First Aid Tips : How to Treat Poison Oak, Ivy & Sumac

You know working or playing in the outdoors
can be a lot of fun, and exciting times except when injury occurs. I’m Captain Joe Bruni.
What I want to talk about is how to treat an exposure to poison Sumac, poison Ivy or
poison Oak. Poison Ivy, Sumac, or Oak will leave some type of oil on the skin after contact
with these types of plants. You must take care in not spreading the oil around. Do not
touch your face or other parts of your body, especially the eyes. Flush the area with cool,
running water for approximately fifteen minutes. Do not scrub or do not rub the area, as this
will spread the oil around. Just allow the flushing water to do its work. After fifteen
minutes of flushing, take some type of hydro-cortisone cream and apply it to the area. After the
hydro-cortisone cream, Aloe Vera gel can be used to help reduce itching and the oil from
moving around. For the next few days, the itching will become intense. You do not want
to scratch the area as this may invite infection. Do not take long baths. If any oil is left
on the skin, it will float on the bath water and expose other parts of the body. Long,
cool to hot showers is recommended, making the water go from cool to hot and back to
cool. This will provide temporary relief from the itching. In a period of time, the itching
will subside as the skin heals. The key to these types of plant exposures, again, is
not to spread the oils around.