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LEAVES OF THREE - LET THEM BE

If you’re allergic to poison ivy, just reading this article might make you itchy! Over the summer months, we treat a lot of patients for poison ivy rashes. Recognizing poison ivy is the first step in avoiding its annoying effects. The plant typically has clusters of three glossy green leaves. You may commonly hear “leaves of three, let them be.” Avoid them as best as you can. If you do encounter a plant, immediate action can reduce the severity of your reaction. Wash your skin with soap and water or use alcohol wipes to remove as much oil as possible. You’ll want to wash any contaminated clothing, too, to prevent the oil from spreading.  

If a rash develops, we recommend several treatment options to alleviate symptoms: 

  • Topical steroids: Over-the-counter hydrocortisone creams can reduce inflammation and itching. 
  • Oral antihistamines: These can help reduce itching and improve sleep for affected individuals. 
  • Calamine lotion and cool compresses: These provide relief by soothing the irritated skin. 
  • Oatmeal baths: Adding colloidal oatmeal to a lukewarm bath can help reduce itching and inflammation. 

For severe cases, call the clinic to see if additional medical treatment is recommended.

LEAVES OF THREE - LET THEM BE

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