“Leaves of three, let it be.” You may be familiar with this expression which describes the appearance of poison ivy, but if you are not, you will want to be aware of this plant, as touching or brushing against it can cause a very uncomfortable itchy rash. Poison Ivy can grow as a shrub or a vine on the ground or climbing a tree. If you think you have come into contact with the plant, wash exposed skin with soap and water as soon as possible. Put clothing on towels which may have brushed against the plant into the laundry, as the oil from the leaves can be transferred from the clothing to your skin and cause a rash days after actual contact with the plant.
If you develop a red itchy rash anywhere on your body, you can take an antihistamine, such as Benadryl for the itch, or apply calamine lotion to the area. The rash may have red streaks or small blisters; if the streaks are spreading, the blisters are oozing yellow fluid or the rash is on the face or on the genital area, seek medical attention at AFC Urgent Care Watertown as you may need prescription medication to prevent more serious complications.
Dr. Rosemary Pomponio