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Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, Poison Sumac, Oh My!

From the Colorado Dermatology Institute in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Daily Do of Dermatology - Title
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Video Transcript:

Here’s another daily tip from your friendly local dermatologist in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Oh my gosh! Poison Ivy! Poison Oak! Poison Sumac! They’re miserable! When I was a doctor for the Marines, it was actually an initiation into the battalion to send the young Marines to go roll around in the stuff. And they’d come in to me to be treated, and man, head to toe blisters swelling, absolute miserableness. You don’t want that.

So the first thing is, figure out what region you are in, and figure out if you have poison oak, poison ivy, or poison sumac. Look at the plant, so that you can identify that, so you can avoid it. Now if you’re going to be in an area that has tons of it, then there are products like Tecnu that you can buy over the internet that can help prevent you from getting poison ivy, if you happen to come in contact with it.

Wear long sleeve shirts and long pants, and take them off and wash them immediately. And one of the things that I see so commonly, is people get it on their hands, and they don’t wash their hands before using the bathroom, and then you get that reaction in places that you don’t want it.

Now if you do happen to have a reaction to one of these plants, there are treatments for it. And depending on the severity, there are either oral steroids as well as topical steroids, or just topical steroids. And in my experience, you know, it really needs to be treated for about two weeks or longer, depending on the severity of it.

So talk to your local dermatologist and they can help you. But remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So learn your plants, prevent as much as you can, and good luck. 

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