Physician Assistant Dan Moore at McLaren Greater Lansing Internal Medicine in Lansing is treating poison ivy this week.
--Itchy, red, raised rash that appears in lines or streaks
--Blisters that break open and ooze clear fluid
--Feeling of warmth at the exposed area
Most poison ivy cases can be treated at home.
It's a common misconception that poison ivy is contagious. The rash itself isn't contagious, but the spreading of the plant oil is. That's why it's important to wash the irritant off the skin as soon as possible with soap and hot water. Clothes should also be washed.
Take an oral antihistamine and apply topical hydrocortisone cream and calamine lotion. Cool compresses can help, too.
See a doctor if there's swelling around the face, mouth, neck or eyes. You should also see a doctor if the rash is infected, or appears all over your body.
Moore is also seeing patients with allergies.
--Itchy eyes and nose
--Dark circles under the eyes
Avoid allergens by staying indoors on dry, windy days. Use eye drops and cool compresses, and take antihistamines.
If you have asthma, stick to your prescribed treatment regimen.
Allergies can lead to sinus infections.