Charleston is full of outdoor fun. Parks, trails, water activities and more fill our Lowcountry Summer days. However, with our tropical type climate comes a wide variety of beautiful foliage- and some are better seen from afar!Poison Ivy, Sumac and Oak are abundant in our area. They each contain a resinous sap called urushiol that can cause a rash when it comes in contact with the skin. Without even direct contact some can form a rash from these plants.When you know you’ve been in contact with any of these pesky plants, or a rash/itch develops, immediately rinse the area with warm water. Once the sap has soaked into the skin topical treatments, oatmeal baths and antihistamines can relieve the symptoms of contact.
Rashes between the three plants are basically the same. Showing in red bumps, red streaking hives and sometimes even blisters. Also, contrary to belief the rash is NOT contagious. So while gardening, letting kids play or just smelling the roses be aware of surrounding plants, and take precautions. Untreated rashes can become severe and rarely airways or eyes can become affected.