Watch for Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac This Summer


Spending time camping with your friends and family can be the highlight of your summer days and nights. It’s great to be able to get the kids outside for a good tumble in the grass and maybe even chase some fireflies.

Image Source:

There are a couple of things to watch out for when you’re spending time outside in Michigan this summer. Mainly, those things are Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, and Poison Sumac. Each of these have the capability of taking the fun out of your vacation in a hurry.

Some people are more sensitive to these plants than others and they often are aware of the risk so they survey their surroundings carefully. Others may not even realize the plant is around them until they find themselves itching up a storm later in the day.

The image above is a comparison of the three plants in question to give you an idea of what to look for. These plants excrete an oil that some people are highly sensitive to. Once it touches your skin it can create painful, itchy blisters that are hard to heal.

The most important tactic to reduce the severity of your exposure is to quickly wash these oils off your skin. Use a mild detergent because this substance is oily and can resist plain water. If there isn’t any soap handy, use baby wipes, rubbing alcohol, or anything you have on hand to strip the oils off your skin. Wash all your clothing as soon as possible as well.

You can ease the itching by applying calamine lotion or a good anti-itching cream. If the rash persists, be sure to see your doctor because you may need prescription level treatment to cure the infection. The best defense is a good offense so be aware of your environment. Check the plant life around you and be aware of what these rash inducing plants look like.

We hope all your camping days are memorable and you make it in and out of the woods without a single scratch on you.