Poison Ivy and Oak Rash Treatment in Greenville, SC
AFC Urgent Care Center located at 1800 Augusta St Ste B Greenville, SC 29605 is open Mon – Fri 8am – 8pm and Sat – Sun 8am – 5pm with doctors who treat poison ivy and oak rash with no appointment necessary. Walk-in or call (864) 293-7062.
Poison Ivy & Other Plants to Avoid This Summer
One of the best parts of summer is spending time outside. However, you must be mindful of a variety of poisonous oak and ivy plants in Greenville, SC that can cause rashes, which for some people, can be quite severe. Many weeks of summer have been ruined by itchy rashes, but you do not have to suffer alone. If you believe you have been exposed to one of these plants, the board-certified doctors at AFC Urgent Care Center on Augusta St. are ready to help you. No appointments are necessary to access our services or see one of our physicians.
The big three when it comes to poisonous plants are poison oak, poison ivy, and poison sumac. Each of these plants contains Urushiol. This substance is what causes rashes on your skin. It’s important to remember that this substance is not bacteria and is not contagious. However, until this substance is washed off of your skin or clothes, you can spread it to other parts of your body and to others. You probably don’t realize how often you touch your face or other objects during the day. If you aren’t careful, you can spread it to others.
The Big Three
Poison ivy grows all over North America except for Alaska, Hawaii, or exceptionally dry climates like deserts. When you come across this plant you will usually see it as a vine or as a shrub growing close to the ground. This plant can as easily grow in urban settings as it can in rural environments. The phrase “Leaves of three, leave them be” was coined because poison ivy leaves grows in groups of three. Depending on the time of year, you can also find small flowers and light colored berries growing on these plants.
Poison oak leaves grow in groups of three, much like poison ivy. Unlike poison ivy’s jagged leaves however, the leaves of poison oak are smooth and curved like a regular oak tree. Since it is frequently mistaken for oak trees, this is how this plant has come to be called poison oak.
Poison sumac is very difficult to recognize in nature compared to the other two plants. Unfortunately, it also has a higher potential to give you a more severe rash. Fortunately, this plant only grows in very wet areas like swamps or riverbanks. The leaves of this plant are arranged in pairs and often appears as a harmless shrub or a small tree.
When you come in contact with any of the above plants, there is a risk for you to develop a rash on your skin. Additional symptoms can develop if this rash becomes severe enough. These additional symptoms can include blisters, swelling, and fever. Occasionally, people can develop an anaphylactic reaction. When this happens, you should seek immediate medical care. If you are a farmer, construction worker, groundskeeper, or a hiker then you are much more likely to come in contact with these plants. However, if you engage in any outdoor activity where you touch plants or handle the cut remains of plants, then you are at risk for exposure.
Don’t panic if a rash develops as for most people this will heal on its own in one to three weeks. There are many over the counter anti-itch products that can help relieve these symptoms. As mentioned above, as long as you wash your skin and clothes, you can not spread this rash to other parts of your body or other people. If your rash lingers for more than three weeks, consult with a doctor. They may prescribe topical steroids to help you finally get rid of the rash.
Experts suggest you wear protective clothing and avoid touching plants you don’t recognize. Follow these two tips and you reduce the risk of being exposed to these plants. Discover these plants growing at home or where you work? Use pesticides to kill the poisonous plants instead of pulling them up by hand. Never burn any of these plants as this can cause the urushiol to become airborne. If inhaled, this can cause a rash in your lungs and throat. This is immensely more dangerous than a rash on your skin.
Not quite sure where a rash has come from? Visit AFC Urgent Care on Augusta St. today to be seen by one of our physicians. No appointment is needed for a thorough examination to determine the cause of your rash. We’ll diagnose and treat your rash regardless of the cause. You can also rely on our staff to educate you on how to protect yourself and your family from other dangerous outdoor plants.