Poison Ivy

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The heavy rain fall may have brought more poison ivy plants. Local doctors see several cases of poison ivy rashes each week. The green, three-leaf plants can grow just about anywhere and their oil causes a skin allergy reaction to 90 percent of the population.

To relieve the itching, you can use over-the-counter anti-itch creams or Benadryl tablets. Several home remedies such as oatmeal baths may also be helpful.

The best way to prevent getting the rash is to identify poison ivy plants and stay away. They have three leaves with red spots by the middle stem where the leaves come together. The leaves are also identified by "thumbs" on the leaves. The middle leaf has two thumbs and the outer leaves have one each. The plants are red when they first grow, but then turn green. They turn back to red in the fall.

The rash is not contagious to other people and cannot be spread once the area has been washed with soap and water.