Summer Health: Poison Ivy, Oak, & Sumac

After this year’s long and harsh winter, nothing’s better than spending time outdoors in the summer sun. It’s extreme
ly important, however, to stay aware of your surroundings and protect yourself from summer health risks. Going outside in the summer increases your risk of rash from poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac. Within 12-72 hours of contact with skin, Urushiol – an oil which coats the leaves of these plants – causes skin irritation such as bumps, redness, mild swelling, and uncontrollable itchiness. Though rare, the following symptoms could indicate severe allergic reaction to Urushiol and require immediate medical assistance:

  • Blisteringpoison ivy
  • Crusting or broken skin
  • Severe swelling or redness
  • Fever
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Limited mobility


While mild rashes typically clear in two weeks without treatment, the discomfort of uncontrollable itching, swelling, and redness from your rash can feel unbearable. Here are a few simple at-home treatments for fast relief:

  • Take allergy medication to reduce your reaction
  • Apply a cool compress to the affected area
  • Apply OTC or prescription anti-itch creams to the affected and surrounding area


Has exposure to poison ivy, oak, or sumac left you itchy and uncomfortable? If the rash continues to spread and does not get better within a couple days, visit AFC Urgent Care Lyndhurst for fast, affordable treatment with no appointment necessary. We’re open 7 days a week at convenient, extended hours to offer treatment for rashes, swelling, and other symptoms of allergies. For more info, give us a call at 201.831.8125.