What's Going Around

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Just because summer's winding down doesn't mean poison ivy is.

Nurse Practitioner Linda Eckerson at McLaren Greater Lansing-DeWitt Family Medicine is treating patients with poison ivy this week.

Most people will experience itching, red streaks on the skin, small bumps or hives, blisters that may leak fluid, and warmth at the exposed area. If you're highly allergic to the plant oil, your face, mouth, eyelids or neck may swell.

The rash itself isn't contagious; the plant oil is. Wash your skin immediately with water and mild soap. You should also wash in hot water clothing or anything else that may have come into contact with the oil.

You can soak the affected area in cool water, use calamine lotion, and apply topic antihistamines. In severe cases, your doctor may prescribe corticosteroids.

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