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If you have contact with poison ivy, oak, or sumac, immediately wash areas of the skin that may have touched the plant. Sometimes the resulting rash (contact dermatitis) can be completely avoided by washing the affected areas with plenty of water and soap (such as dishwashing soap) or rubbing alcohol. Rinse often, so that the soap or rubbing alcohol doesn't dry on the skin and make the rash worse. Use creek or stream water if you are outdoors.
Urushiol can remain active on clothing and other items for many months, especially in dry climates. If these items are not cleaned properly, handling them can spread the urushiol to the skin and possibly cause a rash.
|Primary Medical Reviewer||William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine|
|Last Revised||August 19, 2013|
Last Revised: August 19, 2013
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