Camping is a great way to spend time with friends and family and it all usually runs pretty smoothly. Some campers may have allergies and sensitivities to contend with of which poison ivy, oak, and sumac are the most challenging. In case you’re not sure if you react to these plants you can protect yourself in advance.
When you know you’ll be spending time in the woods, you should try to wear long sleeved shirts and long pants. It’s a matter of avoiding the oils these plants can shed on your skin which will make the rash light up and the itching begin. There are also over-the-counter salves that you can use so it’s wise to have them along in your first aid kit, just in case. Also pack some Calamine lotion or anti-itch cream in your kit. Covering the areas most affected with gauze will also help you to keep from scratching and keep infection from setting in.
The first thing to do when you’ve been exposed is to wash well with soap and water. Scrub good and hard with a wash cloth to cut through the plant oil that is coating your skin. Often times we focus on the soap aspect for removing these oils when it’s just as important to scrub!
Most people know they are allergic and can avoid the woods when these plants are at their peak. If all goes well, your camping trip will not be hampered by them at all. We look forward to seeing you around the campground this year and we hope to see you rash and itch-free.