leaves of the plants. Urushiol causes an allergic reaction, rash and sometimes swelling, in 60 to 80 percent of people who come in contact.
Learn to identify poison ivy, oak and sumac. Be extra careful if the leaves look shiny.
Avoid areas you know these plants live.
Wear long sleeves and long pants when you are in areas that could contain poison plants.
Be cautious of pets if they explored areas where poisonous plants could live, they can spread the oil from their hair or fur to your skin.
Reactions can occur as little as hours after contact, up to five days after contact. Typically, skin becomes red, swollen, blistered and will itch.
Wash skin right away
Take a shower, not a bath. Bath water can break the oil to other areas of your body.
It is best practice to consult a physician if you have any rash, especially if you have a fever too.
Cool showers and calamine lotions are often recommended to treat rashes caused by poison ivy and similar plants.
In severe cases, a liquid or pill medication called an antihistamine might be needed to decrease itching or redness. (A steroid is another kind of medication that could be prescribed to take orally or applied directory on the rash.)