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What is sumac rash and how to recognize it?

Sumac rash is a sign of an allergic reaction to one of the most toxic poisonous plants in the United States. Poisonous sumac grows as a small tree or shrub in swamps and wet regions and it can be recognized by leaves with red veins and small berries either white of grey. It is a weed that is very similar to poison ivy and poison oak plant. The rash in question does not develop in everyone who comes into contact with this plant, but the fact is that those who are resistant to the sumac plant are rare.

People who do develop this rash will soon realize that it is not only itchy, but also painful and it tends to spread rather quickly. Other symptoms of this rash include blisters of which some may burst or ooze, and those that ooze will later become dry and form crusts. Red blotches that are either raised or flat might also appear, as well as fever, cramps in the stomach, nausea and swellings over the body, which is particularly common for severe cases. They do require medical help, while it does not apply to milder cases.

How can it be treated and how to deal with it?

A problem with sumac rash is that it is not easy to get rid of. There is no particular method of treatment, but there are methods that help in relieving the symptoms. It is necessary to wash off and dry the skin in order to remove the oily toxicant (called urushiol) that causes the irritation. Anti-itching creams that can be obtained over-the-counter will help with milder red bumps and blisters. These creams contain zinc oxide or zinc acetate, which is why they are helpful with these symptoms. Homemade remedies that help are a paste of baking soda or aloe vera.

However, it is necessary to visit a doctor in severe cases, as well as in cases when the eyes are irritated. In case infection is developed, some antibiotic creams might need to be applied topically, but it is recommended to do everything in order to avoid infections, since they complicate the condition even more. It is important to bear in mind that this plant is so dangerous that people who inhale the smoke of the burned sumac plant might even experience poisoning.

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