With summer now in full swing, many people crave spending time outdoors – whether it’s tending to the garden, running in the park, grilling in the backyard or playing on the beach.

Unfortunately, if you spend time outdoors in the summer, you are susceptible to getting a rash from poison ivy, poison sumac and poison oak. These plants contain oil named Urushiol which causes skin irritation within 12 -72 hours of contact. Though rashes caused by these poisonous plants are rarely serious or life-threatening, severe reactions – which include swelling, blistering and crusting skin – can occur and require urgent medical care.

Poison Ivy plantMild rashes usually clear in a few weeks without treatment. Nevertheless, the uncontrollable itching, swelling and redness that come with skin irritation can be very uncomfortable. Here are a few tips for instant relief from your itching and other symptoms:

• Press a cold compress on the infected area.
• Take an oatmeal bath.
• Apply calamine, Cortizone 10, Gold Bond or other anti-itch creams to the affected and surrounding areas.

If you have been exposed to poison ivy, oak or sumac, don’t suffer with the pain and discomfort of skin irritation. We make it easy for you to walk in and be seen by a board-certified physician in less than 60 minutes without an appointment. Most insurance plans are accepted and we offer low self-pay rates for uninsured patients. For more information, visit us at our conveniently-located urgent care centers at 7411 N. Keystone Ave or 10950 Pendleton Pike in Indianapolis.