July is here and people everywhere are craving time in the great outdoors – whether in the park, in the garden, or on the beach. Unfortunately, a simple brush with nature in the summer could leave you red, itchy, swollen, and blistered in as little as 12 hours. How you ask? Skin irritation from poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac leaves. When it comes to these plants, it’s not the leaves themselves that can cause you to itch for weeks, it’s an oil coating the leaves called Urushiol. Skin irritation from these poisonous plants will rarely lead to serious or life-threatening sickness. Nevertheless, if you experience any of the following symptoms you should visit a doctor for medical care immediately as they can indicate severe allergic reaction.

  • Blistering
  • Burst blisters & crusting skin
  • Severe swelling
  • Fever
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing

Without treatment, mild rashes typically clear within a two week period. Until then, the following tips can provide relief for your pain and discomfort:

  • Press a cold compress on the infected area
  • Take an oatmeal bath
  • Apply anti-itch creams, lotions, or gels to the affected and surrounding area
  • Avoid itching or touching the affected area to prevent the spread and/or aggravation of your rash

 

At AFC Urgent Care Clearwater we’re dedicated to providing fast and affordable urgent care when you need it most. That’s why we make it easy to walk in and be seen by a board-certified physician for immediate relief for your symptoms – no appointment necessary. We also accept most insurances and offer low rates for all patients without insurance. Visit 1500 N. McMullen Booth Road in Clearwater, FL or call 727.266.1266 for more information.