Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, Poison Sumac

Touching these plans causes an itchy skin rash. The skin reacts to the oil of the plant. The fluid from the blisters is NOT able to cause the rash on someone else.

  • Try not to scratch the rash, as this causes the rash to spread.
  • Use a cool compress to soothe the rash. This can be a cloth soaked in cool water or Burow’s solution (Buro-solĀ® powder) from your drug store. Dissolve 1 packet of Buro-solĀ® powder in 2 cups of cool water. Soak a clean cloth in this, wring it out, and place the cloth on the rash. Soak the cloth again every few minutes and place it on the rash again. Do this several times a day for an hour each time.
  • If the rash is too large an area to cover with compresses, then take 3 baths each day with cornstarch in the bath water. Put 1 pound of cornstarch in a little water to make a paste, then mix this into a tub of water. Soak in this for 20 minutes.
  • Wash any clothes, shoes, sporting gear and tools that might have the oil of the plant on them. Remember to wash your dog with soap and water if the animal was with you.

See your doctor or return to the OUCC if:

  • you develop a fever
  • the rash becomes more painful
  • the redness spreads around the rash
  • there is red streaking
  • there is pus
  • the rash spreads to your eyes, mouth, genital area, or covers 1/4 of your skin
  • you have problems with your medicines.