Poison Sumac Rash

What is Poison Sumac Rash?

Some native plants can turn your outdoor activities such as hiking and biking into the worst experience. One among such native plants is the Poison Sumac which can either be a small tree or a woody shrub which is present in wood forests or swamps or wet areas.
When our skin contacts with the oil of Poison Sumac, it will lead to burning, itchy rashes which are more poisonous when comparing with Poison Ivy and Oak.

Poison Sumac Plant Image

Poison Sumac Plant

Types of Poison Sumac Rash

Winged Sumac – It is similar to Poison Sumac, but it is not poisonous. Both these plants can be distinguished with the help of leaflets (9 to 23) and also with red berries.
Staghorn Sumac – It is also non-poisonous to the human body.

Poison Sumac Rash Symptoms

Some of the symptoms of Poison Sumac Rash are burning sensation, itchiness, swelling, blisters in the form of the water, and redness on the skin. When our skin contacts with the oil of the plant it will cause some allergies on your skin namely contact dermatitis.
Symptoms of this rash may get exposed after 8 to 48 hours, and these rashes can last for weeks. Some people tend to have more sensitive skin; those people may get harsher symptoms.

Some of the linked symptoms with these rashes are trouble in breathing, fever, nausea, large blisters, headache, lung infection, and trouble in swallowing, coughing, and wheezing.

When should you see a doctor?

● If the rashes spread over 30 to 50% of the area in your body and also in the face
● If you have the temperature more than 101 degrees Fahrenheit
● If you are struggling to breathe

Poison Sumac Rash Causes

American Academy of Dermatology states that the rashes caused by the poisonous plants are because of an oil extraction from the plant which is called as Urushiol. These poisonous plants may lead to allergies when our skin has contact with the stems and leaves of the plants. Even a dead plant still contains the oil Urushiol extract.
It is normal that often people will not react when these poisonous plants come in contact with your skin for the first time. Meanwhile, our human immune system will prepare itself a defense when our skin comes in contact with these poisonous plants again thus by causing allergic reactions.

Poison Sumac Rash Complications

Due to the itchiness, people used to scratch their skin. In that case, it may lead to severe infection like pain, redness, oozing, and even pus from the blisters. If this plant is burned, the inhalation of the oil leads to severe lung irritation for the peoples. Some of the symptoms are breathing struggle, coughing, and wheezing.

Poison Sumac Rash Treatment

The first step when you are exposed to Poison Sumac is – try to clean or remove the oil from your skin. When exposed, wash thoroughly with soap and cool water. Do not use warm water, as it leads to spreading of the oil over your body.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises washing the area with dish wash soap, rubbing alcohol, some specialized poison plant washes, or a detergent along with more quantity of water. Also, try to clean all your clothes, shoes, and all your accessories with the help of detergent for several times. Also, make sure to clean your fingernails to stop spreading the oil over your eyes and to other body parts.

Poison Sumac Rash Diagnosis

Diagnosis of Poison Sumac is made by seeing the rashes appearance alone. Doctors used to ask about the symptoms, reactions, and the medical history of the patients. There is no need for lab tests or x-rays for this except under some unusual scenario.

Poison Sumac Rash Differential Diagnosis

Phytodermatitis – This disease causes the rash which is indistinguishable from Poison Sumac or Oak, etc.
Allergic Contact Dermatitis – The symptoms are the same one, but the occurring area of rashes may differ. There is no form of blisters or vesicles occur.
Cellulitis – Symptoms are the Periorbital edema with the presence of fever. There will be no itchiness or blisters here.

Poison Ivy rash – It is similar to Poison Sumac which is caused due to the oil called Urushiol.
Poison Oak rash – It is also similar to Poison Sumac and Poison Ivy which is caused due to the oil of the plant.

Poison Sumac Rash Prognosis

Try to use all medications properly. If you consult a doctor, then try to follow his/her recommendations alone for curing. If these symptoms, do not begin to improve after one or two weeks, it is necessary to consult a doctor for medical advice.

Poison Sumac Rash Medication

Oral Corticosteroid medication (prednisone) – The effect of this is very much similar to that of creams, but it is to be used for the more severe case or spreading areas on the parts of the body.
Oral Antihistamines (used for itching) – By using this, the individuals may carry their normal activities without any itching from the rashes.
Antibiotics – Antibiotics are to be used if the skin is infected with any bacteria after the occurrence of the rash.
Topical Corticosteroid Creams – This helps to reduce and remove the inflammatory symptoms.

Poison Sumac Rash Pictures

Image of Poison Sumac Rash Photo of Poison Sumac Rash Picture of Poison Sumac Rash Poison Sumac Rash Image

Frequently Asked Questions

Do other plants have Urushiol?

Yes! Many available Sumac family members have this oil extraction. Some of these include Burmese Lacquer Tree, Ginkgo Biloba, Indian nut tree, etc.

How do I control Poison Sumac or Oak or Ivy plants?

Try to avoid contact with these plants to control these types of rashes.

What are the symptoms of Poisoning?

Severe Itching is the first symptom. After this, the occurrence of blisters and red inflammation appears on your body. Also, the occurrence of blisters and oozing may be formed in severe cases.

What is the Scientific Classification of Poison Sumac?

It is called as Rhus Vernix or Toxicodendron Vernix.


Last updated on March 17th, 2018 at 9:16 am

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