What's Going Around

By: Lauren Evans Email
By: Lauren Evans Email

In Okemos, Dr. Dennis Perry at Meridian Primary Care, a partner of McLaren-Greater Lansing, is treating poison ivy this week.

The hallmark symptom is an itchy, red, raised rash that often appears in lines or streaks. The rash forms blisters that break open and ooze fluid, eventually crusting over.

You may also have localized swelling, and a feeling of warmth at the exposed area.

Most cases of poison ivy can be treated at home.

Wash the skin as soon as possible with soap and hot water.

Take an oral antihistamine, and put cold compresses on the affected area. Try not to scratch.

A serious case of poison ivy should be seen by a doctor.

Without treatment, the rash usually lasts about 10 days to three weeks.


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  • by Jonquil Location: Lansing on May 21, 2012 at 06:59 PM
    Actually, washing the skin with warm water and soap might open up the pores to allow the urushiol to penetrate the skin more quickly. Most accounts I've heard have suggested cool water and dawn dish detergent with only very gentle rubbing. With poison ivy, you're dealing with an extraordinarily STICKY toxic oil, which can be transferred from items (such as clothes, shoes, animal fur, etc) to skin, and cause the rash that way. Having spent well over a month battling a horrendous poison ivy outbreak last year, I have learned that it's best to completely cover your body with washable clothes and rubber gloves, and be careful not to let those clothes / gloves contact anything else on their way to either a trash bag or the inside of a washing machine. I also wash the clothes/shoes several times with detergent and water before drying them.
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