Photographer: G. Price
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Severe skin irritant
- Wash the skin thoroughly with soap and warm water. Because the plant oil enters skin quickly, try to wash it off within 30 minutes.
- Scrub under the fingernails with a brush to prevent the plant oil from spreading to other parts of the body.
- Wash clothing and shoes with soap and hot water. The plant oils can linger on them.
- Immediately bathe animals to remove the oils from their fur.
- Body heat and sweating can aggravate the itching. Stay cool and apply cool compresses to your skin.
- Calamine lotion and hydrocortisone cream can be applied to the skin to reduce itching and blistering.
- Bathing in lukewarm water with an oatmeal bath product, available in drugstores, may soothe itchy skin. Aluminum acetate (Domeboro solution) soaks can help to dry the rash and reduce itching.
- If creams, lotions, or bathing do not stop the itching, antihistamines may be helpful.
- In severe cases, especially for a rash around the face or genitals, the health care provider may prescribe steroids, taken by mouth or given by injection.
- Wash tools and other objects with a dilute bleach solution or rubbing alcohol. A product called Tecnu, available in camping stores and some pharmacies, is very effective at removing the oils, but expensive. It should not be used on skin.
Habitat: dry lowland forests and clearings